The Malta Independent 16 December 2019, Monday

BOV Premier League: Maroons climb second as they defeat ten-man Senglea

Simon Farrugia Monday, 25 November 2019, 22:13 Last update: about 20 days ago
Photo: Domenic Aquilina
Photo: Domenic Aquilina

Senglea A.              1

Gżira Utd.               3

Senglea A.A. Curmi, A. Olberkis, D. Debono (J. Tanti 72’), E. Sakyi, M. Micallef, N. Virano Gonzalo (J. Micallef 89’), T. Marukawa, J. Teixeira, S. Cipriott, W. Zamble, A. Do Nascimento Carneiro (L. Grech 81’)

Gżira Utd.: J. Haber, F. Barbosa, G. Conti, N. Muscat (R. Camilleri 90’) , Z. Scerri, R. Soares, A. Cohen, A. Samb, A. Oyama, M. Davis (C. Sammut 85’), J. De Assis

RefereeStefan Pace

Asst. Referee:  Edward Spiteri, Paul Apap

Fourth Official: Fyodor Zammit

Yellow Cards:  Haber, Conti, Soares, Teixeira, Cipriott

Red Card: Elvis Sakyi (Senglea A.)

Scorers:   Virano 5’ pen., Soares 35’ , Jefferson de Assis 62’

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

TMI Top 3 :  1.  J. de Assis          2.   A. Oyama              3.    T. Marukawa

Attendance: 352

Gzira United defeated Senglea Athletic following an early shock and are now in second place three points adrift of league leaders Floriana. It wasn’t a walk in the park for the Maroons with the match twisting in their favour following the dismissal of Elvis Sakyi midway through the first half.

Gzira United wanted to return to winning ways after succumbing to their first defeat against Sirens in their last outing. As Senglea were concerned they lost two out of their last three matches.

Gzira were missing Hamed Kone and Clifford Gatt Baldacchino both suspended with Juan Corbalan out injured. For Senglea Matthew Farrugia and Leigthon were relegated to the bench with David Xuereb missing out.

The match was played under constant heavy rain which made conditions very difficult. In fact at times torrential rain hit the Centenary Stadium with the match being suspended six minutes into the second half.

The match had an exciting start when after only five minutes Senglea opened their account. A long ball found Marukawa who galloped alone and one entering the area was brought down by goalkeeper Haber. From the resultant penalty Nicolas Virano Gonzalo converted in style.  

Senglea continued to press their opponents and on eleven minutes missed a chance to double their lead. A free kick by Virano found Olberkis who missed a sitter from close range.

Gzira went near with a double chance in the sixteenth minute. A Jefferson thunderbolt from the edge of the area was partially saved by Curmi and from the rebound an Oyama shot was deflected onto a corner.

But Senglea were dealt a blow on 25 minutes when Elvis Sakyi was sent off for a foul on Martin Davis. Just past the half hour a Teixeira free kick was easily neutralized by Haber.

Ten minutes from the break Gzira drew level. An Andrew Cohen corner caused havoc in the Senglea area with Rodolfo Soares slotting the ball home following a melee on the goal line. This goal boosted the Maroons to take the upper hand which they did but till the end of the first half no goal mouth action was forthcoming.

In the 51st minute the match was stopped for a few seconds due to the heavy rain that hit the Centenary Stadium. On 56 minutes Jefferson found Samb but the Senegalese blasted his effort over the bar.

Gzira forged ahead for the first time just past the hour when following a solo run Jefferson de Assis fired a diagonal shot into the top corner of the net leaving goalkeeper Curmi  completely stranded. Indeed a wonder goal by the Brazilian striker.

Fifteen minutes from the end a low drive from Marukawa ended inches wide off the mark. But it was Gzira who brought the issue beyond doubt nine minutes from the end when Jefferson de Assis squared the ball towards Italian Gianmarco Conti who slotted the ball home.

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