Jefferson de Assis notched a hat-trick as Gzira United found no difficulty in beating Pieta’ Hotspurs 6-0 at the Tony Bezzina Stadium on Saturday.
The Maroons therefore kept the pace with leaders Hamrun Spartans, moving four points ahead of third-placed Birkirkara who have a game against Valletta in hand.
Pieta’, on the other hand, suffered a seventh defeat in eight matches to remain anchored at the bottom of the table.
The Hotspurs had goalkeeper Simone Moschin making his debut along with substitute Anis Ajroud.
Gzira took the lead on the 7th minute thanks to a Jefferson de Assis header off a Steve Pisani corner.
Just before the end of the first half – one minute in added time, Gzira doubled the score with a powerful drive by Toni Kolega which beat Moschin.
Eight minutes in the second half, Nikolai Muscat sent Jeffeson de Assis through and the latter advanced before hitting low past the Pieta’ goalkeeper.
Five minutes later, Gzira scored the fourth goal thanks to Maxuell Maia after receiving a cross from the left by Andy Borg.
A long-distance effort by Thiago Espindola handed the Maroons a five-goal lead as his attempt beat the Pieta’ goalkeeper.
Six minutes from time, Jefferson de Assis added another off a cross from the right by Andy Borg.