The Malta Independent 17 June 2024, Monday
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Premier League: Spartans start title defence with a hard fought win

Simon Farrugia Sunday, 17 September 2023, 06:11 Last update: about 10 months ago

Champions Hamrun Spartans kicked off their campaign with a win against Balzan thanks to a solitary goal.

Both sides had a busy summer in European football with the Spartans exiting the Uefa Conference League at the third qualifying round stage whereas Balzan bowed out of the same competition at the second round stage.

Though winning the League in style, Hamrun made wholesale changes to their squad appointing Luciana Zauri as the new coach and bringing over six new foreign players. In the process they lost Matthew Guillaumier who moved over to Poland and star players Elvis Mashike and Dodo.

Even Balzan strengthened their squad and after retaining Oliver Spiteri as their coach they acquired the services of Triston Caruana, Jake Grech and a number of foreign players who left a good impression. But losing Angel Torres was a big blow after such a fantastic season.

The first half lacked goalmouth action with both goalkeepers practically having nothing to do.

On nine minutes off a Joseph Mbong cross a Duranovic headed effort was saved by Golovic. And the other action worth noting materialized two minutes from the break when a Freitas Da Silva shot from outside the box ended on the roof of the net.

The Spartans started the second half on the offensive when a Prsa free-kick found Steve Borg but his header just missed out. Hamurn scored the all important goal just past the hour when Prsa played a short corner towards Montebello whose cross found Jonny Do Nascimento with his header finding the net.

Balzan’s reaction was a rather tame one and it was only in the final minutes that they pressed forward but to no avail.

Photo: Domenic Aquilina

 

 

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