Gzira United returned to winning ways as they came from behind to beat Tarxien Rainbows 3-1 at the Hibernians Stadium on Saturday.
A defeat which leaves the Rainbows second from bottom on ten points. For Tarxien, this was in fact the eighth defeat in nine matches.
Both sides had a player making his debut – Edison Bilbao Zarate for Gzira and Stefan Radovanovic for Tarxien. Gzira welcomed back Roderick Briffa and Amadou Samb but Zachary Scerri and Ndubuisi Emmanuel Okoye were ruled out through suspension. Tarxien could not count on the suspended Sean Cipriott and Ebiabowei Baker but Luke Grech was back after serving a one-match ban.
Ironically Tarxien managed to take the lead on the half-hour when Eduard Calin served Ricardo Silva Faria whose powerful shot gave goalkeeper Justin Haber no chance.
However just before half-time, Gzira equalised when they were awarded a penalty after Matthew Spiteri brought Andrew Cohen down inside the area and from the penalty spot, Amadou Samb made no mistake.
The Maroons forged ahead on the 67th minute thanks to Amadou Samb who headed home from close range following a corner.
Tarxien Rainbows were reduced to ten men eight minutes from time when Macedonian youth international Antonio Mitrev received a second yellow card and from the resulting freekick, Nikolai Muscat beat goalkeeper Antonio Chetcuti to seal the issue.
GZIRA Justin Haber, Roderick Briffa, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino (70′ Nikolai Muscat), Antonio Orlando Machedo Neto, Karl Pulo, Mosises Avila Perez, Edison David Bilbao Zarate, Andrew Cohen (90′ Sacha Borg), Juan Corbolan, Amadou Samb, Haruna Garba (85′ Luca Brincat).
Coach: Darren Abdilla
TARXIEN Antonio Chetcuti, Stefan Radovanovic, Andrew Agius, Matthew Spiteri (85′ Mamadou Traore), Matar Dieye, Ayrton Azzopardi (75′ James Brincat), Luke Grech, Andrè Charles Scicluna, Eduard Marian Calin, Ricardo Silva Faria (89′ Arsenne Rye Cilia Mumford), Antonio Mitrev. Coach: Josè Borg
Referee: Emanuel Grech
Assistant Referees: Duncan Sultana, Dusan Petrovic
Fourth Official: Ishmael Barbara
Yellow Cards: Mitrev, Spiteri, Calin, R. Silva Faria, Tony, Samb
Red Cards: Antonio Mitrev
BOV Player of Match: Ricardo Silva Faria
[gallery_bank type=”images” format=”masonry” title=”true” desc=”false” responsive=”true” display=”all” sort_by=”random” animation_effect=”bounce” album_title=”true” album_id=”111″] Meanwhile at the Victor Tedesco Stadium, Hamrun Spartans dropped two important points as they were held in a 1-1 draw by St. Andrews.
Photos: Copyright © Andrew Grima
For the Spartans, this was the second consecutive draw while for St. Andrews, this draw puts them one point ahead of Tarxien and six ahead of bottom-placed Lija.
The Spartans managed to take the lead on the 10th minute when off an assist by Julian Galea from the right, Davide Succi slotted the ball past goalkeeper Matthew Calleja Cremona.
Twelve minutes in the second half, St. Andrews levelled matters thanks to Kemar Reid who concluded a solo effort by dribbling two players and hitting home past goalkeeper Jake Galea.
HAMRUN Jake Galea, Marco Criaco, Daniel Zerafa, Karl Micallef, Guilherme Felipe de Castro, Julian Galea, Davide Succi, Tiago Espindola de Paula, Terence Agius (71′ Alex Nilsson), Dale Camilleri, Lydon Micallef (86′ Jeremy Busuttil).
Subs not used: Lyden Moore, Luca Celotto, Agatino Sicali, Darren Borg, Daniel Debono.
Coach: Jacques Scerri
ST. ANDREWS Matthew Calleja Cremona, Adrian Borg, Misael Miranda Gomez, Tano Azian (90′ Alexander Satariano), Marcus Grima, Joseph Farrugia, Matthew Gauci, Jacob Walker (73′ Ricardo Martin), Tristan Grant, Travis Blagrove, Kemar Reid.
Subs not used: Yenz Cini, Dario Zampa, Liam Grech, Jamie Magri Overend, Alistair Gollcher.
Coach: Michael Woods
Referee: Etienne Mangion
Assistant Referees: Chris Francalanza, Sammy Attard
Fourth Official: Fyodor Zammit
Yellow Cards: Miranda Gomez, Grant, Guilherme Batata, Martin, Farrugia, Julian Galea, Gauci, Borg
BOV Player of the Match: Kemar Reid