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Gżira flex their muscles to return second after seeing off Marsaxlokk

Gżira United striker Maxuell (centre) is challenged by Emerson Vella. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

MARSAXLOKK                  0

GŻIRA UNITED                 3

Jefferson 46; Maxuell 50

Bohrer 69

MARSAXLOKK

M. Drobnjak-5; A. Attard-5 (78 P. Sammut), K. Keqi-5, P. Xuereb-6, S. Ferraris-6 (82 Wellington), J. Aguilar-6, O. Carniello-6, L. Aguirre-6, R. Scicluna-6, D. Vukovic-6 (56 E. Vella), T. Fonseca-6.

GŻIRA UNITED

D. Zarkov-6.5; G. Bohrer-6.5, L. Tabone-6, S. Pisani-6.5, Z. Scerri-7 (73 N. Muscat), M. Dias-6.5 (83 M. Dias), L. Riascos-6 (73 J. Mendoza), T. Kolega-6.5, M. Cosic-6, Maxuell-7 (90 I. Ellul), Jefferson-7 (73 Macula).

Referee Malcolm Spiteri.

Yellow cards Ferraris, Riascos, Cosic.

BOV Player of the Match Maxuell (Gżira United).

A second-half blitz by Gżira United earned them three valuable points after beating Marsaxlokk 3-0 at the Centenary Stadium.

It was Marsaxlokk who actually saw more of the ball during the opening 45 minutes, threatening mostly from set-pieces.

Nonetheless, the Maroons came out better out of the blocks after the interval and two goals in the opening five minutes set the tone for the remainder of the game.

Jefferson scored his 11th goal of the season to join Jurgen Degabriele at the top of league’s scoring charts while Maxuell lifted himself into second, with 10 goals.

For Gżira, this was their ninth victory as they return second on 32 points.

Marsaxlokk, on their part, remain 11th with 14 points as they succumbed to their eighth defeat of the campaign.

The Southseasiders knocked on Gżira United’s door with a close-range effort by Santiago Ferraris who was inches close from drawing first blood for his side.

Gżira replied through Maxuell who could not find the net with a header from inside the small area.

Marsaxlokk’s fullback Leandro Aguirre tried his luck from a freekick but he could not direct the ball past Gżira’s goalkeeper Darijan Zarkov.

In the closing stages of the first half, Pablo Doffo’s side kept pushing for the lead but despite having a flurry of corners, they could not break the stalemate.

Instead, it was Gżira who struck just after the break.

Maxuell beat his marker in a fast-paced positive transition before teeing up Jefferson who converted into goal from point-blank.

The Maroons doubled their lead four minutes later when Marko Drobnjak failed to handle a Marcelo Dias’ cross with forward Maxuell firing into the net from the rebound.

Toni Kolega came close to score Gżira’s third but could not capitalise from close-range as Drobnjak blocked his whipped effort from inside the small area.

Marsaxlokk’s reply came through Aguirre who fired a low drive straight into Zarkov before at the other end, Maxuell was denied by the woodwork as Gżira remained the most dangerous team.

Darren Abdilla’s side wrapped up their win with 20 minutes left when Gabriel Bohrer beat Drobnjak with a brilliant freekick from outside the penalty area.

Midway into the second half, Gżira handed a debut to their newly-signed forward Macula who joined the club this week.

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