GŻIRA UNITED 0
M. Montfort-7, R. Grech-6.5, R. Dos Anjos-6.5, M. Maia da Silva-7 (72 R. Scicluna), W. Domoraud-6.5, J. Walker-6, A. Borg-6, S. Tounkara-6.5, T. Agius-6, A. Bustos-6.5, T. Espindola-6.
J. Haber-6, Steve Borg-6, N. Muscat-6.5, C. Borg-6 (62 H. Kone), C. Escobar-6, D. Xuereb-6 (85 N. Portelli), J. Mendoza-6, R. Correa-6 (78 O. Elouni), Sacha Borg-6, J. De Assis-6, R. Kooh Sohna-6.
Referee: Philip Farrugia.
Yellow Cards: Sacha Borg, R. Correa, T. Agius, R. Kooh Sohna.
Missed penalty: Jefferson (G) 61.
BOV Player of the Match: Maxuell (Sirens).
After last week’s stunning win over Hibernians, Sirens registered a second win on the trot, defeating Gżira United 1-0 to clinch another three precious points that enabled them to move to safer waters.
The St Paul’s Bay side now share ninth place with Santa Lucia, despite having a game in hand.
For Gżira, this was another disappointing result following the draw with Santa Lucia as they failed to keep the pace with leaders Sliema Wanderers. The Maroons are now fourth, four points behind Sliema, two less than Hibernians and one adrift of Ħamrun.
Coach Darren Abdilla was forced to make a number of changes to the team due to the absence of Gabriel Bohrer Mentz, Martin Davis and Amadou Samb as they were all serving a one-match ban.
The two teams shared the exchanges for long stretches with shots at goal being few and far between.
Samba Tounkara was the first to try his luck with a cross-shot on 7 minutes which scraped past the post and a minute later, Jefferson’s fine effort just missed the target.
At the other end, Justin Haber performed a good save on a Terence Agius free-kick on 31 minutes.
However, five minutes from the end of the first half, Sirens took the lead. Thiago Espindola delivered a throw in from the left, Steve Borg tried to clear into safety but the ball reached Maxuell who hit home from inside the area.
On the restart, the Maroons went out in search of the equaliser with Sirens taking a more cautious approach.
Ricardo Correa had a shot parried by Montfort on 56 minutes and a minute later, Nikolai Muscat’s powerful drive ended just wide.
Gżira could have equalised just past the hour when they were awarded a penalty after Jefferson was adjudged to have been fouled by Jacob Walker. However, Correa’s effort was neutralised by the Sirens custodian.
Sirens gained even more confidence and Wilfried Domoraud’s fierce shot from the left hit the upright on 63 minutes.
Substitute Hamed Kone tested Montfort with a free-kick on 69 minutes and seven minutes later, a Correa effort from outside the area ended wide.
Gżira maintained the pressure and on 85 minutes, Borg headed just wide off a Kone corner and in stoppage time, a Kone freekick sailed past the post as Sirens held on for the win.