Malta Football Association
Gżira United enjoy winning Europa League debut
Jun 27, 2018
Posted in:
BOV Premier League
Photo: Andrew Micallef/Gżira United
Photo: Andrew Micallef/Gżira United



Maltese participation in this season’s UEFA competitions began on a very positive note as Gżira United obtained a 2-0 victory over Andorran side UE Sant Julia in the first leg of their Europa League Preliminary Round tie, played at the Estadi Comunal in La Vella on Tuesday.

Making their debut in the Europa League, Gżira United took the lead on 20 minutes.


Amadou Samb, the BOV Premier League top scorer last season, converted a penalty after he had been brought down in the box.


Samb had another chance to double his team’s lead but drove wide from a favourable position.


On the stroke of half-time, the hosts were given a penalty after Rodolfo Soares, making his first appearance for Gżira, was adjudged to have fouled Vincent Ramael inside the penalty area. The Sant Julia striker missed the chance by shooting wide from the spot.


In the second half, Sant Julia created more chances as they pushed for an equaliser but the Maroons held firm, goalkeeper Justin Haber also playing his part with a fine save from Jose Aguilar.


With three minutes remaining Gżira United increased their advantage when Andrew Cohen played a through-ball to substitute Jorginho who rifled past goalkeeper Nico Ratti.


Gżira coach Darren Abdilla fielded three new signings in Andorra - Soares, Jorginho, who came on for Emmanuel Okoye on 70 minutes, and Italian wing-back Thomas Veronese.


The second leg will be played at the Centenary Stadium on July 5.


Tomorrow (Thursday) at the Centenary Stadiun, Birkirkara face Faroese side Klaksvik in the first leg of their Europa League Preliminary Round match (kick-off 19.00).


GŻIRA UNITED (Formation)
J. Haber, D. Mambouana, N. Muscat (62 Z. Scerri), R. Soares, A. Cohen, C. Gatt Baldacchino, E. Bilbao, R. Briffa, E. Okoye (70 Jorginho), T. Veronese, A. Samb (90 L. Brincat).


Referee: Denys Shurman (Ukraine).

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