Malta Football Association
Gżira’s early flurry leaves Valletta stunned
Dec 10, 2017
Posted in:
BOV Premier League
Photo: Joe Borg/MFA
Photo: Joe Borg/MFA

  • Photo: Joe Borg/MFA
  • Photo: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
  • Photo: Joe Borg/MFA
  • Photo: James Galea
  • Photo: James Galea
  • Photo: Joe Borg/MFA
  • Photo: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
  • Photo: Joe Borg/MFA

VALLETTA       1


Gżira United issued a timely reminder of their intentions to keep up their top-four challenge as they beat the erstwhile in-form Valletta 2-1 at the Hibernians Stadium on Sunday.

The Maroons stunned Valletta by storming into a 2-0 lead inside the opening six minutes.


After just three minutes, Sacha Borg’s cross was met by Amadou Samb who rose high to head past goalkeeper Valletta goalkeeper Henry Bonello.


Three minutes later, Gżira doubled their lead. Juan Carlos Corbalan broke clear on the right, sped into the penalty area and drilled a low shot past the Valletta goalkeeper.


It took Valletta a while to recover from this difficult start.


They had to wait until the 66th minute to reduce the deficit. They were awarded a penalty after Rowen Muscat was brought down in the box and from the penalty spot, substitute Denni Rocha dos Santos converted. 


Gżira controlled Valletta’s desperate attempts to draw level to secure a win that took them level on 27 points with the same Citizens.


To make matters worse for Valletta, they had defender Steve Borg sent off by referee Fyodor Zammit in the dying stages.


BALZAN         1


Balzan opened a three-point gap at the top of the BOV Premier League after beating champions Hibernians with a last-gasp Alex De Paixao Alves goal on Saturday.


This direct clash produced few scoring opportunities but Balzan took the points in the closing minutes when Bojan Kaljevic advanced on the right and passed the ball to substitute Da Paixao Alex. The Brazilian swept past a defender as he raced into the box and his shot ended behind Hibs goalkeeper Andrew Hogg.


Earlier, Balzan striker Alfred Effiong went close in the 78th minute while Hibs midfielder Johann Bezzina hit wide.



FLORIANA         6


Floriana returned to winning ways with a bang after thrashing Lija Athletic 6-0 on Saturday.


In Nicolas Chiesa’s debut as coach, Floriana had to wait until 13 minutes into the second half to break the deadlock but once they forged ahead, there was no turning back.


After Mario Fontanella had a goal disallowed on the half-hour, the Greens opened the scoring when Juninho Cabral’s cross-shot was deflected by Lija’s Ousmane Sidibe with the ball ending in the back of the net.


Floriana increased their advantage in the 63rd minute thanks to Ignacio Varela who fired home after connecting with Maurizio Vella’s corner from the left.


Three minutes later, Juninho Cabral made it 3-0 as he tapped home after receiving an assist from Fontanella from the right.


Floriana added another goal thanks to an angled shot by Varela from the right. 


Nine minutes from time, Lija’s woes increased as Sidibe was sent off for a reckless tackle on Varela who was taken off on a stretcher.


From the resulting free-kick, Fontanella’s low drive ended into the bottom corner.


Four minutes from time, Floriana made it half-a-dozen of goals when substitute Leighton Grech concluded a good run on the right with an assist for Fontanella who controlled the ball before rifling home.




BIRKIRKARA              1


A goal from Luke Montebello seven minutes from the end gave Birkirkara a morale-boosting win over Ħamrun Spartans on Saturday.


The two teams cancelled each other out for long stretches.


Ħamrun went close early in the match when Davide Succi’s shot came off the post after taking a deflection off a Birkirkara defender.


The Spartans threatened again five minutes from half-time when Marco Criaco’s cross was met by Tiago Souza De Silveira whose header went slightly over.


Birkirkara scored the winning goal seven minutes from time. Substitute Jake Grech’s shot was deflected by a defender with the ball rolling into Montebello’s path and the lanky striker scored with a low shot at the far post.



NAXXAR LIONS          1


Senglea Athletic chalked up their first win in almost three months after beating Naxxar Lions 2-1 on Saturday.


This was Senglea’s first victory under Italian coach Paolo Favaretto while Oliver Spiteri suffered his first defeat since taking charge of Naxxar late last month.


The game was only 11 minutes old when Senglea took the lead. Nicola Palmieri headed the ball down to Peter Paul Sammut who sped into the box before firing past goalkeeper Omar Borg.

On the half-hour, Senglea extended their lead when Virano’s free-kick was met by Palmieri who headed past the Naxxar custodian.


Naxxar reduced the arrears in the 65th minute when Yuri de Jesus Messias’ free-kick eluded a host of players and rolled past a startled Matthew Farrugia.


In stoppage time, Senglea’s Augusto Rene Caseres was dismissed.



ST ANDREWS             2


Tarxien Rainbows stopped a depressing run of five successive defeats after beating St. Andrews 3-2 at the Hibernians Stadium on Sunday.


For the Saints, who played their first match under new coach Michael Woods, this was the sixth defeat in seven matches.


The Saints enjoyed the better start, taking an early lead. They were awarded a penalty when a Tarxien defender handled the ball inside the area and from the penalty spot, Joseph Farrugia made no mistake.


Tarxien equalised on 25 minutes when Matar Dieye served Ricardo Silva Faria who beat Matthew Calleja Cremona, the Saints goalkeeper.


Eleven minutes later, Tarxien went 2-1 up. Dieye was felled by Travis Blagrove in the penalty box with the St Andrews defender getting a red card for his foul. Dieye converted from the spot. 


St Andrews made it 2-2 on 19 minutes from time thanks to a close-range effort from substitute Kemar Reid but six minutes later, Tarxien scored the winner.


Andrè Scicluna picked out Ricardo Silva Faria whose shot from inside the area had the better of Calleja Cremona.



MOSTA                          1

Mosta scored a late goal to rescue a point from their clash with Sliema Wanderers as they held them in a 1-1 draw.


Following a goalless first half, Sliema went ahead a minute into the second half courtesy with a fine goal from Frank Temile.


Mosta equalised two minutes in added time with another close-range effort from Tyrone Farrugia.


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