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Gzira United cruise past Qala Saints to make FA Trophy quarters

Gzira United's Brooklyn Borg holds the ball away from a Qala Saints defensive challenge. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi


Borg 37

Ribeiro 45

Mentz 75


GZIRA UTD D. Cassar (84 K. Zammit), G. Mentz (84 M. Alouzi), L. Tabone, Z. Scerri, L. Ribeiro (79 H. Kabar), C. Riascos (46 A. Borg), T. Kolega (79 I. Ellul), Ewertton, M. Cosic, B. Borg, T. Espindola.

QALA S. F. Vella (76 M. Zammit), L. Grima, M. Xerri (52 K. Mifsud), M. Buttigieg, J. Bicudo (52 J. Xerri), J. Buttigieg, A. Carvalho, S. Attard, E. Buttigieg, J. Parnis, N. Njoku.

Referee Slawomir Olucha

Young forward Brooklyn Borg proved Gzira United’s hero on Wednesday as the Maroons cruised to an easy 3-0 victory over Gozitan side Qala Saints at the Centenary Stadium.

The match, initially postponed last Thursday due to inclement weather, brought Qala to Ta’ Qali for a David-and-Goliath fixture against a Gzira side in good form of late.

Darren Abdilla made sure to rest some of his key players as goalkeeper Darijan Zarkov, Nikolai Muscat, Steve Pisani, and Jefferson rode the bench. Maxuell had to watch the side from the stands due to him being suspended for this match.

As expected, Gzira started as the more dominant side and went close through a Marko Cosic header five minutes in but the ball drifted over the bar.

Qala replied on 23 minutes with a Julian Bicudo shot from distance which was easily collected by David Cassar.

Brooklyn Borg had the ball in the net for Gzira on the half-hour but his ‘goal’ was annulled for offside.

However, 37 minutes in, Borg made no mistake in his positioning to put his side ahead after a low cross from Thiago Espindola.

Zachary Scerri nearly made it two on the brink of halftime but his shot went wide this time. However, they celebrated anyway in added time when Ribeiro unmarked himself inside the area to tap in a cross from the right.

The second half was just as tough on the Gozitan side, who remained restricted inside their own half.

Ribeiro could have scored his side’s third after 64 minutes when he fired at Franklin Vella from right inside the area but the Qala shotstopper was alert to parry the ball away onto the post before his defence cleared away the ball.

Borg was once again the protagonist 75 minutes in when he was tripped inside the area with referee Slawomir Olucha pointing to the spot. From the penalty, Gabriel Mentz fired past Vella to all but close off the game before the beaten goalkeeper was taken off.

Gzira goalkeeper Cassar was replaced as well soon after as Abdilla made numerous changes to further rest his players ahead of the team’s next commitments.

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