The Malta Independent 21 March 2019, Thursday

BOV Premier League: Gzira consolidate 3rd place with victory over Senglea

Henry Brincat Saturday, 9 March 2019, 18:00 Last update: about 11 days ago
Photo: Trevor Sollars
Photo: Trevor Sollars

Gzira U.           3
Senglea           1

Gzira U.: J. Haber, N. Muscat, Z. Scerri, R. Soares (G. Conti 46), A. Cohen (L. Moad 90), J. Corbolan, C. Gatt Baldacchino, E. Zarate Bilbao, R. Briffa (J. Mengolo 31), M. Beerman, H. Garba

Senglea: M. Farrugia, EM Sidqy (G. Camilleri 64), Z. Cassar (K. Cutajar 77), L. Grech, G. Leyton, R. Silva Santos, D. Venancio, M. Garcia, A. Caseres, A. Mrsulja, C. Sammut

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Referee: F. Zammit

Asst refs: D. Sultana, D. Petrovic

4th official: D. Agius

Scorers: H. Garba 15, 78, A. Caseres 44, J. Mengolo 45

Yellow cards: Z. Scerri 14, G. Leyton 44

BOV Player of the Match: H. Garba.

TMI Top 3: 1. H. Garba, 2. A. Caseres, 3. A. Cohen

Attendance: 455

Gzira United consolidated their 3rd place in the standings following a hard-fought 3-1 win against Senglea.

Haruna Garba, scorer of a brace, and Justin Mengolo, who netted the second, were their heroes. Just before the interval, Augusto Caseres had temporarily equalised for Senglea who have now suffered a second consecutive defeat.

The victory sees the Maroons now on 41 points, four ahead of Sliema in 4th, and five ahead of Birkirkara who are 5th. Sixth placed Hamrun are on 34.

Senglea remain in 12th place on 17 points, four ahead of 13th placed Qormi and seven over bottom placed Pieta.

Play was more or less balanced in the first half, but Gzira seemed to have a slight edge in midfield until they lost the services of the injured Roderick Briffa.

From then on, Senglea came more into the picture and after threatening to score, they meritedly equalised with a great header from Augusto Caseres.

The drawn result after the first 45 minutes clearly reflected what happened on the field of play.

In the second half, Gzira started on a positive as they quickly regained the lead.

From then on, they never allowed their opponents to have a serious pot at goal and not only controlled well Senglea's feeble reaction, but were also good enough to score an assuring third goal.

Senglea were first to threaten when in the 6th minute a Garcia cross was just missed by Caseres in front of goal.

But it was Gzira who struck first taking the lead on the 15th minute through Haruna Garba who beat goalie Farrugia with a low shot.

El Mehdy Sidqy then came to Senglea's rescue as he cleared in extremis after Garba threatened the bustle his way into the area.

In the 26th minute, Gzira missed a good opportunity when from a Corbolan cornerkick, Rodolfo Soares lifted the ball well over the bar from an ideal position.

Senglea were close to an equaliser on 37 minutes when a potentially goalbound shot by Gonzalo Leyton was blocked by Zachary Scerri to corner.

The equaliser arrived in the 44th minute when from an Arian Mrsulja perfect cross, it was the usual Augusto Caseres who beat goalie Haber with an unstoppable header.

Gzira were again in the lead in the first minute of the second half. The protagonist this time was Justin Mengolo who outsped his direct opponent in the Senglea area and beat goalie Farrugia with an angled shot.

Senglea responded with a good chance for Caseres in the 57th minute, but this time he failed to control the ball properly in the centre of the Gzira area and it was cleared by a Gzira defender.

In the 65th minute, Venancio saw his direct freekick going wide of the Gzira posts.

Gzira went close to a third goal on 75 minutes when Garba's angled shot beat goalie Farrugia, but Arian Mrsulja cleared from practically over the goalline.

The Maroons assured themselves of the three points three minutes later. Mengolo resisted a tackle on the left flank and advanced to cross low for Garba to flick into the net.

Senglea never retaliated seriously and it was only in the 89th minute that Venancio missed the target by inches from a freekick.

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