Gzira United moved seventh in the BOV Premier League table as they registered a comfortable 5-1 win over Pembroke Athleta at the Hibernians Stadium to push the latter into deeper relegation trouble.
For Gzira, this was the fifth win in six matches while for Pembroke, this was the sixth consecutive defeat.
The Maroons had three changes from the team which defeated Mosta 4-1 as Ian Azzopardi, Ige Abdullahi Adeshina and Carlos Alejandro Reyna replaced Karl Pulo, Louis Rene Zome and the suspended Zach Scerri. Pembroke, on the other hand, welcomed back goalkeeper Matthew Calleja Cremona who replaced Argyrs Roppas while Paltemio Barbetti and Raphael Alain Kooh Sohna were preferred to Tyrone Fenech and Zoran Levnaic.
Gzira managed to take the lead on the 5th minute when off an Andrew Cohen freekick, Gianmarco Conti headed the ball home past goalkeeper Matthew Calleja Cremona
On the 19th minute, they managed to doubled the score when they were awarded a penalty after Ige Abdullahi Adeshina was brought down inside the area by Barbetti; from the penalty spot, Andrew Cohen converted, sending the Pembroke goalkeeper the wrong way.
Pembroke pulled one back on the 66th minute thanks to a Stevan Racic freekick which beat goalkeeper Jurgen Borg.
However on the 70th, Gzira made it 3-1 thanks to Carlos Reyna who placed the ball at the back of the net, off the rebound, after an Andrew Cohen freekick hit the crossbar.
Two minutes later, Carlos Reyna added another when he deflected the ball past Calleja Cremona with his back following an erratic clearance by a defender.
Nine minutes from time, Reyna made it 5-1 by tapping the ball home from close range after a low shot by Gianmarco Conti was not held by Calleja Cremona.
GZIRA Jurgen Borg, Jacob Borg (75’ Jonathan Bondin), Antonio de Queiroz Machedo Neto, Souleymane Diamoutene, Ian Azzopardi (78’ Karl Pulo), Juan Carlos Corbalan (82’ Dyson Falzon), Ige Abdullahi Adeshina, Moises Avila Perez, Carlos Alejandro Reyna, Andrew Cohen, Gianmarco Conti.
Subs not used: Anthony Curmi, Emerson Amaira, Andre White, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino.
PEMBROKE Matthew Calleja Cremona, Darren Falzon (86’ Zachary Grech), Miguel Attard, Stevan Racic, Raphael Alain Kooh Sohna, Daniane Jawad, Tonci Radovnikovic, Filippo Andrea Scozzese, Sunday Eboh (72’ Brooke Farrugia), Paltemio Barbetti, Iraklis Roppas.
Subs not used: Fredrick Tabone, Tyron Fenech, Neil Grech, James Mifsud, Shaun Pace.
Coach: Artim Shakiri
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Assistant Referees: William Debattista, Chris Azzopardi
Fourth Official: Glen Tonna
Yellow Cards: Eboh, Diamoutene, Tony, Radovnikovic
BOV Player of the Match: Andrew Cohen
Renato Vella reporting from the Hibernians Stadium
Meanwhile at the National Stadium, Tarxien Rainbows halted their losing streak as they held Hamrun Spartans in a 1-1 draw.
The Spartans had just one change as Jake Grech was named in the starting line-up with Mathieu Manset starting on the bench. The Rainbows, on the other hand, had four changes as Andrea Cassar replaced the injured Philip Schranz while Andrew Agius, Dylan Micallef and Julian Galea replaced Daniel Zerafa, Daniel Ponce de Leon and Sergio Fernandez Prendes.
Tarxien opened the score on the half-hour thanks to Alex Nilsson who managed to beat David Cassar when served by Dylan Micallef.
Five minutes later, Hamrun equalised thanks to Jake Grech whose low shot from the right beat goalkeeper Andrea Cassar.
In the dying minutes, the Rainbows almost notched the equaliser but Daniel Ponce de Leon was unlucky to hit the crossbar with a powerful shot with goalkeeper David Cassar beaten.
TARXIEN Andrea Cassar, Ebiabowei Baker, Emerson Marcelina, Julian Galea (72′ Sergio Fernandez Prendes), Triston Caruana, Alex Nilsson, Dylan Micallef (59′ Daniel Ponce de Leon Garcia), Andrew Agius (90′ Matthew Brincat), Alex da Paixao Alves, Matthew Tabone, Sacha Borg.
Subs not used: Antonio Chetcuti, Matthew Sladden, Gilbert Testaferrata de Noto, Daniel Caruana.
Assistant Coach: Brian Testaferrata
HAMRUN David Cassar, Jorge Mesqueu Neto, Manolito Micallef, Karl Micallef, Siraj Arab Eddin (59′ Massimiliano Giusti), Luke Grech, Igor Misan, Leandro Wallace Motta dos Santos (69′ Mathieu Manset), Jake Grech, Sergio Raphael dos Anjos, Luke Sciberras.
Subs not used: Matthew Farrugia, Russell Vella, Luis Miguel Vergara Rodrigues, Glenn Azzopardi, Jeremy Busuttil.
Coach: Jacques Scerri
Referee: Malcolm Spiteri
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Sammy Attard
Fourth Official: Sandro Spiteri
Yellow Cards: L. Grech
BOV Player of the Match: Manolito Micallef