Gzira United registered a second win on the trot as they defeated Balzan 3-1 in a direct clash between two teams fighting for a top-six finish.
Balzan can find themselves in the relegation pool after their fourth defeat on the trot.
On the other hand, Gżira climbed to fourth place in the Premier League with this impressive win over Balzan.
Before kick-off, the Balzan players gathered around Bojan Kaljevic who was presented a commemorative shirt bearing the number 100 after recently joining a select list of players to break into the 100-goal barrier, while Sean Cipriott was also presented with a commemorative shirt for marking his 100th game in the Premier League
Gżira exerted some good early pressure on the Balzan defense, with Maxuell Maia proving a constant threat with his excellent performance.
In the11th minute, Gzira had to thank defender Gary Camilleri for them to open the score, for bringing down MAXUELL MAIA in the area with a tackle. The same Brazilian did not fail to convert the resulting penalty kick.
After this goal, Balzan reacted and took control with Milan Duric, Uros Ljubomirac, and Milos Mijic pulling the strings for Balzan.
In the 19th minute, Kaljevic managed to score his 103rd goal in the Premier League. Goalkeeper Darijan Zarkov failed to hold onto Adam Bradshaw’s shot and the BOJAN KALJEVIC was there first to react in the area, firing home the equaliser.
Balzan pushed forward with quick counterattacks and in the 23rd minute, they came close with a free-kick taken by Milos Mijic but goalkeeper Darijan Zarkov did well to push the ball away.
The game ebbed and flowed, with both teams pressing for a second goal.
A Gzira attack ended with Clive Gauci heading just wide to complete a delightful move with Zach Scerri, the architect providing an exquisite pass.
In the 50th minute, Gzira regained the lead five minutes courtesy of MAXUELL MAIA who received an assist by Jackson Mendoza and after entering the area, lobbed the ball over the goalkeeper.
In the 69th minute, defender Milos Zlatkovic had to leave the pitch injured and was replaced by Aleksa Andrejic. With the change, Gżira found open space down the right flank for Zachary Scerri and Jefferson De Assis to maneuver.
Gżira broke through the fragile Balzan rearguard twice. Jefferson De Assis saw his shot saved comfortably by Vukasin Vranes and Clive Gauci, failed to pick out Jefferson De Assis who was closely marked by Sean Cipriott.
But in the 84th minute, Gzira scored the third goal when, following a great move from the right flank by Jefferson De Assis, substitute TONI KOLEGA settled Gzira’s nerves with a composed finish.
Balzan: Vuksain Vranes, Augustine Loof, Milan Duric, Uros Ljubomirac, Milos Zlatkovic (Aleksa Andrejic 70’), Neil Frendo, Gary Camilleri (Michael Johnson 58’), Milos Mijic, Adam Bradshaw (J. Grech 58‘), Bojan Kaljevic (Suleiman Jalu 77’), Sean Cipriott.
Gzira United: Darijan Zarkov, Gabriel Bohrer, Marko Cosic, Luke Tabone, Nikolai Muscat, Zachary Scerri, Clive Gauci (JeanPaul Attard 82’), Antonio Pavic, Maxwell Maia (Toni Kolega 64’), Jefferson De Assis (Nevin Portelli 89’), Jackson Mendoza.
Referee :Trustin Farrugia Cann.
BOV Player of the match: Maxuell Maia (Gzira United).