Gzira United returned to winning ways as they defeated bottom-placed Pembroke Athleta 3-0 at the Victor Tedesco Stadium on Thursday. A win which puts Branko Nisevic’s side on the eight-point mark, leaving Pembroke at the bottom of the table without any points after five matches.
The Maroons had four changes from the team which lost to Mosta as Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Rafael Ledesma, Liliu and the suspended Robert. Joceano was also unavailable due to a one-match ban. On the other hand, Jhonatan Bernardo Mariano and Borce Manevski replaced Mateus Regis da Silva and Luke Montebello for Pembroke.
During the first half, Gzira had an excellent opportunity to score on the 33rd minute but Moises Avila Perez missed an incredible chance when served by Pulo from the left. On the other side of the pitch, Siraj Arab went close twice with shots from close range.
Gzira managed to take the lead on the 62nd minute when off a long-distance cross from the left, Yanis Tonna controlled the ball on the right before pulling to a more central position and beating goalkeeper Mario Muscat with a fine shot.
The Maroons doubled the score on the 78th minute when off a cross from the right by Avila Perez, substitute Ellinton Antonio Costa Morais’s conclusion beat Muscat following a deflection by a defender.
Moises Avila Perez was unlucky to hit the crossbar with a powerful drive from the edge of the area when served on the right on 83 minutes.
Two minutes later, Juan Carlos Corbalan made it 3-0 with a shot from close range following a cross from the left by Gianmarco Conti.
GZIRA Jurgen Borg, Yanis Tonna (85′ Dyson Falzon), Gianmarco Conti, Andre White, Juan Carlos Corbalan (90′ James D’Agostino), Jonathan Bondin, Moises Avila Perez, Jacob Borg, Zachary Scerri, Antonio Orlando de Queiroz Machedo Neto, Karl Pulo (73′ Ellinton Antonio Costa Morais).
Subs not used: Kyle Gerada, Salvatore Grixti, Richard Aquilina, Dean Galea.
Coach: Branko Nisevic
PEMBROKE Mario Muscat, Andrea Scozzese, Jhonathan Bernardo Mariano, Manolito Micallef, Siraj Arab (90′ David Fenech), Zoran Levnaic, Adrian Borg, Borce Manevski (67′ Mateus Regis da Silva), Brandon Muscat, Miguel Attard (67′ Asani Djeljilj), Paltemio Barbetti.
Subs not used: Matthew Calleja Cremona, Tyrone Fenech, Owen Bugeja.
Coach: Winston Muscat
Referee: Fyodor Zammit
Assistant Referees: Luke Portelli, Elvio Degabriele
Fourth Official: Matthew De Gabriele
Yellow Cards: Corbolan, Arab, Attard, Tony
Scorers: 62′ Yanis Tonna, 78′ Ellinton Antonio Costa Morais, 85′ Juan Carlos Corbalan
BOV Player of the Match: Moises Avila Perez
At the Hibernians Stadium, Tarxien Rainbows registered a second consecutive win as they defeated Hamrun Spartans 2-1. A win which puts them on level points with the Spartans with seven points from five matches.
The Rainbows had one change from the team which defeated Floriana as the returning Ebiabowei Baker replaced the suspended Sergio Fernandez Prendes. On the other hand, Hamrun coach Steve D’Amato maintained his faith in the same set of players who had started the last game against St Andrews.
Following a goalless first half, Tarxien forged ahead on the 49th minute when off a through pass by Claudio Frances, Alex da Paixao Alves dribbled a defender before hitting past goalkeeper David Cassar.
The Rainbows doubled the score on the 67th when Ebiabowei Baker sent Daniel Ponce de Leon Garcia through and goalkeeper David Cassar tried to anticipate him by stopping the ball with his chest but lost possession, paving the way for the Spanish striker to place the ball inside the empty net.
Hamrun went close to reducing the gap with Haruna Garba, after exchanging the ball with Saturday Nanapere, but his conclusion hit the upright on the 74th minute.
One minute in added time, the Spartans scored a consolation goal thanks to Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza who headed the ball home off a cross from the left by Garba.
TARXIEN Philip Schranz, Ebiabowei Baker (79’ Eloy Edu Nkene), Triston Caruana, Daniel Ponce de Leon Garcia, Alex Nilsson, Emerson Marcelina, Daniel Zerafa, Alex da Paixao Alves, Matthew Tabone, Kurt Zammit, Claudio Daniel Frances (65’ Dylan Micallef).
Subs not used: Andrea Cassar, Matthew Brincat, Luke Zahra, Christian Galdes, Sasha Borg.
Coach: Jacques Scerri
HAMRUN David Cassar, Philip Chircop, Christian Maldini, Haruna Zambuk Garba, Sergio Raphael Dos Anjos Raphael, Luke Sciberras (62’ Saturday Nanapere), Massimiliano Giusti (82’ Darren Falzon), Leandro Wallace Motta dos Santos, Jake Grech, Jorge Mesqueu Neto, Mark Anthony Borg (71’ Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza).
Subs not used: Matthew Farrugia, Luke Grech, Rodney Refalo, Glenn Azzopardi
Coach: Steve D’Amato
Referee: Clayton Pisani
Assistant referees: Mitchell Scerri, Peter Abela
Fourth Official: Eman Grech
Yellow Cards: Jorginho, Dani Ponce, Maldini, Sergio Raphael, Falzon, Zammit
Scorers: 49’ Alex da Paixao Alves, 67′ Daniel Ponce de Leon Garcia, 90+1′ Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza
BOV Player of the Match: Ebiabowei Baker
Renato Vella reporting from the Hibernians Stadium