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Gżira United fight back to overcome Tarxien Rainbows in extra-time

GŻIRA UNITED              4

Atajic 70; Muscat 85; Correa 96; Maxuell 99

TARXIEN RAINBOWS   2

Kooh-Sohna 2; Plut 45

(after extra-time; 90 mins: 2-2)

Gżira United

A. Curmi, G. Mentz, S. Borg, N. Muscat, M. Davis (60 B. Atajic), N. Portelli (69 D. Xuereb), Maxuell (115 A. Scicluna), J. Mendoza (69 S. Pisani), R. Correa, S. Borg, Jefferson (110 K. Pulo).

Tarxien Rainbows

D. Fernandes, C. Conceicao (105 D. Tabone), D. Falzon, V. Plut, E. Rosado, L. Sciberras, E. Ssekisambu (81 M. Spiteri), K. Gatt (102 C. Zahra), M. Tabone (90 K. Attard), R. Kooh Sohna (73 J. Debono), C. Escobar.

Referee Trustin Farrugia Cann.

Yellow cards Kooh Sohna, Tabone, Mentz, Sciberras, Falzon.

Referee Trustin Farrugia Cann.

Yellow cards Kooh Sohna, Tabone, Mentz, Sciberras, Falzon.

Gżira United pulled off a great escape against Tarxien Rainbows as they came from two goals down to see off the Premier League strugglers 4-2 after extra-time.

It looked as though the Rainbows were set to pull off a major upset when racing into a two-goal lead after the first half.

But the Maroons kept fighting and managed to score two late goals to force extra-time.

From then on, Gżira United were in total control and it was only a matter of time that they would strike again as they managed to score twice in the first half of extra-time to become the first team to reach the quarter-finals.

Tarxien Rainbows were off to a fine start when inside the second minute, the Gżira defence failed to deal with a long throw inside the area and in popped up Raphael Kooh Sohna who blasted the ball past Anthony Curmi.

Gżira tried to respond but it was Tarxien who came close on 14 minutes when Daren Falzon hit a long-range shot that finished just over.

The Maroons finally threatened on 26 minutes when Correa let fly a thumping drive that was somehow kept out by Fernandes.

Despite their constant pressure, Gżira rarely threatened the Tarxien goal.

Instead it was the Rainbows who added a second goal on the stroke of half-time.

The Maroons failed to clear Daren Falzon’s delivery from a corner and in came Vito Plut who hammered home.

Gżira tried to step up their game after the interval and on 48 minutes Nevin Portelli found Correa who nodded the ball into the path of Maxuell who, however, headed wide.

Erisa Ssekisambu had the chance to put the game beyond Gżira’s reach when he ran into space but he took too much time to conclude and the Gżira defence cleared.

Bahrudin Atajic came on for Martin Davis and the former Celtic striker almost left an instant mark when he turned past his marker but his shot was pushed away by Fernandes.

But the Maroons finally pulled a goal back on 70 minutes when from a Steve Pisani corner-kick, the Rainbows defence deflected the ball into the path of Atajic who fire home.

The goal injected a new lease of life in the Maroons players and they almost drew level on 73 minutes when Maxuell headed the ball just wide.

Gżira continued to press forward and they grabbed the equaliser on 86 minutes when Nikolai Micallef let fly a firm drive that flew past Fernandes and into the net.

The Maroons continue to dominate three minutes into extra-time Fernandes effected two fine saves on Maxuell.

However, the Portuguese no.1 could do nothing when on 96 minutes Correa let fly a thumping drive that flew into the net.

Tarxien were now down and out and on 99 minutes Maxuell sealed the win when he fired home from a Correa pass.

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