Stripes feast on goals

Malta Independent - - SPORT - Photo: Michael Camil­leri

Birkirkara scored seven times to con­demn Gzira United to a sec­ond dam­ag­ing de­feat in seven days – their third in four matches.

Gzira, for all their will to limit the dam­age in the first half, ended the af­ter­noon well out­classed, as they could not match the vi­brancy or po­tency of Srna Dim­itrov or the in­ten­sity of Birkirkara’s over­all per­for­mance. The fi­nal score re­flected the gulf be­tween the two sides.

Gzira, who let go their two Brazil­ians Roberto and Jo­ceano dur­ing the week, had Moises Avila Perez and Juan Cor­bolan play­ing in at­tack. But it was al­ways go­ing to be la­bo­ri­ous for them to breach the best de­fence in the Premier League. When Avila Perez did, it served only for sta­tis­ti­cal pur­poses.

Birkirkara opened the scor­ing af­ter nine min­utes. Dim­itrov was the ar­chi­tect, provd­ing a through pass to Temile who re­sisted the urge to shoot when faced by the on­rush­ing goal­keeper and slided the ball in­stead to the un­marked Vito Plut to fin­ish off with a rou­tine tap in.

Keeper Az­zopardi had to be treated for an eye­brow cut in the process and play was stopped for about four min­utes.

Temile and Plut had al­ready fluffed a cou­ple of good chances as Gzira were giv­ing away pos­ses­sion too cheaply, when the Gzira keeper rushed off his line to fist away a Dim­itrov cross from the left, the ball fell to Vukanac who headed against the up­right.

Gzira’s best move came into the half’s added time. Avila Perez ad­vanced in­side the Birkirkara area on a Conti pass, but shot over.

What­ever talk by coach Branco Ni­se­vic at half­time, Gzira were briskly dis­man­tled by three Birkirkara goals in as many min­utes soon af­ter the in­ter­val.

On 52 min­utes right back At­tard for­aged down the flank. His cross was headed by An­delkovic to­wards Sr­dan Dim­itrov who volleyed the ball past keeper Az­zopardi.

Hardly a minute later, Ryan Sci­cluna took the ball in his stride and see­ing the goal­keeper out of his line, beat him with a del­i­cate lob from some 35 me­tres out.

Only two min­utes later, Birkirkara scored their fourth. This time Plut played a short pass to cap­tain Gareth Sciber­ras to fin­ish off from close range.

Gzira looked de­mor­alised. They ef­fected all three sub­sti­tu­tions but still col­lapsed to con­cede two more goals in a two-minute spell. On 73 min­utes Temile had his ef­fort turned into a cor­ner by the Gzira keeper. From the re­sul­tant Ba­jada cor­ner, Frank Temile headed in.

Two min­utes later it was 6-0. Sr­dan Dim­itrov picked Mus­cat’s low cross, turned away from his two op­po­nents and scored with a drilling shot from out­side the area.

Gzira at least got a con­so­la­tion goal on 77 min­utes. Sus­bti­tute Nwoba ad­vanced but was blocked in­side the area. The short clear­ance fell to Moises Avila Perez who shot past keeper Ko­pric.

But Birkirkara were not fin­ished yet. They even scored their sev­enth with six min­utes re­main­ing. Sub­sti­tute Mathew Guil­lau­mier’s cross shot from the right, beat keeper Az­zopardi at the far post.

The Gzira keeper was harshly sent off in added time as the ref­eree ad­judged him to have han­dled the ball, af­ter Dim­itrov tried to lob it over, out­side the penalty area, but tele­vi­sion re­plays sug­gested it was in­side.

Stand­ings

Balzan Birkirkara Val­letta Hiber­ni­ans Flo­ri­ana Sliema Ham­run Gzira Tarx­ien St. An­drews Mosta Pem­broke P 9 9 9 8 9 8 9 9 9 8 9 8 W 7 6 5 4 4 4 3 2 2 3 2 1 D 1 1 2 2 2 0 2 3 3 0 1 1 L F A Pts 1 19 10 22 2 25 7 19 2 15 10 17 2 10 8 14 3 10 8 14 4 11 10 12 4 15 14 11 4 11 18 9 4 8 13 9 5 10 15 9 6 9 17 7 6 9 21 4

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