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Awad late strike hands Sliema victory over rivals Gżira

Sliema Wanderers' Vito Plut (left) pushes forwarda against Gżira United. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi

SLIEMA WANDERERS              1

Awad 89

GŻIRA UNITED                             0


R. Al-Tumi; J. Borg, G. Alcino, M. Henrique, D. Kouao (72 J. Engerer), J. Minala, E. Agius (90 K. Frendo), M. Beerman, S. Gomes (84 A. Friggieri), V. Plut (73 K. Abubakar), M. Awad (90 Israel).


D. Zarkov; C. Chaba, G. Mentz, F. Romero, M. Dias (63 A. Borg), B. Azizi (46 J. Mendoza), Z. Scerri, B. Borg, Thaylor, Wilkson (63 A. Sane), L. Macula.

Referee Glen Tonna.

Yellow cards Henrique, Azizi, Chaba, Mentz. 

BOV Player of the Match Mohamed Awad (Sliema Wanderers).

Sliema Wanderers scored a late winner through Mohamed Awad to beat rivals Gżira United in Sunday’s late kick-off.

The Blues created the most chances throughout the match, earning a hard-fought three points that propelled them into third place in the BOV Premier League with Marsaxlokk and Birkirkara on 10 points.

For Paul Zammit’s side, this is their third victory in six league outings so far.

On the other side, Gżira slipped to their third defeat of the campaign as they remain on seven points after six appointments.

Gżira’s Wilkson tried his luck from a close-range free-kick but he lifted his effort over Rashed Al-Tumi’s bar, inside the opening 10 minutes of the encounter.

Sliema’s opening chance in the first half came through forward Vito Plut who connected with Jean Borg’s cross just to be inches wide from drawing first blood.

The Slovenian forward followed up with another threatening header but once again could not beat Darijan Zarkov.

Sliema’s Samuel Gomes, who joined the club from Gudja United, let fly a strike from the edge of the area but it was not enough to break the deadlock.

At half-time, Gżira made one change with midfielder Jackson Mendoza coming on for Bilario Azizi who was cautioned in the first half.

Awad tested Zarkov with a strike from outside the area as the second half continued to on the first half’s pulsating tempo.

The Blues came close to opening the score past the hour mark when Zarkov denied Joseph Minala from a free kick and Plut from the following rebound to keep Sliema at bay.

Former Lazio player Minala had another opportunity to beat Zarkov but once again could hit the back of the net.

The Blues started to pile more pressure on the Maroons with Zarkov coming to the rescue again, this time on Plut who could not break the deadlock from inside the small area.

Coach Paul Zammit looked to capitalise on the moment, bringing on midfielder Jake Engerer and forward Karim Abubakar to bolster the attack.

Gżira almost stunned Sliema with a late winner when Gabriel Bohrer Mentz fired a trademark free kick from a long distance but Al Tumi managed to keep him at bay.

Yet, it was Sliema who scored the winning goal as they made their pressure count through Awad whose curling effort went past Zarkov.

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