Gzira miss out on precious points
Floriana 1 Gzira United 1
18th February 2023, National Stadium, Ta’ Qali
Gzira United dropped two precious points after being held to a 1-1 by Floriana, in their quest for second place in the BOV Premier League. Floriana brought to an end Gzira’s consecutive winning run of six matches and was the first team to breach Gzira’s defence during this run. It was the first goal conceded by Gzira, after 556 minutes or more than 9 hours of play. However, Gzira maintained their unbeaten run of ten matches in all competitions and Jefferson De Assis consolidated his top stop in the league scorers’ standings with his 16th goal of the season, in today’s match.
The match was a scrappy match with few clear-cut chances. The result was crystalized in the first fifteen minutes, with two early goals. Gzira dominated possession and territory throughout the match with Floriana defending most of the time and operating with counter attacks, which resulted in Floriana grinding their first point after two league losses. While Gzira were not at their maximum best during the match, they still created enough chances to secure victory. However, it was not to be.
Following Match Day 20, despite not managing to win all three points, Gzira still have maintained their margin over third place Birkirkara by three points and six points over fourth place, now jointly occupied with a trio of teams, Mosta, Balzan and Hibs.
The match started with an early goal, with Gzira experiencing conceding a goal after such a long time. In the 5th minute, Floriana’s Kemar Reid beat Gzira’s defence from the right flank and drove in with an angled shot.Gzira responded immediately with an equaliser in the 17th minute. Action started with Steven Pisani intercepting the ball in the centre of Floriana’s half, passing to Toni Kolega on the left flank, whose cross found Nikolai Muscat in Floriana’s penalty area, who after beating Floriana’s defender Trillo , delivered an assist into Floriana’s six-yard box, with the league’s top scorer Jefferson De Assis tapping in past Floriana keeper Cutajar, despite being challenged by a Floriana defender.
The Maroons created a number of chances to try to take the lead. In the 21st minute, a freekick by Pisani was headed wide by De Assis. In the 30th minute, Pisani had his corner saved, which was destined for the net. In the 32nd minute, a cross by Kolega was deviated to a corner, after which the ensuing corner by Pisani was headed wide by Bohrer. In the 38th minute, a central shot by De Assis was saved by the Floriana keeper. In the 44th minute, a shot by Kolega was also saved.
Floriana ended the half when Floriana’s Veselji entered Gzira’s penalty area, but his low shot was well neutralized by Gzira’s keeper Darijan Zarkov.
In the second half, Gzira stepped up their pressure. In the 69th minute, De Assis passed to Maia from just outside Floriana’s penalty area. Maia’s first time short was partly saved by Floriana’s Cutajar and from the rebound within the six-yard box, Gzira’s Captain Nikolai Muscat tried to place his shot past Cutajar, but the Floriana keeper punched away. In the 70th minute, a corner by Pisani was headed by De Assis from within Floriana’s six-yard box and saved. In the 79th minute, a free kick by Gzira’s Pisani from just outside the opponent’s box, was headed in the path of De Assis, whose header from close range, finished over the bar. In the 85th minute, a cross from Kolega into Floriana’s box, was met by De Assis who touched the ball to substitute Andrew Borg, whose shot went wide of the post. In the 87th minute, a central freekick by Gzira’s Bohrer went wide. In the 88th minute, Gzira’s Ribiero De Oliveira juggled his way into Floriana’s six-yard box but before concluding his shot, Floriana’s custodian saved.
The last action of the match was created by Floriana when Busuttil’s header scrapped the net from outside the upright with Gzira’s keeper Zarkov covering any danger.
The referee’s final whistle brought an end to the match, with both teams settling for the draw. Gzira now change their focus to concentrate on their IZIBET FA Trophy quarter final match against Gudja United next weekend, to hope for further progress into the semi-final stage of this season’s competition.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Jeffersen De Assis