Gzira continue winning run
12/2/23 - National Stadium
Gzira Utd F.C. 1-0 Sirens FC
Gzira United registered a tight 1-0 victory against Sirens to continue their positive streak of winning results and yet again conclude another match day in command of second place.
After all top six teams in the Premier League won this latest round of Match Day 19 matches, positions and points gaps have remained the same as from the previous weekend. Gzira have maintained their margin over third place Birkirkara by three points, six points over fourth place Mosta and an eight-point margin over joint fifth place occupants, Balzan and Hibs.
With this latest victory, the Maroons have continued their unbeaten run of eight matches in all competitions, registering four consecutive victories in the League and keeping seven clean sheets from the last eight matches. Gzira have an unbeaten run in the league of 7 matches and have remained the Premier League’s top scorers with 36 goals, now jointly with Birkirkara , the team in the League with the highest goal difference, with a plus of 26 goals and also the team with the second best defence in the league after leaders Hamrun.
In fact, in the six matches played so far since the start of the second round of the Premier League, Gzira have conceded only one goal and have now gone 371 minutes, more than 6 hours of play, in keeping their net intact.
The early goal scored by Gzira in the match against Sirens, put the Maroons in the driving seat for most the match. Gzira overall dominated possession and with the chances created they could have easily closed the match earlier. From the part of Sirens, they rarely poised any real danger to Gzira’s rear guard and despite some crosses and attempts, especially in the first half, which went way off target, their only attempt on target came in the second half. All in all, Gzira did enough to deserve their victory and bag in the important three points.
The match started when in the 2nd minute, a cross by Gzira’s Kolega from the left flank just outside the penalty area was headed by De Assis from a central position and Sirens goalkeeper saved in two attempts.
Gzira opened the scoring in the 7th minute. Jefferson De Assis surged forward in Sirens’ penalty area and after passing to Maia in a more central position to conclude, he was bundled down by Sirens keeper Grech. In the same move and simultaneously, Maia was tackled down by Sirens defender Borg. The referee awarded a penalty. From, the resultant spot kick, Maxuell Maia beat Sirens custodian Grech, with a low drive in the bottom left hand corner of the net.
In the 15th minute Maia could have increased the lead for Gzira. A corner by Steven Pisani from the right, found the Sirens keeper save just of the post, from Maia’s header. From the subsequent corner by Pisani, Maia’s header went just wide.
In the 36th and 38th minute Gzira continued to threaten. First, a cross by Toni Kolega found Marcelo Dias’s attempt cleared to safety with difficulty by the Sirens defence and secondly, the Gzira players reciprocated their actions, with a cross by Dias being hit just wide by Kolega.
On the stroke of half time, in the 43rd minute, a corner by Pisani from the left, found Luke Tabone’s attempt off his leg, being saved with a dive, by the Sirens back stopper, with the ball being handled, just of the goal line.
Gzira started the second half in the same way, as they concluded the first one, with more chances being created. In the 47th minute, a free kick by Pisani from the right was headed by Tabone and well saved. In the 50th minute, Maia for Gzira could have doubled his personal score and that of Gzira, when his placed cross shot from outside the penalty area was saved with difficulty by the Sirens keeper. In the 54th, Gzira and Maxuell Maia once more threatened. A cross by Dias from the by line outside Sirens’ penalty box, found the Sirens defence head with difficulty but from the rebound Zachary Scerri flicked on to Maia, whose low drive just outside the six-yard box of Sirens, was well saved by Sirens keeper Grech. In the 56th minute, Gzira continued with their pressure, when a freekick by Pisani was headed over by Scerri and in the 68th minute a Kolega low shot was deviated but saved.
In the 80th minute Sirens had their only real chance and attempt on target throughout the whole match. A freekick by Bento of Sirens was blocked by the Gzira wall of defenders and from the rebound, Bento’s hard drive was neutralized with a flying save by Gzira’s goalkeeper Darijan Zarkov.
At the end of the match the Maroons had another two chances. In the 85’minute, De Assis failed to conclude an assist by Lucas Ribeiro De Oliveira, while the same De Oliveira saw his shot deviated to safety by Sirens in the 89’ minute.
Gzira controlled proceedings for the remaining additional time of the match, to round off with a fourth consecutive victory on the trot. Gzira now look forward for another victory, in the rescheduled FA Trophy match in mid-week, to try to continue their impressive unbeaten run.
Marko Cosic, Zachary Scerri, Luke Tabone
62’ Jackson Mendoza in for Steven Pisani
72’ Lucas Ribeiro De Oliveira in for Maxuell Maia