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Gżira comeback ends Sirens’ Championship Pool dreams

Nikolai Muscat (left) scored a late winner that helped Gżira United beat Sirens. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

GŻIRA UNITED     2

Kolega 68; Muscat 81

SIRENS                     1

Vieira 43

GŻIRA UNITED

D. Zarkov-6; G. Bohrer-7, M. Cosic-6.5, L. Tabone-5, N. Muscat-7.5, Z. Scerri-7, T. Kolega-6.5, C. Gauci-6, J. Attard-6.5, Maxuell-6, Jefferson-6.5.

SIRENS

J. Debono-7; H. Motta-6.5, B. Gavrila-5 (85 M. Lomis), A. Borg, J. Walker-6 (85 D. Albanese), C. Zammit Lonardelli-6, A. Cini-6.5, C. Riascos-6, D. Jackson-6.5 (89 A. Effiong), V. Vieira-6, R. Cardoso-6.

Referee Philip Farrugia.

Yellow cards Riascos, Gauci, Scerri, Jackson, Attard, Vieira, Jefferson.

Red card Adrian Borg (Sirens) 80.

BOV Player of the Match Jonathan Debono (Sirens).

Gżira United came from behind to beat Sirens by the odd goal in three which condemned the St Paul’s Bay side into the Relegation Pool, following Gudja’s victory over Mosta.

It was a well deserved victory for the Maroons who dominated proceedings throughout the 90 minutes, despite Sirens who broke the deadlock through Vitor Vieira’s eighth goal of the season.

However, the Maroons made their pressure count with goals from Toni Kolega and Nikolai Muscat as they continue their quest for a European berth.

Gżira started on the front foot and registered their first chance inside the first eight minutes through a Nikolai Muscat’s free-kick from the edge of the area which sailed over the bar.

In the 23rd minute, Carlo Zammit Lonardelli squandered a clear-cut opportunity to put Sirens ahead when he failed to capitalise on his close-range effort from inside the penalty area.

The Maroons, on their part, replied with a Maxuell header that went inches wide after connecting with a well-weighted Kolega cross.

Gżira continued to threaten through aerial balls with Jefferson missing the target with a towering header from point-blank range.

Nonetheless, it was Sirens who forged ahead just before the break when a Bogdan Gavrila’s low free-kick was driven into the net by Vitor Vieira.

Gżira’s biggest chance came in the 65th minute when Jefferson drove a through ball towards Maxuell whose low drive was brilliantly saved by Jonathan Debono.

Moments later, Debono came to his side’s rescue again when he managed to finger-tip a Scerri’s effort but could do nothing on the rebound as Kolega fired into an empty net.

The equaliser galvanised Gżira even more who were now pushing for a second, with Maxuell having an effort going wide.

Ten minutes from time, Gżira’s chances of winning the game were boosted even further when Sirens’ captain Adrian Borg denied an obvious scoring opportunity to Jefferson and was given the marching orders.

From the resultant freekick, Muscat produced a wonderful goal to seal the points for the Maroons.

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