The Malta Independent 4 December 2020, Friday

Premier League: Late goals hand Sirens the maximum points

Simon Farrugia Monday, 16 November 2020, 07:03 Last update: about 18 days ago

Following the euphoria that ensued the win against Andorra and the expectations for the match against the Faroe Islands which will decide Malta’s fate, the attention of local football enthusiasts turned to the domestic league. The only encounter of the weekend was that played between Lija Athletic and Sirens, the latter having to catch up with the calendar due to quarantine restrictions which hit their entire squad.

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Sirens ran winners by two goals to nil with their goals coming in the last minutes of the match. It was a match which the St Paul’s Bay outfit, who finished in a record breaking position last season desperately wanted to win. But it was no stroll in the park for Steve D’Amato’s team who found it difficult to break a resilient Lija Athletic.

For Sirens this was the first win following two defeats and two draws. On the other hand Lija, after such an encouraging start to this campaign are now facing reality and coming to terms with life in the Premier Division. For them this was the fifth defeat from seven matches played so far.

Veteran striker Michael Mifsud put his name on the score sheet to continue finding the net following his last internationl goal in the friendly against Liechenstein. Pity that deep into stoppage time a great week for him was marred by a sending off. Before the match Sirens presented Mifsud what a memento to mark his achievements with the National Team.

On 5 minutes Lija went near when off an Alhinho corner a Juan Gill Cruz header just missed the target. In the 13th minute Lija went near once again through an Erjon Beu free kick but his shot went wide off the mark.

Lija kept piling on the pressure and midway through the first half a Beu diagonal shot was turned onto a corner by Cassar. And a few minutes later Brandan tried his luck but to no avail.

Sirens responded nine minutes from the break when goalkeeper Bonnici saved a Romao free kick.

The St Paul’s Bay outfit started the second half brightly and on the  hour Domoraud set De Oliveira only for his shot to be blocked.

And six minutes from the end Sirens broke the deadlock.  A Mifsud shot was blocked with the ball ending in Wellington de Oliveira’s path who from close range slotted the ball home.

Two minutes later and Sirens sealed the issue.  This time it was the other way round with Wellington finding Michael Mifsud whose low drive beat goalkeeper Bonnici. In the dying moments Mifsud was given the marching orders.

Photo: Domenic Aquilina

 

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