After dropping seven points in the previous three matches, Gzira United returned to winning ways thanks to a 3-1 win over Naxxar Lions at the Centenary Stadium on Friday. A win which puts the Maroons temporarily at the top of the BOV Premier League table.
For Naxxar, this was the third consecutive defeat which leave them joint-second from bottom on six points together with St. Andrews.
Gzira, who had Antonio Orlando Macedo Neto making his return with the club after a first spell in the maroon shirt last season, managed to take the lead on the 29th minute when off a cross by Andrew Cohen from the left, Amadou Samb headed home past the Naxxar custodian.
The Maroons doubled the score six minutes in the second half when Andrew Cohen served Juan Corbalan on the right and off the latter’s assist, Amadou Samb tapped the ball home from close range.
Naxxar pulled one back on the 58th minute when Yuri de Jesus Messias surprised Curmi with a diagonal shot from the edge of the area which ended in the bottom corner.
However twelve minutes from time, Naxxar had goalkeeper Christoph Nicht sent off after handling the ball outside the area.
Gzira sealed the issue with a third goal five minutes from time thanks to Ndubuisi Emmanuel Okoye whose well-placed shot from the left beat the Naxxar substitute goalkeeper.
GZIRA Anthony Curmi, Gary Muir, Antonio Macedo Neto, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Sacha Borg, Moises Avila Perez, Roderick Briffa (89’ Nikolai Muscat), Andrew Cohen (73’ Zach Scerri), Juan Corbalan (79’ Samba Tounkara), Ndubuisi Emmanuel Okoye, Amadou Samb.
Subs not used: Justin Haber, Souleymane Diamoutene, Andre White, Luca Brincat.
Coach: Darren Abdilla
NAXXAR Christoph Nicht, Scott Fenwick, Ryan Grech (61’ Angus Buhagiar), Manolito Micallef, Daren Falzon (80’ Omar Borg gk), Ryan Gilmour Cassar, Jurgen Debono (60’ Mark Fenech), Oussenyou Elhadji Ndoye, Adrian Cascaval, Arnaud Mendy, Yuri de Jesus Messias.
Subs not used: Tristan Nappa Licari, Duane Bonnici, Go Nagaoka, Joel Ellul.
Coach: Stuart Watkiss
Referee: Eman Grech
Assistant Referees: Duncan Sultana Chris Francalanza
Additional Assistant Referees: Trustin Farrugia Cann, Jude Amin Utulu
Fourth Official: Sammy Attard
Yellow Cards: Grech, Ndoye, Tony, Samb, Briffa, Avila Perez, Micallef, Mendy
Red Cards: Nicht
BOV Player of the Match: Amadou Samb