Valletta drop important points in draw with Gzira

Valletta dropped two important points in the battle for the championship after being held in a 1-1 draw at the National Stadium on Saturday. A draw which allows them to move temporarily in second place before Hibernians and Balzan face Floriana and Birkirkara respectively.

This draw enabled Gzira United to secure their Premier League status after winning promotion from Division 1 at the end of last season.

The Maroons welcomed back Andrew Cohen and Souleymane Diamoutene while Roderick Briffa, Luke Montebello and Romeu Romao were back with Steve Borg and Uchenna Calistus Umeh unavailable due to suspensions.

The Citizens took the lead on the 27th minute when off a cross by Michael Mifsud from the right, Luke Montebello headed the ball in the direction of Maxi Velasco who returned the compliment with Montebello slotting the ball past Curmi from the right.

Gzira equalised eight minutes from the end of the first half when off a cross from the right by Jacob Borg, Gianmarco Conti controlled before beating Bartkus with a rising shot.

Deep into stoppage time, Valletta could have notched the winner but Romeu Romao was unlucky to hit the crossbar.

GŻIRA Anthony Curmi, Jacob Borg, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Souleymane Diamoutene, Karl Pulo, Juan Carlos Corbalan, Andrew Cohen (90’ Antonio de Queiroz Machedo Neto), Moises Avila Perez, Carlos Alejandro Reyna (80’ Louis Rene Zome), Zachary Scerri, Gianmarco Conti.
Subs not used: Jurgen Borg, Ige Abdullahi Adeshina, Dyson Falzon, Andre White, Jonathan Bondin
Coach: Darren Abdilla

VALLETTA Dziugas Bartkus, Jonathan Caruana, Michael Mifsud, Roderick Briffa (65’ Llywelyn Cremona), Luke Montebello, Jean Borg, Claudio Pani, Leandro Aguirre, Maxi Velasco, Valdo Goncalves Alhinho (90’ Juan Cruz Gill), Romeu Romao.
Nicky Vella, Russell Fenech, Shaun Dimech, Matthew Spiteri, Nicholas Pulis
Coach: Paul Zammit

Referee: Matthew Degabriele
Assistant Referees: Luke Portelli, Thomas Debono
Additional Assistant Referees: Philip Farrugia, Etienne Mangion
Fourth Official: Paul Apap
Yellow Cards: A. Cohen, J. Carbolan, M. Avila Perez, C. Pani
BOV Player of the Match: Michael Mifsud