GZIRA UNITED 1
Failla 17; Brincat 79
D. Zarkov-5 (63 D. Cassar), G. Bohrer-6, L. Tabone-6 (84 Z. Scerri), N. Muscat-6 (63 Maxuell) (76 B. Borg), S. Pisani-6.5 (84 J. Mendoza), M. Dias-7, C. Riascos-6, T. Kolega-7, E. Silva-6.5, M. Cosic-6, J. De Assis-7.
I. Akpan-5.5, R. Briffa-5.5 (67 E. Chibueze), C. Ememe-6.5, P. Tenebe-6 (67 G. Sciberras), D. Bonnici-6 (88 W. Legault), C. Failla-7, B. Diarra-6, T. Farrugia-6.5, S. Kingue-6, J. Vassallo-6, Z. Brincat-7 (80 J. Ibe).
Referee Slobodan Petrovic.
Yellow cards Muscat, Tenebe, Bohrer, Bonnici, Sciberras, Chibueze, Riascos.
BOV Player of the match Steve Pisani (Gzira United).
A late Zachary Brincat goal handed Mosta a stunning 2-1 win over Gżira United to throw the race for European places wide open.
Mosta have now bridged the gap on second-placed Gżira United to just two points and one adrift of third-placed Birkirkara, who, however, face Birkirkara today.
It was a win attributed to a show of persistence in a match largely dominated by Gżira. The latter now find themselves at the mercy of fellow rivals for a European spot next season as the gap remains as close as ever at the top.
Most of the possession shifted around the centre circle in what was a tense opening for both sides but Gżira opened proceedings after nine minutes.
From a throw in, Marcelo Dias swivelled past two players and fed the ball to Jefferson, the Brazilian effortlessly backheeling the ball back to his compatriot who benefitted off a miscommunication in the Mosta defence to chip the ball past Ini Akpan.
On 17 minutes, however, Failla produced a moment of magic to bring his side back into the game. A rash tackle well outside the area gave Mosta a free-kick and the former Malta international let fly a cannon of a shot which Darijan Zarkov could not keep out.
A minute later, Gzira had the ball swept off the Mosta line when Jefferson broke through and put the ball past Akpan but Tyrone Farrugia slid at the right moment to keep the ball out of his own net.
Farrugia saved Mosta again 29 minutes in, when Jefferson was left unmarked around the penalty spot with the ball at his foot. The Gżira forward hit the ball towards the top corner and with Akpan beaten again, the Mosta captain dived to head the ball away.
After the break, Gżira pushed for a quick goal but they struggled to find the final touch. On 67 minute, substitute Maxuell came closest with an acrobatic shot but his effort went just wide.
Instead, it was Mosta who made their breakthrough on 79 minutes.
Duane Bonnici put in a pinpoint cross into the area, and Zachary Brincat’s header was tipped away to a corner by substitute goalkeeper David Cassar. However, the Mosta player made no mistake from the ensuing corner to put his side ahead with another header.
The remaining minutes became a battlefield as Mosta fought hard to hold onto their lead as Gżira were kept at bay until the final whistle.
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