BOV Premier League | Gzira United 0 – Hamrun Spartans 0

Gzira United and Hamrun Spartans collected a point each as both sides shared the spoils in a goalless draw.

Photo: Dominic Borg
Photo: Dominic Borg

The first local encounter for Giovanni Tedesco at the helm of Gzira was against his previous employers. Following a successful participation inside the Europa League, the Italian was looking to start by winning the three points against Hamrun.

However, he had a difficult task as Gzira needed to overcome a very good Hamrun side who are looking to improve on last season’s fourth position. Further to this, the Spartans were also led by Manuele Blasi who is another Italian tactician with great experience behind him.

The Maroons were the better side through-out much of the match and managed to create a number of opportunities on goal. Despite this, Tedesco’s men could not make the most out of the opportunities created.

Gzira created the first opportunity on goal after eight minutes. Jefferson de Assis received the ball inside the penalty area and fired a shot that was saved by Manuel Bartolo in two attempts.

Hamrun nearly gifted Gzira a goal midway through the first half. Bartolo failed to neutralise Andrew Cohen’s cross with the ball falling for Hamed Kone who finished off target.

On the 37th minute, Cohen delivered a cross that was met by Jefferson who headed the ball wide.

Gzira lost another great opportunity during the stoppage time given by the referee prior to half-time. Cohen played Amadou Samb through on goal, but the latter was denied by Hamrun’s goalkeeper. The Senegalese forward managed to re-collect the ball and served Jefferson whose header was cleared by Hamrun’s defence.

The story of the match did not change during the second half as Gzira remained on the offensive while Hamrun defended.

First it was Cohen whose cross shot went past Bartolo, but none of his team mates managed to make contact with the ball.

Gzira were also denied by the post on the 68th minute. Samb drilled a low shot that stamped off the upright.

Hamrun created a rare opportunity five minutes from time. From a free-kick, Clayton Failla’s effort ended up marginally over.

However, Hamrun held on during the remaining minutes as the match ended in a goalless draw.

Gzira United starting line-up: Justin Haber, Fernando Barbosa, Gianmarco Conti, Nicky Muscat, Zachary Scerri, Rodolfo Soares, Andrew Cohen, Hamed Kone, Amadou Samb, Arthur Henrique Oyama, Jefferson de Assis

Hamrun Spartans starting line-up: Manuel Bartolo,  Triston Caruana, Jorge Dodo, Wilfried Domoraud, Clayton Failla, Nicola Leone, Soufiane Lagzir, Marco Criaco, Karl Micallef, Orestis Nikolopoulos, Mattia Cinquini

Referee: Alan Mario Sant

Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Paul Apap

Fourth Official: Matthew Degabriele

BOV Player of the Match: Jefferson de Assis (Gzira United)

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