The Malta Independent 1 March 2021, Monday

Premier League: Doumbia late strike leaves Hamrun Spartans on top of the standings

Chris Cassar Monday, 22 February 2021, 07:17 Last update: about 7 days ago

Substitute Seydou Doumbia scored a late winner for the league leaders Hamrun Spartans who had to struggle hard to  grab the fifth successive win and again move two points clear over Hibernians.

For Balzan it was yet another disappointment, a disappointment that came after a galant display against the high flying Spartans.

But Balzan once again left the pitch empty handed and their position in the bottom part of the table is slowly but surely becoming a desperate one.

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Hamrun took an early lead and doubled the score half way through the first half, as the Spartans looked set for a runaway victory over Balzan.

However when Balzan reduced the arrears at the start of the second half, it was a completely different game, with the Spartans losing their composure and with Balzan believing they might make it.

And fifteen minutes from time the Hamrun defence was caught on the wrong foot and Balzan obtained the equaliser.

But the Spartans showed character in recovering and chasing the winner, a winner which they obtained six minutes from time.

After only four minutes Hamrun Spartans took the lead when Karl Micallef’s cross was met by Franklin Sasere who headed beautifully home.

On twelve minutes Balzan were rather unlucky when an Uros Ljubomirac shot slammed against the crossbar.

On 24 minutes Hamrun doubled the score with a great goal from Joseph Mbong who fired a great shot that finished in the top corner of the net.

Hamrun were now in full control and went close to a third goal when the polished Guillaumier rounded a defender but his shot missed the upright by a whisker.

Three minutes into the second half the match took a twist when Andrejic scored an incredible goal direct from a freekick from a great distance, with Hamrun goalkeeper Bartolo simply helpless.

On 56 minutes Andrejic tried again, but this time his shot on the turn just sailed over the bar.

On 69 minutes Hamrun almost put the game to bed but Soares’ freekick hit the upper part of the crossbar.

On 76 minutes Balzan drew level with the Hamrun defence caught on the wrong foot with substitute Alfred Effiong advancing and beating Bartolo to make it 2-2.

Hamrun however were not to be denied and pushed forward in search of the winner and were rewarded six minutes from time when from a freekick action, Seydou Doumbia controlled the ball and shot home from close range.

 Photo: James Galea

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