Hamrun Spartans 2
Sliema Wanderers 1
Hamrun Spartans registered a crucial win over Sliema Wanderers to extend their lead above the danger zone.
Sliema knocked on Hamrun’s door on minute 17, when Jean Paul Farrugia directed his header towards David Cassar’s goalpost, but his effort went inches wide. The Blues continued to pile pressure on Ħamrun’s back-line, but it was the Spartans who forged ahead. At the brink of half-time, John Mintoff deliberately hit the ball with his hands and referee Matthew De Gabriele ordered a penalty. From the spot, skipper Jake Grech placed the ball to the opposite side of Glenn Zammit, giving Ħamrun the lead after 45 minutes.
The Spartans doubled their lead early in the second half, when Saturday Nanapere raced towards Sliema’s back-line before setting up the ball towards Grech, who immediately whipped in a dangerous cross which Marko Potezica placed into his own net. Sliema’s woes continued when on minute 66 Mintoff was sent off for a second yellow card. Nonetheless, Sliema managed to pull one back on the 70th minute, when Dos Santos converted from the penalty spot, after Farrugia was fouled by Sergio Raphael Dos Anjos.
Sliema pushed everyone upfront in final minutes, in an attempt to level terms, but Hamrun’s resilience proved too strong for them.
SLIEMA WANDERERS - Glenn Zammit, Frank Temile, Marko Potezica, Stefano Bianciardi (88′ Gabriel Aquilina), Peter Xuereb, Wisdom Salomon (51′ Ryan Spiteri), Denni Rocha dos Santos, John Mintoff, Mark Scerri, Beppe Muscat, Jean Paul Farrugia.
Subs not used: Giuseppe Sarao,, Matias Muchardi, Luca Brincat, Andrea Martinelli, Gary Muscat.
Coach: John Buttigieg
HAMRUN SPARTANS - David Cassar, Leandro Wallace Motta dos Santos (57′ Saturday Nanapere), Karl Micallef, Luke Sciberras, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza (80′ Patrick Jean Teixeira Maia), Massimiliano Giusti (85′ Philip Chircop), Luke Grech, Manolito Micallef, Jake Grech, Luis Miguel Vergara Rodrigues, Sergio Raphael dos Anjos.
Subs not used: Lyden Moore, Mark Borg, Brandon Diego Paiber, Trevor Cilia.
Coach: Jacques Scerri
Referee: Matthew De Gabriele
Assistant Referees: Luke Portelli, Sammy Attard
Fourth Official: Alan Mario Sant
Yellow Cards: Giusti, Scerri, Mintoff, Raphael
Red Cards: 66′ John Mintoff
Scorers: 45+1′ Jake Grech pen, 61′ own goal Marko Potezica, 71′ Denni Rocha dos Santos
Images courtesy of Foto Domingo