The Malta Independent 13 August 2022, Saturday

Conference League: Krastev’s 95th minute goal shatters Spartans’ gallant display

Friday, 5 August 2022, 08:18 Last update: about 8 days ago

Hamrun S. Levski Sofia 0-1

Ħamrun S: H. Bonello, S. Borg, M. Guillaumier, E. Mashike (I. Nedelkjovic 68’), J. Soares (B. Domingos 82’), R. Prsa (L. Montebello 82’), O. Bjelicic, J. Corbalan (K. Micallef 88’), Jonny (M. Sowe 68’), E. Marcelina, R. Camenzuli

Levski Sofia: N. Mihaylov, J. Petris, K. Van Der Kap, W De Freitas, G. Milanov (I. Stefanov 79’), W. De Melo, R. Dos Santos (M. Petkov 78’), B. Bari (A. Kraev 80’), N. Sundberg, F. Krastev, J. Chambers

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Referee: Willy Delayod (France)

Hamrun european dreams were substantially shattered yesterday as Levski Sofia scored a winner on 95 minutes to emerge winners at Ta’ Qali.

It was a heart break moment for the Spartans who surely did not deserve to leave the pitch on the losing end.

Followed by a massive number of loyal supporters who packed both sides of the main stand. the Spartans gave their all and were never inferior against a side who surely has more experience in the european field.

The match was very balanced in the first half, and in the second half the Spartans were surely the better team. Late in the game Levski took the upper hand as the Spartans appeared to tire out and seconds from the final whistle Levski found the winner.

After the game coach Branko Nisevic and star midfielder Matthew Guillaumier said that they will give their all in Sofia to try to turn aroundthe score.

It will surely be an uphill struggle for the Spartans who will need a five star performance and a good amount of luck, which was surely lacking yesterday at Ta’ Qali.

Difficult start for the Spartans when on nione minutes Levski were awarded a controversial penalty, but from the spot Krastev sent Bonello the wrong way but his shot was stopped by the upright.

On 29 minutes Levski goalkeeper Mihaylov made a good save off Soares, and minutes later the same Mihaylov blocked a Prsa freekick.

Hamrun were in full control in the second half, missing the best chance of the game when Jonny passed towards Dodo whose effort was somehow blocked by Mihaylov. In the final phase of the match

Hamrun lost their composure with Levski taking the initiative and on 95 minutes found the winner when a Stefanov shot was deflected by a Hamrun defender right in the path of Krastev who fired home from an ideal position.

Photo Domenic Aquilina

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