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Sirens hit Sliema Wanderers for five to seal Premier League status

Sirens cruised past Sliema Wanderers on Saturday. Photo: Jonathan Bugeja



Gavrila 8, 59; Borg 14, Effiong 55, Cardoso 57


T. Aquilina-4, J. Morales-4, G. Aquilina-5, J. Mintoff-5 (58 L. Muscat), M Scerri-6 (73 D. Vukovic), E. Agius-5, J. Engerer-6 (75 O. Elouni), M. Piciollo-5 (58 J.P. Farrugia), O. Linton-5 (73 D. Holla), M. Beerman-5, J. Goncalves-5.


J. Debono-6, C. Borg-7 (78 M. Maggi), B. Gavrila-8 (72 A. Nakov), A. Effiong-6, A. Borg-6, J. Walker-6, C. Zammit Lonardelli-6, A. Cini-6 (72 T. Tabone), C. Riascos-5, V. Vieira-7 (78 M. Lornis), R. Cardoso-7.

Referee: Daniel Portelli.

Yellow cards: Aquilina, Walker, Riascos, Cloth, C. Borg.

BOV player of the match: Bogdan Gavrila (Sirens)

Sirens’ target early last month was a loftier one than ‘just’ securing their place in the Premier League.

A sudden slump in form resulting in three consecutive defeats had them setting their sights on the small fry of avoiding the drop in the Play-Out pool.

That objective is now reached after their breezing victory over relegated Sliema Wanderers.

With that ‘goal’ in mind, Sirens were in no mood for mercy yesterday.

A silky start to the second half by Sliema, heralded by Bogdan Gavrila’s expertise and jinking play coincided with a sudden slump in the Sliema ranks.

With Vitor Vieira serving as decoy in the central striking position and the Romanian winger constantly fitting in open spaces, Sirens’ play flowed and so did the goals.

Any pre-set plans Sliema had of enticing the Sirens forwards before moving the ball forward towards their striker Matteo Piciollo misfired with an initial two-goal cushion inside the 15 minutes for Winston Muscat’s side.

Gavrila ran inside the goal area to dink the ball past Timothy Aquilina.

In the 14th minute, Conor Borg bundled in the second goal for Sirens after Adrian Borg ‘s effort was pushed away by Aquilina.

Sirens’ bonus start came in useful early in the second half when first Jean Carlos Goncalves saw his effort hooked off the line by Adrian Borg. From the rebound, then it was Mark Scerri’s turn to see his rasping shot bounce off the upright.

But Sirens took up the initiative once again.

On 55 minutes, Alfred Effiong ran inside the area to meet an inch-perfect cross from Gavrila before shooting past Aquilina.

Neto Cardoso was next on target two minutes later when the Sliema goalkeeper Aquilina could not hold Gavrila’s effort. The loose ball dropped to Cardoso who drove his shot into the net.

Sirens’ supremacy was total. On 59 minutes, the Romanian striker rounded off another expert piece of work with a low shot from outside the area.

With Gavrila and Cardoso calling the tune to make sure the game would go their team’s way, they could at this point pass the baton to the younger faces in the squad.

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