Maroons turn defeat into victory to regain top spot

Gzira United came from behind to beat Birkirkara 2-1 at the National Stadium on Sunday to move back on top the BOV Premier League table. They move one point ahead of Balzan and Sliema and four ahead of Valletta, Hibernians and Birkirkara.

The Maroons remain unbeaten with four wins in five matches. Birkirkara, on the other hand, suffer a second defeat in the last three matches.

Paul Zammit named Jake Grech, Michael Mifsud and Carlos Chavarria in the starting line-up for Birkirkara with Terence Agius starting on the bench with both Marcelinho and Milan Basrak left out of the 18-man squad. Gzira, on the other hand, had one change from the team which defeated Hibernians as Zach Scerri was preferred to Edison Bilbao Zarate.

Birkirkara took the lead on the 27th minute when Michael Mifsud received an assist on the right flank and advanced into the area before beating Justin Haber with a diagonal shot. 

Late in the first half, Andrew Cohen tested Naumovski with a shot from inside the area following a free kick by Roderick Briffa. Hardly a minute later, Chavarria served Michael Mifsud from the left and the latter pulled to his left before hitting low but Haber neutralised his attempt.

Gzira equalised on the 58th minute when Juan Carlos Corbalan concluded a good move on the right flank by serving Haruna Garba who headed home past Naumovski from close range. 

The Maroons notched the winner eleven minutes from time. Paul Fenech was adjudged to have fouled substitute Nikolay Muscat inside the area and from the penalty spot, Amadou Samb converted.

Amadou Samb was sent for Gzira one minute from time as he received a second yellow card for simulation when challenged inside the area.

B’KARA Kristijan Naumovski, Danilo Chapoval, Mislav Andjelkovic, Paul Fenech, Jake Grech, Kurt Zammit, Eduardo Ferreira dos Santos, Michael Mifsud, Cain Attard (83′ Matthew Guillaumier), Carlos Alberto Chavarria Rodriguez (60′ Uchenna Calistus Umeh), Thiago de Souza de Brito (76′ Edward Herrera).
Subs not used: David Cassar, Terence Agius, Gianluca Zammit, Myles Beerman.
Coach: Paul Zammit
Asst. Coach: Mark Buttigieg

GZIRA Justin Haber, Destin Prince-Loic Mambouana (46′ Edison Bilbao Zarate), Zachary Scerri, Rodolfo Soares, Andrew Cohen, Juan Carlos Corbalan, Roderick Briffa (73′ Nikolai Muscat), Sacha Borg, Fernando Barbosa Pereira, Amadou Samb, Haruna Garba.
Subs not used: Anthony Curmi, Luca Brincat, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Christian Sammut, Jorge da Silva Pereira.
Coach: Darren Abdilla

Referee: Fyodor Zammit
Assistant Referees: Duncan Sultana, Roberto Vella
Fourth Official: Philip Farrugia
Yellow Cards: Eduardo Mancha, Samb, Naumovski
Red Cards: 89′ Amadou Samb
BOV Player of the Match: 987