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Gzira qualify for next round after cruising past rivals Sliema

Gzira United 2 Sliema Wanderers 0

15th January 2023, Tony Bezzina Stadium, Paola




Gzira qualified for the next round of the FA Trophy, after beating rivals and neighbours Sliema Wanderers after a solid performance, with a goal in each half. Both teams entered this match, which was shrouded with a touch of nostalgia for both sides. Gzira remembering there one and only major success with the 1973 FA Trophy win, while Sliema knowing that they have been the most successful team in this competition, leading jointly with 21 wins, since the founding of the competition.

However, history and memories aside, times change. Gzira United are now currently second in the BOV Premier League, with Sliema Wanderers topping the Challenge League, where they are currently plying their trade this season. The difference between both divisions, occupied by each side, played a determining factor in the match.

Gzira’s experience as one of the top clubs in the Premier League and the tempo played in the said league, proved a bit too much for Sliema, despite their dominance in the Challenge League. Sliema gave a good account of themselves especially after conceding the first goal, but although giving the initiative at times to Sliema, Gzira did just enough to win this match, with their tactical and clinical play. The Maroons deservedly beat the Wanderers.

The match started with both sides having a freekick each which failed to create any danger.

Gzira drew first blood in the 6th minute. A cross by Dias after running clear on the right, found De Assis to romp in from the centre of the penalty area, past Sliema’s goalkeeper Al Tumi.

After this goal Gzira controlled the match and gave a bit the initiative to Sliema. Sliema’s most threatening chance in the half came in the 14th minute, when after dribbling two Gzira defenders, Sliema’s Awad found his shot well saved to a corner by Gzira’s keeper Zarkov. In the 20th and 38th minutes Gzira responded with attempts by Kolega and Mendosa, being saved and going wide respectively.

The first half ended, and the second half started, with a couple of freekicks awarded to Sliema, the outcomes of which failed to worry the Gzira defence.

In the 57th minute, Scerri of Sliema and Maia of Gzira were shown red, after a hard tackle and squabble between them near the corner flag. From the ensuing freekick, Gzira’s Pisani, saw his shot punched to safety by Sliema’s custodian.

In the 63rd minute the Maroons struck again. De Assis was bundled over by Henrique, after dashing along the byline to the left of the Sliema goal. From the resulting penalty, Bohrer blasted home to the left of Sliema’s Al Tumi, giving no chance to the Sliema keeper.

This goal practically closed the match, however the Wanderers threatened in the 69th minute when a lack of concentration and a loose pass in the Gzira defence caused havoc, but this was eventually cleared to safety.

In the 75th minute a cross by Gzira’s Dias to De Assis went wide. In the 79th minute, a cross by Gzira’s Kolega was intercepted, while Sliema’s freekick in the 81st minute by Acheampong from the left, was saved with difficulty by Gzira’s Zarkov, who sustained some pain in the process.

At the end, Sliema tried to mount some serious attempts to salvage some pride from the match, but Gzira’s experience paid off in the end, holding on to a merited 2-0 victory.

After seeing off the challenge of Sliema Wanderers, the leaders of the Challenge League in Malta, Gzira now qualify to the next round of the FA Trophy and look forward to the round of 16 tie against Gozitan team Qala Saints, joint leaders of the Gozo Football League First Division. The hope for an extended run in this season’s FA Trophy continues.

PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Jeffersen De Assis

Claude Cuschieri

Club Editor

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Zack Scerri, Gabriel Bohrer, Luke Tabone



62’ Luis Carlos Riascos in for Jackson Mendoza

78’ Nikolai Muscat in for Steven Pisani

90+1’ Brooklyn Borg in for Jefferson De Assis

90+1’ Andrew Borg in for Zachary Scerri

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