Missed opportunity for the Maroons to close gap at the top.
Gzira United 1 Hamrun Spartans 2
30th October 2022, Tony Bezzina Stadium
Gzira United lost for the first time this season to leaders Hamrun Spartans. Gzira’s 10 match unbeaten run of positive results also came to an end. The last team to beat Gzira in the league were the same Hamrun, with such a win coming last April. With this victory, Hamrun have stretched their lead further over Gzira in second place by 7 points. Despite remaining sole second in the table, this defeat has dented Gzira’s title aspirations.
Today’s match started off with both sides tactically positioned with their game plan. Gzira dictated play for the best part of the first half and meritedly took the lead. Gzira also missed some good chances both before and right after their goal. However, a mishap in the Gzira defense, gifted Hamrun with a soft goal, which turned out to be the turning point of the match. After the equalizer, Hamrun stepped up their gear and took control for the remainder of the match, with Gzira operating with limited counter attacks. Gzira’s goalkeeper Darijan kept Gzira in the match, however Hamrun’s late goal came a bit too late for Gzira to mount a serious comeback.
The first chance of the match came Gzira’s way. In the 5th minute a freekick by Gzira’s Bohrer was partially saved by Hamrun’s keeper Bonello and the rebound from Kolega was once more saved by Bonello.A minute later Hamrun responded with a freekick from their part, with Prsa’s shot being bundled by Gzira’s goalkeeper Darijan, with Bohrer heading to safety for a corner.
After a number of attempts by Gzira on Hamrun’s goal, Gzira managed to take the lead in the 25th minute. A corner from the left by Correa was headed in by Tabone with a strong header in the right-hand corner of the goal.
In the 30th minute, Gzira threatened further with a shot by Maia from the left which was well saved by Hamrun’s keeper. This was a prelude to Hamrun’s equalizer. In the 32nd minute, a misunderstanding between Darijan and Cosic let Hamrun’s Mashike through, to score with a simple tap in an empty goal post. In the 36th minute, Hamrun’s Guillaumier hit the upright with a long-range shot.
In the second half the Spartans had more possession, with Gzira operating through counter attacks. After a number of Hamrun attempts on goal, saved by Gzira’s goalkeeper Darijan, Hamrun’s pressure paid off in the 79’ minute when substitute Montebello, who had just entered the field of play in the 76’ minute, hit a low range shot, which drove past a number of Gzira defenders, to the right of Gzira’s keeper Darijan dive.
In the final minutes of the match and an extra 4 minutes of additional time, Gzira tried to salvage the result, with a couple of desperate attempts on Hamrun’s goal, but Hamrun held on to a deserved victory.
Nikolai Muscat, Zack Scerri
68’ Steve Pisani for Ricardo Correa Duarte
83’ Andrew Borg for Zackery Scerri
90’ Brooklyn Borg in for Luke Tabone