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Gżira United fire blanks against Marsaxlokk

Marsaxlokk's Leandro Aguirre (right) shields the ball ahead of Jefferson. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi




D. Zarkov-6, G. Bohrer-6, L. Tabone-6, N. Muscat-6 (83 S. Pisani), Z. Scerri-6, M. Dias-5 (64 C. Gauci), R. Duarte-5 (64 T. Kolega), M. Cosic-6, Maxuell-6, Jefferson-6, J. Mendoza-5.


J. Gobbi-7, A. Attard-5, C. Borg-6 (70 F. Moracci), O. Serrano-6, P. Xuereb-5.5 (87 C. Edafe), O. Carniello-5 (57 E. Vella), L. Aguirre-7, Wellignton-7 (87 R. Tonna), D. Vukovic-6, D. Agius-5, T. Fonseca-6.

Referee: Slobodan Petrovic

Yellow card: Fonseca, Borg, Mendoza, Edafe.

BOV Player of the match: Leandro Aguirre (Marsaxlokk).

Gżira were unable to find a way past Marsaxlokk despite their best efforts as the southseasiders gained their first point of the season.

First-half opportunities were generally thin on the ground, with Darijan Zarkov being called upon after 16 minutes, when he was forced into a smart save from Leandro Aguirre.

Gżira’s best first-half chance came when they were awarded a free-kick just outside the box but Marsaxlokk defended the set-piece, with their goalkeeper Josè Gobbi blocking Nickolai Muscat’s low drive.

Almost immediately after the break, Marsaxlokk threatened from a long-range shot as the lively Aguirre saw his shot plucked out of the air from Zarkov.

Despite having Maxuell Maia and Jefferson in their formation, the Maroons lacked penetration.

Sensing Gżira’s lack of confidence, the southseasiders tried to inject some much-needed pace into the game and pushed forward.

But it appeared to play into the Maroons’ hands as Darren Abdilla introduced Toni Kolega and his troops looked more comfortable operating on the counter-attack.

On 80 minutes, Jefferson embarked on a solo run before being closed down by the onrushing Gobbi.

The rebound fell kindly into the path of substitute Clive Gauci who saw Emerson Vella clear his effort over from close to the line as Gżira tried to break the deadlock.

One minute from time, Kolega headed a free-kick by Steven Pisani which was well-stopped by Gobbi as Marsaxlokk held on for a point.

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