The Malta Independent 24 October 2021, Sunday

Sigh of relief for Spartans as Greens succumb to first defeat

Simon Farrugia Sunday, 26 September 2021, 07:35 Last update: about 28 days ago

Ħamrun Spartans returned to winning ways when they defeated Floriana by the odd goal in three. For the Greens this was their first seasonal defeat.

Floriana went into this match still unbeaten following three draws with Santa Lucia, Sliema Wanderers and Birkirkara with their first win being a convincing one against neighbours Valletta by a 3-0.

On the other hand much more was expected from Ħamrun Spartans who so far had been disappointing . In fact they lost three of their first four matches against Valletta, Birkirkara and Balzan. Their only maximum points materialized from a hard earned win against Mosta.

Missing for Mark Buttigieg’s team three important players namely Juan Corbalan, Matthew Guillaumier and Predrag Djordjevic all out injured.

Floriana threatened first when on 5 minutes off a Camenzuli cross from the left side in came Magri Overend but his shot was saved by Bonello. And in the 10th minute another chance for the Greens  when Bonello tipped onto a corner a Caseres shot from inside the area.

In the 18th minute Hamrun countered with Soares finding Sasere with his diagonal shot easily saved by goalkeeper Kitanov. And a minute later the Spartans forged ahead. It was through a long range shot from Isaac Ntow whose shot left Kitanov static with the ball hitting the net to the delight of their supporters.

Ħamrun were now dictating matters and nearing the half hour they double their lead. It was in the 28th minute when Soares made his way into the opposing area crossed towards Sasere who was fouled by Callegari with referee Agius pointing to the spot. From the resultant kick Franklin Sasere made no mistake.

Three minutes from the end of the first half Gambin set Soares in the area whose acrobatic shot sailed over the bar. On the other end Floriana responded through a Keqi cross shot which was blocked into a corner by Bonello.

Six minutes into the second period a Soufiane free kick was saved by Kitanov. Floriana back into the fold in the 53rd minute when Gojkovic failed to clear with the ball falling into Caseres path who blasted into the corner of the net.

Three minutes later Camenzuli was put through Magri Overend but his acute shot hit the side rigging. On the hour on the other end an Oyama free kick was header just over the bar by Marcelina.  And in another Hamrun attack Oyama found Soufiane whose header was saved by Kitanov.

Floriana were now holding the initiative with Hamrun countering and in one of these attacks they went near to increase their lead. Soares played the ball towards Oyama with the latters cross finding Sasere but his header from an ideal position ended over the bar.

Photo: Domenic Aquilina


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