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Gżira United outclass depleted Mosta

Amadou Samb scores Gżira United's opening goal against Mosta. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

GŻIRA UNITED      6       

Samb 9, 43

Kone 17; Correa 19

Jefferson 66

MOSTA           1

Yokochi 11

Gżira United proved too strong for a depleted Mosta side as the Maroons picked their second successive league victory.

Mosta came into the match already with a mountain climb after losing ten first-team players who were serving a mandatory COVID-19 quarantine and Gżira made sure they took full advantage of their opponents troubles with a clinical attacking display.

In fact, Gżira produced a professional display in the first half which saw them hit the target four times to all but secure the points by the interval.

Mosta could offer little resistance after the break and Gżira went on to add two more goals to wrap up a comfortable day in the office.

While Gżira coach Darren Abdilla had almost a full complement to choose from as he was only without Zach Scerri who is recovering from a knee injury, the same could not be said of Mosta.

In fact, Mario Muscat, the Blues’ technical director, only had 16 players available in his squad for this match as several members of team were ruled out as they were serving a mandatory COVID-19 quarantine.

It was no surprise that Muscat handed a debut to goalkeeper Andre Spiteri, defender Luke Formosa as well as Japanese forward Takanori Yokochi while he only had four players on the bench.

Mosta had started the match brightly and inside the first minute they almost took the lead when Jonas Ekani sent a low cross towards Yokochi who was denied by Gżira goalkeeper Anthony Curmi.

However, it was Gżira who drew first blood on nine minutes. Ricardo Correa picked Amadou Samb on the edge of the area and the Senegalese forward turned past his marker and slotted the ball past the onrushing Andre Spiteri.

But Gżira’s joy was shortlived as Mosta equalised two minutes later.

Andrei Spiteri sped past two Gżira defenders before teeing up Yokochi who blasted the ball past Curmi.

Gżira, however, kept their poise and they restored their lead on 17 minutes. Hamed Kone let fly a thumping drive from the edge of the area with the ball squeezing past the fingers of goalkeeper Spiteri.

Three minutes later, the Mosta custodian was left hapless as Correa picked up a short rebound from the edge of the area and the Uruguayan hit a firm drive that flew into the roof of the net.

Mosta finally threatened on the half-hour mark when Johann Bezzina picked Kevin Tulimieri inside the area but the Italian midfielder headed over.

Samb came close to adding a second to his name in the match ten minutes from the break when he leapt high to meet Jefferson’s cross but he headed the ball just wide.

The former Floriana striker made amends on 43 minutes when he rose high to meet Mendoza’s delivery from a corner and head past Spiteri.  

After the break, the match looked all but settled in favour of Gżira United who looked happy to administer their lead.

Still, the Maroons managed to add a fifth goal on 68 minutes when Jefferson picked the ball on the left hand side, drifted towards the area and let fly a curling shot that gave no chance to Spiteri.

On 73 minutes, Jefferson almost grabbed a second when he latched onto Correa’s cross but his acrobatic shot was saved by Spiteri.  

Gżira did add a sixth goal on 79 minutes when Nikola Braunovic upended Mendoza just inside the area and from the spot Andrew Cohen, who had just replaced Kone, hit a low shot past Spiteri to mark his 500th appearance in the Premier League with a goal.

Three minutes from time, the Blues handed a debut to 14-year-old goalkeeper Luca Camilleri who came on for the final minutes for the match.

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