Gzira U Ra­bat A Two-goal Cor­bolan leads Gzira into last 16

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - SPORT -

Gzira U.:

A. Curmi, N. Mus­cat, Z. Scerri, R. Soares (DP Mam­bouana 58), A. Co­hen, J. Cor­bolan, C. Gatt Bal­dacchino, R. Briffa (C. Sam­mut 75), J. Pereira, T. Veronese, H. Garba (L. Brin­cat 67). AJ Zam­mit, I. Mi­callef (S. Mi­callef 86), J. Caru­ana, N. At­tard (E. J. Good­man 75), B. Mi­callef, L. Vella (I. Abela 69), D. Fal­zon, K. Mus­cat, J. Sc­ho­ley, M. Xerri, Z. Tanti. M. Spi­teri. A. Camil­leri, P. Apap. F. Zam­mit. J. Cor­bolan 37, 66, A. Co­hen 79, Z. Scerri 83, B. Mi­callef 29, M. Xerri 78

Ra­bat A.: Ref­eree: Asst refs: 4th of­fi­cial: Scorers: Yel­low cards:

Henry Brin­cat

Gzira United ad­vanced to the Last 16 of the com­pe­ti­tion when they yes­ter­day over­came sec­ond divi­sion side Ra­bat’s chal­lenge to the tune of 4-0.

As the re­sult sug­gests, it was an easy win for the Ma­roons de­spite the fact that it took them a whole 37 min­utes to score their open­ing goal through Juan Car­los Cor­bolan. The same player made it 2-0 early in the sec­ond half, vet­eran mid­fielder An­drew Co­hen scored the third and Zachary Scerri notched the fourth and fi­nal goal which sealed the is­sue.

The Pre­mier League lead­ers had to do with­out their star striker Amadou Samb, ruled out through a long term in­jury. They also had goalie An­thony Curmi tak­ing the place of Justin Haber who was on the sub­sti­tutes bench.

Gzira en­joyed the lion’s share of the ex­changes but sec­ond divi­sion Ra­bat were very well or­gan­ised at the back and the Ma­roons had to be con­tent with just a one goal lead at the in­ter­val.

In fact, de­spite their over­all su­pe­ri­or­ity, the Ma­roons sim­ply failed to find gaps in the Ajax de­fence and the lat­ter’s goalie An­drew Zam­mit was never re­ally tested apart from the ac­tion that led to the only goal that he suf­fered.

Ra­bat were forced to de­fend for most of the time and they did quite well in hold­ing the Ma­roons force to just a sin­gle goal lead by the end of the first 45 min­utes.

But in the 2nd half, Gzira fi­nally turned their su- pe­ri­or­ity into goals as they added three more to their tally for a con­vinc­ing vic­tory.

The first ac­tion ar­rived on the 26th minute when fol­low­ing a cross by An­drew Co­hen, it was Zachary Scerri who headed wide.

Six min­utes later, it was Niko­lai Mus­cat who tried his luck from out­side the area, but the ball went over the bar.

Gzira fi­nally opened the scor­ing on 37 min­utes when af­ter a neatly ex­e­cuted move, Haruna Garba set Juan Cor­bolan in the Ra­bat area, and the lat­ter made no mis­take from five me­tres.

In Ra­bat’s first at­tack in the 39th minute, it had to be Clif­ford Gatt Bal­dacchino to clear in ex­tremis be­fore Jean Sc­ho­ley could in­flict any dam­age.

Soon af­ter the start of the sec­ond half, Zachary Scerri had a shot hit­ting the side rig­ging.

On 54 min­utes, Niko­lai Mus­cat tested goalie Zam­mit se­ri­ously, but the Ra­bat goalie was equal to the task.

Gzira added a sec­ond goal on 66 min­utes when Cor­bolan re­ceived a good pass from Co­hen, ad­vanced into the area and hit a low shot past Zam­mit.

Gzira as­cer­tained them­selves of their win (if there was ever any doubt) when Co­hen scored the third with an ex­cel­lent free­kick which left goalie Zam­mit star­ing.

The Ma­roons were now in full throt­tle and on 83 min­utes, it was Zachary Scerri who added a fourth af­ter a Ra­bat de­fender’s clear­ance hit the up­right.

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