BOV Premier League | Floriana 0 - Gżira United 1

Haruna Garba’s strike inside the second half made all the difference as Gżira secured a narrow 1-0 win over Floriana.

Photo: Christine Borg
Photo: Christine Borg

Gżira came into this match looking to maintain their unbeaten run against a side who struggled so far.  On the contrary, Floriana are still looking to gain momentum. The greens started the match ninth with twelve points. During the international break, Floriana also decided to  change their coach. Guido Ugolotti replaced Luis Oliveira.

The Maroons made a good start to the match and went close after seven minutes. Edison Bilbao Zarate delivered a cross towards Garba who headed the ball marginally over.

Floriana hit back on the 31st minute. Juninho Cabral fired a shot from the edge of the penalty area that sailed off target.

Garba went close again on the 42nd minute. The Nigerian forward received the ball inside the penalty area and hit a low shot that was pushed away by Ini Etim Akpan.

On the other end, Clayton Failla delivered a cross towards Ignacio Varela whose header was neutralised by Justin Haber.

As time went by, Floriana gained more confidence and threatened Gżira on the hour mark. Maurizio Vella’s shot from inside the penalty area was saved by Haber

Two minutes later, Failla went through down the right flank, but found Haber in his way.

On the 67th minute, Steve Pisani drilled a low shot that went off target.

Gżira hit back on the 73rd minute. Garba was played through on goal by Andrew Cohen and was brought down inside the penalty area. However, the referee judged it to be a simulation and cautioned Gżira’s player.

This episode didn’t affect Garba as he still sent his side ahead four minutes later. Following a loose ball forward, the twenty-four year old anticipated Floriana’s defence and lobbed the ball behind Akpan.

Floriana replied immediately. Pisani ran forward and fired a shot from outside the penalty area that went wide.

Despite their efforts, Floriana could not equalise during the remaining minutes as the Maroons held firm to take the three points.

An argument took place after the match involving Garba. As a matter of fact, the referee decided to show a red card in the direction of Gżira’s forward.

Floriana Starting line-up: Ini Etim Akpan, Enzo Ruiz, Steven Pisani, Clyde Borg, Ignacio Varela, Juninho Cabral, Clayton Failla, Jurgen Pisani, Tiago Galvao da Silva, Alex Cini, Emerson Marcellina

Gżira United starting line-up: Justin Haber, Nikolai Muscat, Rodolfo Soares, Andrew Cohen, Juan Corbalan, Edison Zarate Bilbao, Roderick Briffa, Jorge Da Silva Pereira, Sacha Borg, Fernando Barbosa, Haruna Garba

Referee: Glen Tonna

Assistant Referees: Luke Portelli, Thomas Debono

Fourth Official: Philip Farrugia

BOV Player of the Match: Haruna Garba (Gżira)

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