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Gżira United edge past Floriana

Gżira United's Steve Pisani rises to meet the ball with a header against Floriana. Photo: Domenic Aquilina

GŻIRA UNITED          1         

De Assis 29

FLORIANA        0

GŻIRA UNITED D. Zarkov-6, G. Bohrer-6.5, L. Tabone-6, N. Muscat-6, S. Pisani-6 (73 C. Gauci), Z. Scerri-6, M. Dias-6, T. Kolega-6, M. Cosic-6, M. Maia-6 (90 B. Borg), J. De Assis-6.5 (83 L. Riascos).

FLORIANA G. Kitanov-6, A. Magri Overend-5.5 (72 L. Trillo), O. El Hasni-6, Z. Cassar-5.5, K. Reid-6, A. Ciolacu-5.5 (63 K. Nwoko), U. Arias-6 (77 M. Veselji), F. Juarez-6, O. Spiteri-5.5, J. Busuttil-6 (72 L. De Grazia), A. Garzia-6.

Referee: Ishmael Barbara

Yellow Cards: De Assis, Gauci

Red Cards: Clive Gauci (Gżira United)

BOV Player of the Match: Jefferson de Assis (Gżira United)

Gżira United registered a fourth win on the trot, narrowly defeating Floriana to join Birkirkara in second place on 17 points, two behind leaders Ħamrun Spartans.

Darren Abdilla’s side had an edge over their opponents although the Greens had their fair share of scoring opportunities. However, this was not enough to score and spare them a defeat to remain in a mid-table position with just eight points from the first seven matches.

Floriana had two changes from the team which drew with Mosta as Owen Spiteri and Fernando Juarez deputised for Christian Rutjens and Lorenzo De Grazia. For Gżira, Zachary Scerri was preferred to Luis Riascos.

After a quiet start, Floriana threatened with a Kemar Reid goal-bound effort which was blocked into a corner on 12 minutes, and less than a minute later, a first-time effort by Jan Busuttil, off a cross by Adam Magri Overend from the left, missed the target.

Four minutes later, Gżira had a golden opportunity to take the lead when they were awarded a penalty after Maxuell Maia was brought down inside the area by goalkeeper Georgi Kitanov. However, from the penalty spot, Maxuell Maia’s effort was neutralised by the Floriana custodian.

A long-distance freekick by Ulises Arias was parried by Zarkov on 20 minutes and four minutes later, Reid controlled the ball outside the area, and with a fine rising shot, he tested the Gżira goalkeeper who turned the ball in style into a corner.

The Maroons took the lead on 29 minutes. Following a clearance by Magri Overend, Bohrer Mentz headed the ball in the direction of Jefferson De Assis who controlled before hitting low past the Floriana goalkeeper.

Floriana replied with a Reid effort from the edge of the area which was blocked into a corner two minutes from the end of the first half.

Nine minutes into the second half, Jefferson managed to penetrate the Floriana rear-guard but when alone in front of the goalkeeper, his conclusion was blocked by Kitanov. The Greens replied with a shot from the edge of the area by substitute Kyrian Nwoko, served from the right, which ended just wide on 75 minutes.

In added time, the Maroons were reduced to ten men as substitute Clive Gauci was sent off after receiving a second yellow card for time-wasting.


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