Gzira United rescued a point in a 1-1 draw with St. Andrews at the Centenary Stadium on Friday.
After losing two of their last three matches, the Maroons were aiming for a win and the draw was a mere consolation as they now lie three points behind Valletta and six behind leaders Balzan. For the Saints, this was the fourth positive result out of the last five matches and now move fourth from bottom, one point ahead of Naxxar, five ahead of Tarxien and ten ahead of Lija.
Gzira held the initiative in the early stages but towards the end of the first half, St. Andrews went close to taking the lead on two occasions.
St. Andrews managed to take the lead on the 62nd minute thanks to Kemar Reid who received an assist by Joseph Farrugia and managed to beat Anthony Curmi with a fine shot from outside the area with the ball ending in the top right corner.
The Maroons almost equalised on the 69th with a Haruna Garba header off a freekick by Edison Bilbao Zarate with the ball hitting the crossbar and bouncing on the goal line before being cleared into safety. On the other side of ht pitch, on the 78th, Martin David was unlucky to hit the upright for St. Andrews.
Hardly a minute later, in a swift counter-attack for Gzira, Haruna Garba was brought down inside the area; referee Glen Tonna ordered a penalty and Amadou Samb converted from the penalty spot.
GZIRA Anthony Curmi, Roderick Briffa, Destin Prince-Loic Mambouana, Kris Thackray (77′ Luca Brincat), Sacha Borg, Moises Avila Perez, Edison Bilbao Zarate, Andrew Cohen, Amadou Samb, Haruna Zambuk, Ndubuisi Okoye (63′ Juan Corbalan).
Subs not used: Justin Haber, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Karl Pulo, Zack Scerri, Nikolai Muscat.
Coach: Darren Abdilla
ST. ANDREWS Matthew Calleja Cremona, Adrian Borg, Misael Miranda Gomez, Tano Azian, Joseph Farrugia, Jason Vandelannoite, Matthew Gauci, Jacob Walker, Martin Davis (89′ Aidan Friggieri), Ricardo Martin, Kemar Reid.
Subs not used: Yenz Cini, Dario Zampa, Dejan Debono, Nehemiah Perry, Malcolm Vella Vidal, Jamie Magri Overend.
Coach: Michael Woods
Referee: Glen Tonna
Assistant Referees: Mitchell Scerri, Theodore Zammit
Fourth Official: Ishmael Barbara
Yellow Cards: J. Walker, S. Borg, R. Martin, A. Samb, E. Bilbao Zarate, K. Thackray, K. Reid, T. Azian
BOV Player of the Match: Kemar Reid