BOV Premier League | Senglea Athletic 2 – Tarxien Rainbows 2

In a match played under continuous rainfall, Senglea Athletic and Tarxien Rainbows shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw.

Photo: Christine Borg
Photo: Christine Borg

The first match at the Hibernians stadium saw the teams of Senglea and Tarxien facing off each other in a delicate encounter at the lower end of the table. For the Rainbows, it was important to take something from this match if they are to avoid relegation since St Andrews and Naxxar won points in their previous encounters. On the other hand, despite it is too soon to secure their Premier League status, Senglea came into this match under less pressure as they started the match eight points ahead of Tarxien.

Paolo Favaretto made four changes to the team that suffered a 5-0 defeat at the hands of Birkirkara. Ian Azzopardi, Ivan Paz, Nicola Palmieri and Gonzalo Virano replaced Steve Bonnici, Hubert Vella, Rene Caseres and Josuel Spiteri.

Jose Borg also made some changes to the team that lost narrowly to Mosta. Sean Cipriott, Wellington De Oliveira Viera, Eduard Marian Calin and debutant Gabriel Aquilina started the match instead of Matthew Spiteri, Andrew Agius, Matteo Desira Buttigieg and Matar Dieye.

Senglea made a flying start to the match as they went ahead after just three minutes. Following a corner, Matias Garzia headed the ball past Andrea Cassar.

Things went from bad to worse for Tarxien as they were reduced to ten men on the 10th minute when Sean Cipriott was shown a straight red card by Matthew Degabriele for a violent conduct.

Despite having to play in ten men, Tarxien improved drastically and created a number of chances.

On the 26th minute, Eduard Marian Calin fired a shot from a free-kick that went slightly off target.

Five minutes later, James Brincat tried his luck from another free-kick, but his shot sailed centimetres wide.

Brincat nearly equalised a minute later. The twenty-one year old player received the ball inside the penalty area from Samba Tounkara and hit a shot that forced a good save from Matthew Farrugia

Tarxien’s efforts paid off on the 33rd minute. Calin’s cross went into the path of Wellington De Oliveira Viera who finished inside the net.

Senglea hit back on the 40th minute. Braga Gregory sent a shot from the edge of the penalty area that was blocked by Cassar.

However, Tarxien remained superior and went close again one minute prior to half time. From another free-kick, Calin fired a shot that was tipped behind by Farrugia.

Senglea started the second half looking to regain the lead and succeeded on the 50th minute. Gregory went on an excellent run down the left flank before passing the ball towards the unmarked Terence Vella who slotted it inside the net.

Favaretto’s side threatened again on the 66th minute. From a free-kick, Ivan Paz delivered a cross towards Nicola Palmieri whose header went over.

Tarxien managed to equalise again on the 81st minute. Calin hit a stunning shot from distance that gave Farrugia no chance.

The post denied Senglea from scoring the winning goal on the 87th minute. The ball rolled into the path of Augusto Rene Caseres whose shot hit the upright.

In the additional time, Palmieri hit a low shot from outside the penalty area that went wide.

Senglea Athletic starting line-up: Matthew Farrugia, Randal Vella, Jonathan Bondin, Sergio Uyi, Ian Azzopardi, Matias Garzia, Gonzalo Nilcolas Virano, Ivan Paz, Terence Vella, Nicola Palmieri, Braga Gregory (Augusto Rene Caseres – 64)

Tarxien Rainbows starting line-up: Andrea Cassar, Ebiabowei Baker, Andre` Charles Scicluna, Luke Grech, Stefan Radovanovic, Gabriel Aquilina, Sean Cipriott, James Brincat (Godwin McKy – 69), Eduard Marian Calin, Samba Tounkara, Wellington De Oliveira Viera (Matthew Brincat – 62)

Referee: Matthew Degabriele

Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Sammy Attard

Fourth Official: Ishmael Barbara

Yellow Cards: Ian Azzopardi (Senglea), Matias Garzia (Senglea), Sergi Uyi (Senglea), Stefan Radovanovic (Tarxien)

Red Cards: Sean Cipriott (Tarxien)

BOV Player of the Match: Ivan Paz (Senglea)

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