Gzira United kept the pace with Balzan and Valletta with a 4-1 win over Senglea Athletic at the National Stadium on Sunday to maintain the challenge for a place in Europe this summer.
This was the sixth consecutive positive result for Darren Abdilla’s side who are now one point ahead of Birkirkara and four ahead of Floriana. For Senglea, this was the second defeat in three matches but they remain joint-ninth, five points ahead of Tarxien, six ahead of St. Andrews and seven ahead of Naxxar.
The Maroons took the lead on the 32nd minute thanks to a Haruna Garba powerful drive which gave goalkeeper Matthew Farrugia no chance.
Gzira doubled the score five minutes in the second half with Andrew Cohen slotting the ball home from close range after Garba headed the ball down off a cross from the right.
Senglea pulled one back on the 56th minute thanks to Peter Paul Sammut who deflected the ball past Curmi following a corner from the right by Ivan Edgardo Paz.
On the hour, Amadou Samb anticipated the goalkeeper with a header from close range following a cross by Cohen from the right.
Two minutes later, Haruna Garba added another with a well-placed rising shot from inside the area.
GZIRA Anthony Curmi, Roderick Briffa, Sacha Borg, Destin Prince-Loic Mambouana, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Moises Avila Perez (73′ Juan Corbalan), Edison Bilbao Zarate (62′ Zack Scerri), Haruna Garba Zambuk, Andrew Cohen, Amadou Samb, Ndubuisi Okoye (69′ Nikolai Muscat).
Subs not used: Justin Haber, Antonio Orlando Macedo Neto, Luca Brincat, Karl Pulo.
Coach: Darren Abdilla
SENGLEA Matthew Farrugia, Gonzalo Julian Leyton, Steve Bonnixi, Sergio Uyi, Ian Azzopardi, Matias Garcia (54′ Gonzalo Nicolas Virano), Hubert Vella, Ivan Edgardo Paz (90′ Jurgen Farrugia), Braian Volpini (79′ Josuel Spiteri), Terence Vella, Peter Paul Sammut.
Subs not used: Jurgen Borg, Randall Vella, Roderick Debattista, Jurgen Suda.
Coach: Paolo Favaretto
Referee: Sandro Spiteri
Assistant Referees: Chris Francalanza, Peter Abela
Fourth Official: Malcolm Spiteri
Yellow Cards: Garba, Avila Perez
BOV Player of the Match: Haruna Garba