Two goals by Maxuell Maia da Silva paved the way for a comfortable 4-1 win for Gzira United over Floriana at the National Stadium on Saturday. A win which puts Darren Abdilla’s side in third place, on level points with Sliema Wanderers, four points behind second-placed Hibernians and six behind leaders Hamrun. This was the third win for Gzira in four matches.
Floriana, on the other hand, remain eleventh as they suffer the fourth defeat in six matches, after collecting just two points in draws with Zejtun and Tarxien in the previous two matches.
The Maroons had a perfect start, taking the lead after just thirty eight seconds when off a cross by Ricardo Correa from the left, Maxuell Samurai controlled the ball before hitting low past Akpan.
On the 18th minute, Gzira doubled the score when off a cross from the right by Nevin Portelli, Maxuell Samurai deflected the ball past the Floriana goalkeeper.
Gzira made it 3-0 on the 58th minute when off a cross by Correa, Jefferson de Assis addressed the ball towards goal with Moustapha Beye committing an own goal in an attempt to clear the ball into safety.
Floriana pulled one back on the 67th when Ulises Arias had a shot from the left partially saved by Haber but took the rebound and served Siraj Arab Eddin who hit low past the Gzira goalkeeper.
However on the 89th, the Maroons sealed the issue with a fourth goal when Ricardo Correa concluded a good move with a low shot which was partially saved by Akpan and Nikolai Muscat tapped the ball home from close range.
GZIRA Justin, Gabriel Bohrer Mentz, Steve Borg (90’ Karl Pulo), Nikolai Muscat, Martin Davis, Nevin Portelli, Maxuell Maia da Silva (63’ Bahrudin Atajic), Jackson Mendoza, Ricardo Correa, Sacha Borg, Jefferson de Assis (74’ Clyde Borg).
Subs not used: Anthony Curmi, Omar Elouni, Andrew Cohen, Dexter Xuereb.
Coach: Darren Abdilla
FLORIANA Ini Etim Akpan, Moustapha Beye, Diego Venancio, Nicola Leone, Kristian Keli (66’ Samir Arab), Ulises Arias, Brandon Paiber (66’ Jan Busuttil), Matias Garcia (80’ Daniel Agius), Alex Cini, Flavio Cheveresan, Ryan Camenzuli.
Subs not used: Andrea Cassar, Jurgen Pisani, Kurt Theuma, Aleandro Garzia.
Coach: John Buttigieg
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann.
Assistant Referees: Luke Portelli, James Muscat
Fourth Official: Daniel Portelli
Yellow Cards: Correia, Paiber, Mendoza, Garcia, Atajic.
BOV Player of the Match: Maxuell Maia