Gżira hold firm to take home their first three points

At the Hibernians stadium, Robert De Souza’s goal on the 15th minute made the difference as Gżira overcame Sliema Wanderers 1-0 to earn their first three points.

Robert De Souza celebrating his goal against Sliema Wanderers. Photo: Christine Borg
Robert De Souza celebrating his goal against Sliema Wanderers. Photo: Christine Borg

Sliema had most of the possession in the first half, but failed to create chances on goal as Gżira’s defence held firm to deny the Wanderers. On the other hand, the Maroons made the most out of their limited possession and managed to go ahead after fifteen minutes.

From a freekick on the left side, Rafael Ledesma sent a cross that found Robert De Souza, who finished behind Guiseppe Sarao to give Gżira the lead.

Sliema tried to hit back and had a good chance six minutes later. John Mintoff sent a cross that was met by Peter Xuereb. The twenty four year old headed the ball towards goal, but his effort went high.

On the 33rd minute, Branko Nisevic’s side went forward again when Moises Avila Perez tried his luck with a shot from distance that went well wide.

In the added time given by the referee prior to half time, the Wanderers had a good opportunity to score an equaliser. Mark Scerri went inside the penalty area from the left flank, before attempting a shot that hit the side netting.

One minute into the second half, Mark Scerri had another chance for Sliema. The twenty six year old fired a shot from the left side of the penalty area that ended up high.

Gżira responded four minutes later through Robert De Souza, who attempted an acrobatical effort from the edge of the penalty area that went high.

On the hour mark, Sliema won a free kick which Milos Galin took charge off. The Serbian tried his luck, but his shot ended up high.

The Wanderers kept pushing on and had an excellent opportunity to score an equaliser on the 63rd minute. Mark Scerri went inside the penalty area and fired a low shot that was cleared off the line by Dyson Falzon.

Eight minutes later, Jurgen Borg was alert to deny Aidan Jake Friggieri. The Sliema youngster was put through by Wisdow Salamon, but Borg made his presence felt to keep Gżira ahead.

Five minutes from time, the Maroons should have put the result beyond doubt when John Nwoba went through on goal, but finished wide with only the goalkeeper to beat.

In the added time given by the referee, Gżira had another golden opportunity. With the goalkeeper beaten, Gianmarco Conti attempted a shot from the centre of the penalty area that was blocked by a Sliema defender.

Gżira United starting line-up: Jurgen Borg, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Gianmarco Conti, Rafael Ledesma, Juan Carloas Corbalan, Joceano Da Sailva Santos, Moises Perez, Dyson Falzon, Souleymane Diamoutene, Antonio Neto, Robert De Souza.

Sliema Wanderers starting line-up: Guiseppe Sarao, Alex Muscat, Garry Muir, Stefano Biancardi, Roger Vilas Boas, Peter Xuereb, Mathias Muchardi, John Mintoff, Mark Scerri, Milos Galin, Jean Paul Farrugia.

Referee: Clayton Pisani

Assistant referees: Alan Camilleri, Mitchell Scerri

Additional assistant referees: Trustin Farrugia Cann, Philip Farrugia

Fourth official: Duncan Sultana

Bov player of the match: Mark Scerri (Sliema Wanderers)