Gzira United extended their positive run on top the BOV Premier League table as Haruna Garba notched a hat-trick in a 3 – 0 win over ten-man Balzan.
For this match Balzan fielded Ivan Bozovic instead of Andrija Majdevac. On the other hand Nikolai Muscat and Zachary Scerri started in the Gzira U starting line-up instead of Jorge Pereira Da Silva and the suspended Andrew Cohen.
Towards the end of the first half Balzan encountered a stumbling block as they were down to ten men when Nenad Sljivic was shown a second yellow card. In the second half Balzan had to struggle against a total dominance by their opponents.
Gzira were the most aggressive inside the initial stages and after two minutes Amadou Samb made his way into the opposing area but his low shot was neutralized by goalkeeper Steven Sultana.
In the 5th minute, Balzan had a good chance to score when Alex Da Paixao Alves rounded goalkeeper Justin Haber but his shot was cleared to safety by Roderick Briffa.
In the 12th minute Amadou Samb passed towards Haruna Garba only for his final shot to be saved by an agile Steven Sultana.
In the 31st minute Milos Lepovic tried his luck with a cross shot from the left but it was saved by Justin Haber.
In the 38th minute a long range effort by Haruna Garba was saved by goalkeeper Sultana.
Just before half time Gzira U were awarded a penalty after Nenad Sljivic was given the marching orders for his second bookable offence, for grabbed slightly the jersey of Nikolai Muscat in the area. But Amadou Samb’s effort from the penalty spot was excellently parried in two attempts by Steven Sultana.
In the second half Gzira came out more aggressive knowing Balzan were now down to ten man.
In fact on the 56th minute they managed to break the dead lock. Nikolai Muscat provided an assist towards HARUNA GARBA whose fierce shot, deflected by defender Michael Johnson, gave Steven Sultana no chance.
The Maroons kept on dictating matters and in the 80th minute they doubled the score when it was once again HARUNA GARBA, whose shot from the edge of the box hit the crossbar before the ball ended at the back of the net.
But it was not over yet as in the 85th minute HARUNA GARBA collected a good pass from Jorge Pereira Da Silva and converted from close range sealing the issue by grabbing his hat trick.
Till the end of the match Gzira United kept control of the match winning an important win which consolidates their top of the table position.
GŻIRA : Justin Haber, Nikolai Muscat, Zach Scerri, Rodolfo Soares, Juan Corbalan (Christian Sammut 90′), Edison Bilbao Zarate, Roderick Briffa, Fernando Barbosa Pereira, Thomas Veronese, Amadou Samb (Jorge Pereira da Silva 83′), Haruna Garba (Luca Brincat 88′).
BALZAN : Steven Sultana, Justin Grioli (Siraj Arab Eddin 70′), Dale Camilleri (Michael Johnson 46’), Nenad Sljivic, Alex Da Paixao Alves, Alfred Effiong, Uros Ljubomirac, Ivan Bozovic, Elkin Serrano Valero, Ricardo Correa Duarte, Milos Lepovic.
Referee: Alan Mario Sant
BOV Player of the Match: Haruna Garba