GŻIRA UNITED 2
Kooh Sohna 1, Borg 74
SANTA LUCIA 2
Tachikawa 8, Da Silva Souza 18
J. Haber-6, G. Bohrer, S. Borg-5 (46 Jefferson-6), N. Muscat-6, C. Borg-6 (88 O. Elouni), D. Xuereb-6, M. Davis-6, R. Correa-6, S. Borg-6, A. Samb-4 (46 H. Kone-6), R. Kooh-6.
C. Farrugia-6, T. Tabone Desira-5, J. Prates-6, K. Correia-6.5, A. Magri Overend-6.5, A. Da Silva Souza-6.5 (65 L. Wallace-), K. Ante Rosero-6, V. Prestes-5, M. Camilleri-5.5 (80 A. Vella), R. Tachikawa-6, K. Xuereb-6.
Referee: Glen Tonna
Yellow card: Samb, Tachikawa, Xuereb, Bohrer, Correa,
Red card: Gabriel Bohrer (Gżira) 89
Missed penalties: Steve Borg (Gżira) 74, 90.
BOV player of the match: Steve Borg (Gżira United)
Steve Borg missed a stoppage time penalty as Sta Lucia earned a valuable point after emerging from a poor start to deny Gżira United top spot in the Premier League standings.
This was a tale of two penalties and a power cut which interrupted the match for 50 minutes. To their credit. Gżira regrouped after going 2-1 down but for the umpteenth time this season, only shone in flashes and were ultimately undone by a poor first half showing.
Before the match, Andrew Cohen received a commemorative shirt to mark his 500th appearance in the Premier League.
Gżira looked irresistible in the opening stages and they took the lead through Raphael Kooh Sohna. Ricardo Correa’s cross was perfect and the striker opened the scoring with a trademark header.
But despite the steady flow of chances falling Gżira’s way, the Maroons were rocked after just eight minutes when the Saints equalised. Alan da Silva Souza escaped down the left before sending a stinging cross to Rei Tachikawa who was equal to the challenge, hitting a perfect curling volley into the corner.
Alan was a constant thorn on the left and needed no second invitation when Kieran Xuereb used his body to shield the ball to set up the Brazilian midfielder who beat Haber with a low drive.
It had all been embarrassingly easy for Sta Lucia and just before half-time, Victor Prestes Filho’s pinpoint cross was headed just wide by Kevin Ante Rosero.
On the restart, Darren Abdilla brought on Jefferson and Hamed Kone for Amadou Samb and Sacha Borg.
Early in the second half, a corner by Nikolai Muscat on the left was headed goalwards by Steve Borg’s forehead but Jefferson failed to apply the final touch.
A power failure at the National Stadium in the 65th minute of the game led referee Glen Tonna to interrupt the match.
The match resumed after a 50-minute pause and Gżira took up where they left off when Kone forced his way into the box but his shot came off the side-netting. Jefferson’s low shot from a short free-kick took a deflection and rolled towards the far post but Farrugia touched the ball around his near post. The reprieve was too brief.
On 74 minutes, Jefferson won a penalty when he was brought down by Andrè Prates. From the spot, Steve Borg was alert enough to finish on the rebound after Farrugia saved his first attempt.
Here Gżira laid siege to the Sta Lucia rearguard. Kooh Sohna came closest with his bold header from a Martin Davis’ cross cannoned off the crossbar, four minutes from time.
A minute before stoppage time, Gabriel Bohrer was sent off for a second bookable offence. But Gżira continued to look lively and at death, Kieran Xuereb bundled over Nikolai Muscat with the referee pointing to the spot.
Unperturbed by his previous penalty miss, Borg assumed responsibility again for the penalty but the result was a miss of sky-high proportions.