Yuri Messias notches a hat-trick as Gudja return to winning ways

Yuri de Jesus Messias was the hero for Gudja United as they returned to winning ways, defeating Balzan 3-2 at the Centenary Stadium on Friday. A win which puts Jesmond Zammit’s side in fourth place, on level points with Hibernians. The Paolites, however, have a game in hand.

For Balzan, this was the third defeat this season which leaves them in tenth place.

Gudja had a perfect start, taking the lead on the 2nd minute thanks to a shot from outside the area by Yuri Messias which gave goalkeeper Vukasin Vranes no chance.

Balzan equalised five minutes later when Paul Fenech served Uros Ljubomirac on the right and the latter beat Glenn Zammit with a low diagonal shot.

Two minutes from the end of the first half, Gudja regained the lead when off a cross by Grioli, Yuri Messias controlled the ball in midfield and dribbled past two defenders before beating the Balzan goalkeeper with another shot from outside the area.

Twelve minutes in the second half, Yuri de Jesus Messias made it 3-1 as he flicked the ball home past Vranes following a cross by Gabriel Mensah from the right.

Three minutes in added time, Balzan narrowed the gap when off a cross by Stefan Dimic from the left, Eric McWoods served substitute Alfred Effiong who slotted the ball past Glenn Zammit.

GUDJA Glenn Zammit, Yuri Messias (87′ Augusto Caseres), Aidan Friggieri (78′ Jurgen Farrugia), Llywelyn Cremona, Gabriel Mensah (87′ Terence Vella), Imanol Gonzalez, Goran Adamovic (17′ Neil Anthony Micallef), Juan Bolanos, Justin Grioli, Dale Camilleri, Patrick Silva Mota.
Subs not used: Jamie Azzopardi, Tensior Gusman, Hubert Vella.
Coach: Jesmond Zammit
Asst. Coach: Vince Carbonaro

BALZAN Vukasin Vranes, Augustine Loof, Samir Arab, Paul Fenech (85′ Neil Frendo), Eric McWoods, Steve Pisani, Steve Bezzina (73′ Alfred Effiong), Uros Ljubomirac, Stefan Dimic, Sean Cipriott (66′ Pedro Mota), Moussa Kamara (85′ Zak Grech).
Subs not used: Sean Mintoff, Isaac Buhagiar, Adam Bradshaw.
Coach: Mark Miller
Asst. Coach: Joe Grech

Referee: Daniel Portelli
Assistant Referees: Luke Portelli, Thomas Debono
Fourth Official: Darryl Agius
Yellow Cards: Gonzalez, Bolanos, McWoods, Ljubomirac
BOV Player of the Match: Yuri Messias