Ħamrun Spartans were in a class of their own as they eased past Rabat Ajax by three clear goals in a one-sided encounter at the Centenary Stadium.
The Spartans, inspired by Haruna Garba and Sunday Nanapere, gave a torrid time to the Rabat defence who could not contain the swift movement of the two forwards.
The match turned out to be a lively affair early on with the Spartans gradually seizing control of proceedings and it was no surprise that they took the lead on 12 minutes.
Trevor Cilia picked Garba who quickly squared the ball towards young Jake Grech who easily tapped the ball into the net.
Ħamrun continued to play the better football and went close again on 21 minutes when Garba’s header from a Tabone free-kick was saved for a corner by Jamie Azzopardi.
On 32 minutes the Rabat custodian made a point blank save on Cilia after the Ħamrun winger was set free by Garba.
The Magpies finally threatened five minutes from the break, when Francesco Azzopardi headed just wide from close in following a David Azzopardi corner.
But a minute later the Spartans doubled their lead.
Garba hit a fierce drive from 35 metres out that swerved in the top right hand corner of the net with Jamie Azzopardi helpless.
Ħamrun put the game to bed on 48 minutes when Garba was too strong for the Rabat defence when he darted into the area following a Tabone cross to lob the ball over Jamie Azzopardi’s head.
It was the Spartans again who came close on 68 minute when Grech just missed the target following some good work by the steaming Garba.
Four minutes later Garba again darted through the Ajax defence but was foiled by Jamie Azzopardi.
Rabat Ajax: J. Azzopardi, N. Caruana, J. Caruana, S. Gauci, F. Azzopardi, B. Micallef, C. Vella (Z. Tanti), A. Smeir, D. Falzon, L. Chiedozie, D. Azzopardi.
Ħamrun: D. Cassar, P. Chircop, G. Azzopardi, M.A. Borg (M. Busuttil), M. Hrubsa, J. Grech, O. Anonam, A. Tabone, S. Nanapere (M. Mucciardi), T. Cilia (E. Briffa), H. Garba.
Referee: Malcolm Spiteri