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Mosta edge Gżira United in seven-goal comeback win

Mosta took the spoils with an impressive comeback against Gzira United. Photo: Domenic Aquilina

GŻIRA UNITED                  3

Maxuell 6, 24

Kolega 34

MOSTA                                 4

Briffa 14

Akinbule 52, 72

Antwin 65

GŻIRA UNITED D. Zarkov-5; M. Cosic-5, L. Tabone-5, N. Muscat-5, S. Pisani-6 (89 J. Attard), Z. Scerri-6, T. Kolega-6, C. Gauci-6, N. Portelli-6, Maxuell-7, J. Mendoza-6.5 (46 Jefferson-5).

MOSTA C. Mafoumbi-6.5; R. Fernandes-6 (46 S. Akinbule-6), R. Briffa-6, W. Donkin-6.5 (90 M. Mifsud), G. Acheampong-6.5 (89 G. Sciberras), C. Failla-6 (46 J. Vassallo-6), B. Diarra-6, T. Farrugia-6, L. Riascos-6, D. Antwi-6.5 (79 C. Ememe), Z. Brincat-6.5.  

Referee Andrea Sciriha.

Yellow cards Muscat, Failla, Pisani, Briffa, Cosic, Akinbule, Gauci, Maia, Riascos.

BOV Player of the Match Maxuell (Gżira United).

This was a game that lacked in attendance numbers but not in the excitement on the field as Gżira United and Mosta produced a seven-game thriller which the Blues clinched 4-3 at the National Stadium.

Mosta will welcome the three points with open arms as they regain their five-point lead above the red zone. At the same time, Mosta kept their slim hopes of making the top six alive as they are now just four points adrift of Sirens and Gżira – both are on 27 points.

Gżira opened the score at the first time of asking when Clive Gauci combined with Zach Scerri, the latter whipping in a cross into the penalty area which Maxuell converted into goal after just six minutes.

The Maroons almost doubled the score through what would have been an unfortunate own goal by Boubakary Diarra after the Mosta player deflected a corner towards his goal just to be rescued by goalkeeper Christoffer Mafoumbi on the goal line.

Nonetheless, it was Mosta who scored the next goal in the game after being awarded a penalty for a Nikolai Muscat foul on Dennis Antwin. Experienced player Clayton Failla made no mistake from the spot.

Gżira’s goalkeeper Darijan Zarkov denied William Donkin from close range before Steve Pisani replied with a long-range free-kick that forced Mafoumbi into a brilliant save to divert the Gżira’s midfielder effort into a corner.

The Maroons managed to restore their lead after another Maxuell goal. In an identical move like the first goal, but this time from the left-hand side, Gauci combined with Nevin Portelli before the latter delivered a neat ball onto Maxuell’s header who slotted home from point-blank range.

Gżira added a third when Jackson Mendoza fired a shot towards Mafoumbi which was momentarily blocked before Toni Kolega converted the rebound into goal to put the Maroons in the driving seat.

After the change of ends, Mosta immediately pulled themselves back into the game when substitute Sunday Akinbule headed home a Zachary Brincat cross to slash Gżira’s lead to just one goal.

Akinbule threatened again when he darted into the box but this time he could not beat the Gżira goalkeeper before Kolega squandered a chance to restore a two-goal lead for Gżira when Mafoumbi blocked his close-range drive.

With Mosta pushing for an equaliser, the Blues made their pressure count when on the 65th minute, Antwin capitalised on an Acheampong freekick to level terms.

Maxuell almost cut Mosta’s joy shot with a towering header just to see Mafoumbi produce a wonderful save to divert his effort into a corner.

Yet, it was Mosta who put themselves ahead for the first time and netting the game’s final goal, when Akinbule stunned Gżira after lobbing the ball with his outside right past Zarkov and into the back of the net.

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