BOV Premier League | Ħamrun Spartans 1 – Gżira United 3

Gżira’s hopes of securing their Premier League status are slowly materialising as they managed to secure a 3-1 win over Ħamrun Spartans.

Ian Azzopardi of Gżira in action. Photo: Dominic Borg
Ian Azzopardi of Gżira in action. Photo: Dominic Borg

Ħamrun made a flying start to the match as they went ahead after just six minutes. Brandon Paiber sent a cross shot from a free kick which Jurgen Borg failed to neutralise. Philip Chircop took hold of possession and finished inside the net.

 Gżira responded on the 11th minute. Juan Carlos Corbalan hit a low shot from the edge of the penalty that sailed slightly wide of the post.

On the 21st minute, Louis Rene Zome of Gżira sent a shot on target, but Batusila Kambala neutralised.

Four minutes later, the Spartans were forced to make an early substitution since Chircop got injured. Jorge Mesqueu Neto took his place.

Ħamrun went close to double their advantage on the 33rd minute. Massimiliano Giusti served Saturday Nanapere on the right side of the penalty area and the latter hit a close range shot that went high.

Gżira hit back three minutes later when Corbalan fired a shot from distance that ended up wide.

The Maroons equalised two minutes prior to half time. Andrew Cohen sent an excellent cross towards Zome who headed past Kambala.

On the 52nd minute, Cohen sent a shot from distance that ended up off target.

Two minutes later, Cohen had another opportunity to send Gżira ahead. The veteran midfielder received the ball inside the penalty area and fired high.

Gżira kept insisting in attack and were close again on the 55th minute. Following a cross inside the penalty area, Gianmarco Conti headed slightly over.

The Spartans replied on the hour mark. Paiber went on a good run and hit a shot that forced a good save from Borg.

Cohen kept showing his creative skills on the 77th minute. The thirty-five year old received the ball inside the penalty area and tried place it inside the net. However, his effort ended slightly over.

Darren Abdilla’s side went ahead on the 80th minute. Jacob Borg sent a cross inside the penalty area which Kambala parried towards Carlos Alejandro Reyna whose effort ended up past the Ħamrun goalkeeper.

Gżira left no doubt on the result in the additional time given by the referee as they scored their third goal. In their desperate efforts to equalise, the Spartans weakened their defence and the Maroons made the most out of this scenario. Following a fast counter attack, Corbalan delivered the ball towards Jacob Borg and the twenty-five year old finished inside the net.

Ħamrun Spartans starting line-up: Batusila Kambala, Karl Micallef, Luke Grech, Christian Emeka Anigbogu, Philip Chricop, Massimiliano Giusti, Saturday Nanapere, Igor Misan, Brandon Paiber, Manolito Micallef, Leandro Motta Dos Santos

Gżira United starting line-up: Jurgen Borg, Jacob Borg, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Souleymane Diamoutene, Ian Azzopardi, Juan Carlos Corbalan, Louis Rene Zome, Ige Abdullah Adeshina, Zachary Scerri, Andrew Cohen, Gianmarco Conti

Referee: Malcolm Spiteri

Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Chris Azzopardi

Fourth Official: Trustin Farrugia Cann

BOV Player of the Match: Andrew Cohen (Gżira United)