The Malta Independent 20 January 2020, Monday

BOV Premier League: Maroons keep the pressure on Greens

Simon Farrugia Saturday, 7 December 2019, 17:25 Last update: about 2 months ago
Photo: James Galea
Photo: James Galea

Gzira Utd.               3

Mosta                      1

Gzira Utd: J. Haber, F. Barbosa Pereira, G. Conti, N. Muscat (J. Corbalan 90'), R. Soares, Z. Scerri, C. Gatt Baldacchino, H. Kone, A. Samb (A. Cohen 72') , A. Oyama, J. De Assis

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Mosta: A. Vella, D. Ifeanyi (C. Grech 46'), W. Gomes Souza, N. Kotlov, D. Xuereb, K. Gatt (D. Bonnici 68'), J. Diouf (Z. Brincat 84'), T. Farrugia, D. Brown, L. Villareal, M. Muchardi

Referee: Philip Farrugia

Asst. Referee: Alan Camilleri, Thomas Debono

Fourth Official: Slobodan Petrovic

Yellow Cards: D. Ifeanyi, F. Barbosa Pereira, L. Villareal, N. Muscat, A. Samb, Z. Scerri

Red Card: L. Villareal (Mosta)

Scorers: Jefferson 43', Samb 45', Kotlov 63'

BOV Player of the Match:   H. Kone (Gzira Utd.)

TMI Top 3 :  1.  H. Kone           2.  A. Samb            3.  D. Xuereb

Gzira managed to beat a stubborn Mosta side keeping the pace with league leaders Floriana. It was a merited win for the Maroons though they weren't never near their best.

For Mosta this was another sour note in their bumpy season so far and they have to quickly set their house in order to avoid turmoil in the second part of the season.

Gzira went into this match  on an elimination from the third round of the FA Trophy at the expense of Senglea Athletic and therefore wanted to bounce back with a win over Mosta to put more pressure on league leaders Floriana.

The Maroons have now won seven of their last eight matches with their only defeat coming against high flying Sirens.

On the other hand Mosta had lost their last three league matches though they had an easy win in the FA Trophy demolishing Rabat Ajax to the tune of seven goals to nil.

It was Mosta who did the early running and in the 2nd minuta off a Kyle Xuereb cross it was Nikita Kotlov who headed just over. On 8 minutes Mosta once again on the offensive when Weverton Gomez ended his solo run with a shot which was saved by Gzira's goalkeeper Haber.

Gzira ventured forward for the first time midway through the first half when Samb set Jefferson de Assis but the latter with only Vella to beat saw the Mosta goalkeeper block his effort.

But nearing the end of the first half Gzira drew first blood.  It was the 43rd minute when Kone found Jefferson de Assis who this time from close range made no mistake finding the corner of the net.

And just a minute elapsed and Gzira double their lead when Kone was once again the supplier finding Amadou Samb whose header finished over Vella and into the net.

Just past the hour Mosta came back into the game when in the 63rd minute they reduced the gap. Dexter Xuereb found Nikita Kotlov with the latters shot hitting the woodwork before hitting the net.

But a killer blow for Mosta was when they were reduced to ten-man with Villareal given the marching orders for a second bookable offence.

For long stretches play was restriced to the midfield area but on the stroke of time Gzira sealed the issue.  A counter attack initiated by Conti with the Italian midfielder finding Cohen who immediately passed towards Kone with this shot from the edge of the area finding the corner of the net.

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