GŻIRA UNITED 2
Jefferson 41, 66
D. Zarkov-6, G. Bohrer-6, L. Tabone-6, S. Pisani-6, Z. Scerri-6, M. Dias-6,.5 L. Riascos-6 (64 J. Mendoza), T. Kolega-6.5, M. Cosic-6, Maxuell-6 (81 N. Muscat), Jefferson-6.5 (76 L. Ribeiro).
J. Haber-6, F. Apap-6, K. Shaw-6, G. Llerena-5.5, T. Aldama-5.5 (77’ Y. Muritala), J. Degabriele-5.5 (83’ J. Morillas), B. Kristensen-5.5 (68’ J. Grech), D. Vella-6, G. Mensah-6.5, G. Izquier-6, A. Diakite-6.
Referee: Ishmael Barbara.
Yellow cards: Apap, Jefferson, Mendoza.
BOV Player of the Match: Jefferson de Assis (Gżira United).
Jefferson de Assis was the hero for Gżira United as he scored twice to hand the Maroons a fine 2-0 win over Hibernians in a direct clash between two teams challenging for a place in European football this summer.
Darren Abdilla’s side, therefore, made sure of staying in second place, one point ahead of Birkirkara and five clear of the Paolites.
In fact, for Hibernians, this was another major blow as they suffered a third defeat in four league matches.
The Paolites had one change from the team which defeated Mosta as they welcomed back Bjorn Kristensen.
On the other hand, Darren Abdilla named an unchanged side for Gzira.
Shots at goal were few and far in between during the first half.
Jurgen Degabriele released Gabriel Mensah on the right but as he was about to conclude, he was anticipated by a defender who cleared the ball into a corner.
At the other end, Maxuell Maia headed just wide for Gżira off a corner from the left.
For the majority of the half, the two teams shared the exchanges with the two goalkeepers hardly being tested.
However, four minutes from the end of the first half, the Maroons took the lead.
Jefferson received a through ball on the left and after avoiding Bjorn Kristensen, he beat Justin Haber with a diagonal shot.
Early in the second half, Ferdinando Apap served Gabriel Mensah whose effort from outside the area ended just wide.
On 56 minutes, Hibernians missed a good opportunity when Jurgen Degabriele hit high from an ideal position inside the area off an assist by Mensah from the left.
Hibernians had an even better chance on the hour as they were awarded a penalty by referee Ishmael Barbara after Mensah was brought down inside the area by Luis Riascos.
However, Degabriele’s effort from the spot was turned into a corner by Zarkov.
That turned out to be a turning point as on 66 minutes Gżira doubled the score.
Dias sped past Gabriel Izquier on the right and entered the area before squaring low for Jefferson to hit home from close range.
It was all over for the Paolites and in added time, the Maroons could have added another when substitute Nikolai Muscat entered the area from the left but had his attempt blocked by Haber with Toni Kolega hitting high off the rebound.
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