The Malta Independent 21 May 2019, Tuesday

BOV Premier League: Super sub Darmanin proves decisive

Simon Farrugia Wednesday, 13 March 2019, 19:53 Last update: about 3 months ago
Photos: James Galea
Photos: James Galea

Birkirkara                 0
Ħamrun S.                1

Birkirkara: K. Naumovski, D. Chapoval, M. Andelkovic (M.Guillaumier 46'), L. Montebello (C. Attard 78'), J. Bezzina, K. Zammit, E. Ferreira, N. Vukanac, M. Mifsud (T. De Souza 60'), T. Agius, M. De Siqueira


Ħamrun S.: E. Bartolo, E. Pepe, T. Caruana, C. Hennenberg (C. Borg 68'), W. Domoraud, M. Gauci, M. Criaco, K. Micallef, O. Nikolopoulos, C. Calil, K. Tulimieri (R. Darmanin 78')

Referee: Malcolm Spiteri

Asst refs: Jurgen Spiteri, Paul Apap

4th official: Ishmael Barbara

Scorers: Ryan Darmanin 81'

Yellow cards: T. Agius, R. Darmanin  

Red Card: Terence Agius (Hamrun S.)

Player of the match: Marco Criaco (Hamrun Spartans)  

TMI Top 3:  1.  M. Criaco       2.   C. Calil        3.    T. Caruana

A goal nine minutes from time by Ryan Darmanin who had been on the pitch for only three minutes proved to be the deciding factor in a match between Birkirkara and Hamrun. A match which never came to life though Hamrun held the edge over their opponents.

The Stripes went into this match on a run of four unbeaten matches and two consecutive wins whereas Hamrun following defeats at the hands of Mosta and Sliema respectively held Hibernians in their last outing.

This was a match between two teams vying for a place in Europe with Birkirkara in fifth place two points ahead of their opponents Hamrun Spartans. This win has now put the Spartans in fifth place one point ahead of Birkirkara.

Birkirkara welcomed back Chapoval who started instead of Thiago De Souza with Michael Mifsud replacing Matthew Guillaumier in the starting line up.

Hamrun made one change from their last match with Matthew Gauci given a starting berth instead of Andre' Scicluna.

In the first round,Hamrun defeated Birkirkara 2-1.

The first half missed creativity from both sides with the only shots at goal coming from Hamrun. In the 19th minute when a Tulimieri shot was punched away by goalkeeper Naumovski the ball came in Calil's path but his final shot hit the side rigging.

And on the stroke of half time a Triston Caruana free kick was met by Nikolopoulus head but his effort just missed the target.

On the restart Hamrun were still on the front foot and in the 48th minute a Tulimieri shot sailed over the bar. The Stripes were finding it difficult to break the opposing rearguard with goalkeeper Bartolo never being threatened.

In the 57th minute a De Siqueira diagonal shot ended high over the bar. With Hamrun responding seconds later through a Criaco headed effort which went inches wide. And in the 62nd minute a Calil shot from  the edge of the area scraped the upright.

Once again finding it difficult of find an opening the Stripes tried to find a way through long range shots. In fact in the 72nd minute Johann Bezzina fired a shot from about 30 metres but failed to find the frame of goal.

But the best chance came Hamrun's way eleven minutes from time when Domoraud found Ryan Darmanin who played the ball into Calil's direction but his shot though well placed went wide off the mark.

And in the 81st minute Hamrun opened the score when in a swift counter attack Criaco passed towards the onrushing Ryan Darmanin whose low drive from an acute angle beat Naumovski all ends up.

Till the end Hamrun controlled well with Birkirkara failing to mount a proper reaction with Birkirkara having Terence Agius sent off  deep into stoppage time following an elbowing incident.

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