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Matchday 20: Valletta 1 Gzira U 1

Valletta vs Gzira U

Valletta and Gżira United had to settle for a point each as they crossed swords in a crucial match from the bottom half of the Premier League.

The Citizens registered their second consecutive draw as they move to three points behind Mosta, although they are still third from bottom.

On the other hand, the Maroons are now seventh on 25 points but just two points clear of the drop.

With six matches, the relegation battle continues to intensify with five points separatine the six teams placed between 7th and 12th in the 14-team championship.

Gżira United tried to impose themselves on the game from the early stages of the game, in search for an early lead.

The Maroons threatened more than once through set-pieces including a Thiago Espindola’s effort from the edge of the area but none of the chances were enough to beat Alessandro Guarnone.

Nonetheless, it was the Citizens who broke the deadlock with a brilliant freekick by Brandon Paiber who followed up last weekend’s goal against Ħamrun Spartans for his third strike of the season.

Gżira managed to level terms through Kyle Spence who capitalised on a low cross by Thaylor Aldama.

At the break, Valletta made one change with Milan Jezdimirovic replacing Goncalo Braganca who was cautioned in the opening 45 minutes.

As the second half wore on, neither side could muster up a serious chance with Valletta’s coach, Juan Cruz Gil, opting to deploy David Garba to bolster their attacking line.

Gżira came close to retake the lead when Carlos Filho’s header was blocked by Guarnone before ricocheting on the crossbar in one of the rare chances after the restart.

That was meant to be the game’s final chance as with the decline in the match’s tempo and the two teams not risking much, Valletta and Gżira could not go beyond the draw.

Source: Times of Malta

VALLETTA: A. Guarnone; J. Bolanos, E. Ruiz, S. Dimech (65 D. Garba), G. Braganca (M. Jezdimirovic), J. Azzopardi (K. Ewurum), F. Falcone, B. Paiber, V. Filho (J. Benites), N. Micallef, A. Silas.

GŻIRA UNITED: D. Zarkov; C. Filho, G. Bohrer, Thaylor, Z. Scerri, M. Dias, K. Spence, F. Zuniga, Ewertton (A. Borg), B. Borg (D. Boadu), T. Espindola.

Scorers: 16′ B. Paiber (V), 29′ K. Spence (G)

Referee: Ishmael Barbara.

Yellow cards: Braganca, Aldama G),  J. Bolanos (V)

BOV Player of the Match: B. Paiber (V)

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