TARXIEN RAINBOWS 0
Tarxien Rainbows missed an opportunity to move closer to promotion with a 1-0 defeat to Marsa on Saturday.
Speaking to the Times of Malta after the match which saw Marsa leapfrog the Rainbows in third place, Tarxien coach Steve D’Amato believes his side’s faith now depends on other clubs as a one-point gap separates second, third and fourth place.
“The difference after today is that while before it depended on our performances, now it all comes down to the results of the other teams,” D’Amato said.
“We don’t have much left and when it doesn’t fully depend on you, it becomes all the more difficult. Obviously, we have to give our all and keep believing until the end – that is the job of the coach and his players. But obviously, we need to hope that other teams above us drop points as well.
“Had we won today, and against Pietà, we would have been promoted with a game to go but as it is now, apart from winning both remaining matches, we need others to drop points.”
On the other hand, Marsa were in jubilation after their win which leaves them on 35 points. However, with Swieqi United and leaders Żebbuġ as their final two opponents, the side will be in for a tough finale and coach Enzo Potenza emphasised that there is still much to do.
“We haven’t done anything yet,” Potenza said, “Pietà have a point more than us, and Tarxien one less. All of them are able to end up getting promoted to the Premier League so, while it was an important victory today, we haven’t done anything yet.
“I believe the players have shown great will and commitment and I believe we are doing something extraordinary. They deserve it because in my opinion, they are professionals and today, they interpreted the match perfectly. It was a big step forward.”
While it was Marsa who took the spoils, the match was in the hands of Tarxien for large spells and D’Amato admits that it was not the difference-maker.
“I believe we had a very good performance and it was not a deserved result because we were very good and created a lot of chances. Ultimately, who scores, wins and Marsa managed to do this. I think it was one of the few chances they had but they took it and that is what makes the difference,” D’Amato explained.
A red card to forward Darren Falzon, a few minutes after conceding a goal, was no help to Tarxien and D’Amato remarked that it made things all the more difficult.
“Our opponents began to defend the game as they had a goal in the bag while we were then playing with ten men, so our reaction was going to be tougher to make, as happened. There was some kind of reaction as we had chances which were dangerous, but we didn’t manage to level terms, something which would have made a lot of difference,” the Rainbows coach said.
Tarxien’s domination was clear throughout the first half with the side having the closest shots but it was as though the side of the pitch was the difference-maker as after the break, Marsa sprung into action and just before the hour, scored the winning goal.
On a counter-attack, Siraj Arab went on a run along the left flank, pushed the ball to the unmarked Ryan Darmanin whose shot was too strong for Tarxien goalkeeper Jurgen Borg to stop with the ball bouncing towards the net with Luca Brincat tipping the ball over the line.
Things got worse for Tarxien as four minutes after the hour, Falzon got his marching orders after retaliating for a foul, so much so that Marsa could contain any trouble to take the win.
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Melita vs Zejtun Corinthians 1-3
Mqabba vs St George’s 4-1
Pembroke vs Lija Athletic 5-1
Rabat Ajax vs Naxxar Lions 0-2
Pieta H. vs Fgura United 1-3
Qrendi vs Swieqi United 1-1
Luqa SA vs Senglea Athletic 0-2
Mgarr vs Żebbuġ Rangers 0-4