Tarxien hold on to victory
Tarxien 3 Mqabba 2
Patrick Curmi's side coasted into a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes only to endure a nerve-wracking final half-hour when Mqabba stormed back with two goals of their own but despite suffering a scare or two, Tarxien Rainbows held on.
It was hard to believe that the Rainbows were 3-0 up before the half hour mark, especially for a side that have made a poor beginning to what has been an admittedly tough start to their campaign.
Mqabba flirted with disaster after a horror show which left them three goals down. But after Mazitelli had fashioned a lifeline for Clive Mizzi's side out of the chaos before half-time, an improved second half showing climaxed with John Paul Muscat fastening onto a neat ball from the Brazilian to miskick the ball horribly.
Thirteen minutes into the game, Mqabba were facing a mountain, partly because of Daniel Mariano Bueno's rediscovered ruthlessness in front of goal but also as a result of the Reds' defensive generosity.
In the sixth minute, Manuel Caruana picked out Rodrigo Galvao who in turn passed for Bueno to slide home.
Misfortune rather than individual error led to Tarxien's second, seven minutes later when Bueno doubled the lead after Orosco Anonam headed Caio Suguino's cross invitingly into his path.
Tarxien were 3-0 ahead before the half hour mark, when Anonam scored his second goal in two games when he headed in Karl Pulo's corner at the near post.
Mqabba barely functioned as an attacking unit and their first-half display did not merit a goal but Thiago do Santos Mazitelli hit the back of the net with a goal direct from a free-kick after 21 minutes.
Clive Mizzi's men urgently needed a major tonic early in the second half and they were duly handed a lifeline on 47 minutes when Stefan Giglio barged Marlon Briffa over on the edge of the box and referee Paul Caruana pointed to the spot with Mazitelli sending David Cassar the wrong way with the resulting spot-kick.
Mizzi's side looked more threatening at the start of the second half but it might have been four for Tarxien had Pulo got more of a connection to the ball following a cross from the right from Galvao after 64 minutes.
Mqabba striker John Paul Muscat had a promising chance to complete their comeback after 76 minutes but he was found wanting with the goal at his mercy. Mazitelli turned provider, breaking free inside the box and squaring to his strike partner Muscat who mis-kicked horribly.
That near miss served to provide Tarxien with motivation to increase their efforts as they defended their lead with discipline and drive as Mqabba struggled for another breakthrough.