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Gżira rally to overcome Spartans

Amadou Samb (right) of Gżira United shields the ball from Ħamrun Spartans' Daniel Zerafa. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Amadou Samb (right) of Gżira United shields the ball from Ħamrun Spartans' Daniel Zerafa. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

ĦAMRUN SPARTANS        1

Micallef 57

GŻIRA UNITED                2

Samb 68 pen.

Garba 80

Gżira United needed a late goal by substitute Haruna Garba to overcome Ħamrun Spartans by the odd goal in three to maintain their charge of a top three finish.

It was a hard-fought victory for the Maroons who had looked second best for much of the first half.

In fact the woodwork denied the Spartans an opener on 20 minutes when Guilherme saw his shot cannon off the bar.

Two minutes later, the Spartans threatened again when Dale Camilleri’s long-range shot was somehow pushed away by Gżira goalkeeper Anthony Curmi.

Marco Criaco was denied an opener by Anthony Curmi on 33 minutes when after receiving from Guilherme he saw his shot pushed over by the Gżira custodian.

It was the Spartans who deservedly took the lead on 57 minutes. Guilherme won possession in midfied and fed Ricardo Faria who picked Micallef on the edge of the area and Spartans striker let fly a curling drive that nestled into the top corner of the net.

On 62 minutes Ndubisi Okoye had perfect chance when he intercepted Tiago’s pass and with only Galea to beat he shot straight at the Ħamrun goalkeeper.

The Maroons were awarded a penalty five minutes later when Zerafa was harshly adjudged to have fouled Okoye inside the area, albeit it looked there was minimal contact, and from the spot Samb sent Galea the wrong way.

Ħamrun almost restored their lead on 76 minutes when in a swift break Faria played in Micallef who was denied by the onrushing Curmi and from the rebound Guilherme fired wide.

The Reds paid dearly for this miss as ten minutes from time, Garba, who had just replaced Zarate, used his power to head the ball past Galea to hand the Maroons all three points.

BOV Player of the match Marco Criaco (Ħamrun Spartans).

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