Gzira United returned to winning ways as they defeated Floriana 1-0 at the Hibernians Stadium. A win which ensures they stay at the top of the table.
For Floriana, who had new coach Guido Ugolotti making his debut, this was the seventh defeat in eleven matches to remain ninth.
Both sides had one change from their last outing as Jorginho replaced the injured Amadou Samb for Gzira while Clyde Borg was preferred to Maurizio Vella.
Gzira appealed for a penalty on the 74tg when Garba ended on the ground inside the area but the referee waved play on and cautioned the Nigerian striker for simulation.
The Maroons scored the all-important goal minutes later when off a long clearance, Haruna Garba’s fine volley beat goalkeeper Ini Etim Akpan.
Floriana could have equalised three minutes later but a goal-bound effort by substitute Daniel Agius was cleared off the goal line by Sacha Borg.
After the game, Haruna Garba was shown the red card by referee Glen Tonna.
FLORIANA Ini Etim Akpan, Enzo Ruiz, Steve Pisani, Clyde Borg (55′ Arthur Henrique Oyama), Ignacio Varela (55′ Maurizio Vella), Juninho Cabral, Clayton Failla (79′ Daniel Agius), Jurgen Pisani, Tiago Galvao da Silva, Alex Cini, Emerson Marcelina.
Subs not used: Justin Spiteri, Bradley Sciberras, Dylan Grima, Jake Stenson.
Coach: Guido Ugolotti
GZIRA Justin Haber, Nikolai Muscat, Rodolfo Soares dos Santos, Andrew Cohen, Juan Carlos Corbalan, Edison Bilbao Zarate (70′ Zachary Scerri), Roderick Briffa, Jorge Pereira da Silva (87′ Thomas Veronese), Sacha Borg, Fernando Barbosa Pereira, Haruna Garba Zambuk.
Subs not used: Anthony Curmi, Prince Destin Mambouana, Luca Brincat, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Christian Sammut.
Coach: Darren Abdilla
Referee: Glen Tonna
Assistant Referees: Luke Portelli, Thomas Debono
Fourth Official: Philip Farrugia
Yellow Cards: Borg, Garba, Corbalan
Red Cards: (after the final whistle) Haruna Garba
BOV Player of the Match: Haruna Garba