Gzira United returned to winning ways as they defeated Sliema Wanderers 2-0 at the Victor Tedesco Stadium on Sunday.
Darren Abdilla’s side therefore joins Hamrun Spartans on top the BOV Premier League table on seven points. Sliema, on the other hand, are one of five teams on the six-point mark. In fact, this was their first defeat after claiming maximum points from the first two matches.
The Wanderers had one change from the team which defeated Floriana as Edmond Agius replaced Kurt Shaw. The Maroons, on the other hand, had four changes as Roderick Briffa, Sacha Borg and new signings Fernando Barbosa and Haruna Garba replaced Nikolai Muscat, Zachary Scerri, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino and Thomas Veronese.
Gzira managed to take the lead on the 27th minute thanks to an own goal by Stefano Bianciardi as he deflected a cross by Amadou Samb from the left past goalkeeper Jake Galea.
As the players were heading to the dressing rooms for half-time, Sliema’s Ryan Fenech was sent off by referee Malcolm Spiteri for passing remarks.
The Wanderers could have equalised nine minutes in the second half when they were awarded a penalty after Jefferson de Assis was brought down inside the area but Mattias Muchardi’s effort was neutralised by Justin Haber.
Sliema paid dearly for this missed opportunity as four minutes later, Amadou Samb doubled the score, hitting home from close range following a counter-attack for the Maroons.
SLIEMA Jake Galea, Mattias Muchardi, John Mintoff (57′ Michele Sansone), Jefferson de Assis, Ryan Fenech, Nii Nortey Ashong, Frank Temile, Edmond Agius (81′ Ayrton Azzopardi), Goran Adamovic, Stefano Bianciardi, Younes Marzouk (65′ Jean Paul Farrugia).
Subs not used: Timothy Aquilina, Kurt Shaw, Peter Xuereb, Stefan Cassar.
Coach: John Buttigieg
Asst. Coach: Ivan Woods
GZIRA Justin Haber, Destin Mambouana (79′ Clifford Gatt Baldacchino), Rodolfo Soares, Andrew Cohen, Juan Carlos Corbalan, Edison Bilbao Zarate (88′ Nikolai Muscat), Roderick Briffa, Sacha Borg, Fernando Barbosa Pereira, Amadou Samb (76′ Zachary Scerri), Haruna Garba.
Subs not used: Anthony Curmi, Luca Brincat, Moad Lamlum, Thomas Veronese.
Coach: Darren Abdilla
Referee: Malcolm Spiteri
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Duncan Sultana
Fourth Official: Emanuel Grech
Yellow Cards: Mintoff, Temile, Barbosa, Zarate, Nortey
Red Cards: Ryan Fenech
BOV Player of the Match: Amadou Samb