The Malta Independent 12 December 2018, Wednesday

BOV Premier League: Garba second half strike enough for Gzira to remain on top

Henry Brincat Saturday, 24 November 2018, 19:48 Last update: about 13 days ago
Photos: Martin Agius
Photos: Martin Agius

Floriana         0
Gzira              1 

Floriana: I. Akpan, E. Ruiz, S. Pisani, C. Borg (A. Oyama 55), I. Varela (M. Vella 55), C. Conceicao, C. Failla (D. Agius 79), J. Pisani, T. Galvao da Silva, A. Cini, E. Marcelina 

Gzira: J. Haber, N. Muscat, R. Soares, A. Cohen, J. Corbolan, E. Zarate Bilbao (Z. Scerri 70), R. Briffa, J. Pereira (T. Veronese 88), S. Borg, F. Barbosa, H. Garba 

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Referees: G. Tonna

Asst Refs: L. Portelli, T. Debono

4th official: P. Farrugia

Scorers: H. Garba 77

Yellow cards: S. Borg 47, H. Garba 72, R. Soares

Player of the match: Haruna Garba

Attendance: 654

Haruna Garba scored the only goal of the match for Gzira against Floriana yesterday as the Maroons maintained their supremacy at the top of the Premier League standings.

After this win, Gzira lead with 27 points, but they are expected to be joined once again by Hibernians today as the latter face lowly placed Qormi and are firm favourites to collect the three points at stake.

Floriana had new coach Guido Ugolotti, of Italy, making his debut with them and in the local Premier League. He was substituting former coach Luis Oliveira whose contract was terminated last week.

Gzira were in control during the first half as they enjoyed more possession with the Greens only able to produce one single decent effort.

On their part, the Maroons quickly took control and were almost continuously on the offensive being more dangerous than their opponents.

However, they had to wait till the second half to get the points thanks to the 77th minute goal scored by Haruna Garba.

But they had to work hard for their win as Floriana seemed to be an improved side on the changeover.

It was evident that Gzira wanted nothing less than a victory as they quickly took the initiative.

In the 7th minute, Haruna Garba went close to opening the score with a good header that went just over the bar.

The Maroons kept the initiative and on 15 minutes, Juan Corbolan saw his fine effort from the edge of the area going just over.

Floriana took a long time to threaten the Gzira goal. This arrived on 33 minutes when a Juninho Cabral shot went over the bar.

But Gzira finished the first half on the attack and dangerman Garba had a shot blocked by a Floriana defender on the 42nd minute.

The second half started on a very quiet note and the first notable action arrived on the 61st minute and it was the League leaders who once again threatened through a Nikolai Muscat effort which went just wide.

Two minutes later, at the other end, Floriana appeared dangerous when Cabral advanced into the Gzira area, but former Floriana goalie Justin Haber rushed out of his charge to intercept the ball, avoiding an awkward situation for his team.

Gzira scored their winner on 77 minutes when Haruna Garba  advanced into the Floriana area and lobbed over goalie Akpan and into the net, sending the side's numerous fans into raptures.

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