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Gzira too strong for Lija

Antoine Borg of Lija Athletic (left) protects the ball from Gzira United's Gary Muir. Photo: Jonathan Borg

Antoine Borg of Lija Athletic (left) protects the ball from Gzira United's Gary Muir. Photo: Jonathan Borg

Gzira made a winning start to the new Premier league season as 10-man Lija endured a difficult return to the top flight following a 4-0 defeat.

Lija promoted as winners of the First Division last term, had Patrick Borg sent off after less than five minutes, for two bookable offences in quick succession.

Darren Abdilla’s side did not really threaten Luke Bonnici in the Lija goal until late on the first half when Karl Pulo managed to chip in a cross into the box where substitute Amadou Samb rose at the far post to head the ball past the goalkeeper with his first touch of the game.

Gzira could have added to their lead after the break as Samb turned provider, delivering an inviting cross into the goalmouth but Ndubisi Okoye headed over the bar.

A header by Samb was hooked off the line by Lija’s Carl Cassar. From the ensuing corner, Cohen guided a perfect ball to Andre White who neatly chested the ball before placing his shot low into the net.

Shy the hour mark, Bonnici did well to smother away a low drive by Andrew Cohen. Abdilla brought on new recruit Roderick Briffa for Okoye and the former Valletta midfielder caught the eye immediately with a surging run from midfield before serving Samba Tounkara who blasted home.

The game was now well and truly over as a contest but Samb piled on the agony for Lija with a rising drive after racing onto another Briffa pass. 

Samb was voted the BOV player of the match.

 

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