BOV Premier League | Gżira United 0 – Ħamrun Spartans 0

Despite having the upper hand through-out the whole match, Ħamrun could not find a way past Gżira’s defence as the game ended in a goalless draw.

Thomas Veronese of Gżira challenging Karl Micallef for the ball. Photo: Christine Borg
Thomas Veronese of Gżira challenging Karl Micallef for the ball. Photo: Christine Borg

Both sides registered convincing wins in their previous match. Gżira found no difficulty against Tarxien as they secured a 4-1 win. On the other hand, the Spartans won 2-0 against Floriana.

The Maroons started the match as favourites; however, they were aware that Ħamrun are a valid side that could shock them if they do not remain focused through-out the whole ninety minutes.

Darren Abdilla decided to keep the same eleven players that started the match against Tarxien. On the other hand, Giovanni Tedesco made one change to his starting line-up. Massimo Ganci replaced Carlos Henneberg.

The Spartans created the first opportunity of the match after two minutes. Triston Caruana’s effort from a free-kick ended up off target.

Ħamrun  threatened again on the 17th minute. Ganci hit a shot from a free-kick that was easily neutralised by Justin Haber.

Tedesco’s side remained on the offensive and nearly opened the score on the 25th minute. Njongo Priso fired a low shot from outside the penalty area that took a deflection off a defender and went marginally wide.

Haber was on the alert to deny Ħamrun from scoring the opening goal of the match on the 36th minute. Following another free-kick, Sebastian Nayar saw his powerful drive being pushed away by the veteran goalkeeper.

Gżira finally replied on the 41st minute. Thomas Veronese’s cross from a corner was met by Prince Mambouana who headed the ball marginally over.

Abdilla’s side were unlucky not to go ahead a minute later. Nikolai Muscat attempted a volley from distance that stamped off the post with Emmanuel Bartolo completely beaten.

During the additional time given by the referee prior to half-time, Caruana delivered a cross that went into the path of Ganci whose header went off target.

Ħamrun started the second half on the offensive and created another opportunity on the 46th minute. Caetano Calil drilled a low cross towards Ganci whose effort was saved by Haber.

On the hour mark, Muscat of Gżira attempted another volley from distance, but this time he failed to hit the target.

Haber produced another decent save four minutes later. Ganci squared the ball for Calil on the edge of the penalty area and the Brazilian forward sent a shot that was parried by Gżira’s custodian.

Gżira’s goalkeeper was forced to make another excellent save one minute from time. Ganci hit a powerful drive that was tipped behind by Haber.

Despite Ħamrun’s efforts, Gżira remained solid at the back as both teams won a point each.

Gżira United starting line-up: Justin Haber, Prince Destin Mambouana, Nikolai Muscat, Zachary Scerri, Rodolfo Soares, Andrew Cohen, Juan Carlos Corbalan, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Edison Zarate Bilbao, Thomas Veronese, Amadou Samb

Ħamrun Spartans starting line-up: Emmanuel Bartolo, Antonio Monticelli, Enrico Pepe, Triston Caruana, Sebastian Nayar, Massimo Ganci, Matthew Gauci, Njongo Priso, Karl Micallef, Caetano Calil, Kevin Tulimieri

Referee: Philip Farrugia

Assistant Referees: Luke Portelli, Dusan Petrovic

Fourth Official: Darryl Agius

BOV Player of the Match: Massimo Ganci (Ħamrun)

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