Gzira United came from behind to beat Hamrun Spartans 3-1 at the National Stadium on Saturday to collect another three precious points in the battle against relegation.
This was the third consecutive win for Darren Abdilla’s side which puts them in the ninth place, two points behind the Spartans. For Hamrun, this was the fourth defeat in the last five matches.
Both sides had one change from them previous outing as Ige Abdullahi Adeshina replaced the suspended Moises Avila Perez for Gzira and Christian Emeka Anigbogu was named in the starting line-up for Hamrun instead of Sergio Raphael.
The Spartans managed to take the lead on the 5th minute when off a freekick from the left by Brandon Paiber, the ball was not held by Jurgen Borg and Philip Chircop placed the ball at the back of the net from close range.
Gzira levelled matters two minutes fom the end of the first half when off a cross from the right, Louis Rene Zome beat goalkeeper Kambala Batusila with a powerful header.
Ten minutes from time, the Maroons notched the winner when off a cross from the right by Jacob Borg, the ball reached substitute Carlos Alejandro Reyna who hit low past the Congolese goalkeeper.
Two minutes in added time, Gzira sealed the issue with a third goal when off a swift counter-attack, Corbalan released Jacob Borg on the right and the latter exchanged the ball with Tony before slotting past Batusila.
[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=”40″]
HAMRUN Kambala Batusila, Karl Micallef, Luke Grech, Christian Emeka Anigbogu, Philip Chircop (25′ Jorge Mesqueu Neto), Massimiliano Giusti, Saturday Nanapere (60′ Siraj Arab Eddin), Igor Misan, Brandon Paiber, Manolito Micallef (56′ Jake Grech), Leandro Wallace Motta dos Santos.
Subs not used: David Cassar, Daniel Debono, Luca Gatt, Russell Vella.
Coach: Jacques Scerri
GZIRA Jurgen Borg, Jacob Borg, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Souleymane Diamoutene, Ian Azzopardi, Juan Carlos Corbalan (90+3′ Karl Pulo), Louis Rene Zome, Ige Abdullahi Adeshina (84′ Antonio de Quieroz Machedo Neto), Zachary Scerri, Andrew Cohen, Gianmarco Conti (74′ Carlos Alejandro Reyna).
Subs not used: Anthony Curmi, Andre White, Emerson Amaira, Salvatore Grixti.
Coach: Darren Abdilla
Referee: Malcolm Spiteri
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Chris Azzopardi
Fourth Official: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Yellow Cards: Anigbogu
Scorers: 5′ Philip Chircop, 43′ Louis Rene Zome, 80′ Carlos Alejandro Reyna, 90+2′ Jacob Borg
BOV Player of the Match: Andrew Cohen
Meanwhile at the Hibernians Stadium, St. Andrews held Floriana in a goalless draw.
This was yet another precious point for the Saints who were coming from a 2-2 draw with Birkirkara in their previous outing. However following Gzira United’s win over Hamrun, St. Andrews are now tenth. On the other hand, for Floriana, this was a disappointing result as they were eyeing a fourth consecutive win in their bid to move closer to participation in the UEFA competitions this summer.
Floriana coach Giovanni Tedesco made three changes to the team which defeated Pembroke last week as Ryan Camenzuli, Steve Pisani and Amadou Samb replaced Clyde Borg, Sebastian Nayar and Mario Fontanella. St. Andrews, on the other hand, had Godwin Mckay replacing the suspended Enmy Manuel Pena Beltre.
Floriana created the better chances throughout the ninety minutes, going close in added time before the end of the first half with an Ignacio Varela header blocked by Jake Galea and off the rebound, Amadou Samb’s effort was turned into a corner. Then three minutes from time, Galea came to the rescue as he neutralised a Mario Fontanella effort, off a Steve Pisani corner.
ST. ANDREWS Jake Galea, Michael Johnson, Karlo Kesinovic, Bong Won Che, Ziga Kastrevec, Godwin Mckay (73′ Felix Okon Udoh), Joseph Farrugia, Nenad Belcevic, Aidan Friggieri (90′ Daniel Brandle), Ivan Edgardo Paz, Kyrian Nwoko (90′ Ryan Darmanin).
Subs not used: Dean Sciberras, Liam Grech, Mark Scicluna, Jacob Walker.
Coach: Danilo Doncic
FLORIANA Matthew Grech, Andre Scicluna, Antonio Monticelli, Enzo Ruiz, Steve Pisani, Ignacio Varela, Maurizio Vella (58′ Mario Fontanella), Jurgen Pisani, Amadou Samb, Nicolas Chiesa (73′ Clyde Borg), Ryan Camenzuli.
Subs not used: Justin Haber, Mattia Zarb, Denilson Borg Castaldi, Darrelll Baldacchino, Alex Cini.
Coach: Giovanni Tedesco
Referee: Genc Nuza (KOS)
Assistant Referees: Besnik Morina, Selami Haziri (KOS)
Fourth Official: Besfort Kasumi (KOS)
Yellow Cards: S. Pisani, Belacevic, Scicluna, Mckay, Borg, Camenzuli, Galea
BOV Player of the Match: Ignacio Varela