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Sirens edge Żebbug to steer away from danger

Sirens' Gary Camilleri hits a cross ahead of Zebbug Rangers challenge. Photo: Domenic Borg


SIRENS             1         

Almeida 53 o.g


J. Azzopardi-6, H. Motta-6, S. Bugeja-5.5, L. Almeida-6, Y. Tonna-5.5, A. Mizzi-5.5 (61 S. Miloskovic), S. Jankovic-5.5 (61 A. Soto), C. Lokoli Ngoy-5.5, R. Sanchez-6, J. Macedo-6.5, G. Gesualdi-5.5 (81 K. Bondin).


M. Grech-5.5, G. Camilleri-5.5, K. Sano-6.5, R. Tachikawa-6, S. Cipriott-6.5 (77 S. Sessegnon), A. Borg-6, J. Walker-6, A. Vaikanah-6, R. Correa-6.5, I. Kolev-6 (88 S. Arab), D. Jackson-5.5.

Referee Slobodan Petrovic

Yellow Cards L. Almeida, K. Sano, J. Macedo, A. Borg, H. Motta, R. Correa

BOV Player of the Match Ricardo Correa (Sirens)

Sirens moved to safer waters on Saturday as a goal early in the second half handed them a narrow win over Żebbuġ Rangers.

This clash was truly a six-pointer as just five points separated the two teams lying third and fourth from bottom. Sirens were eyeing a win to steer away from the danger zone while a win for Żebbuġ could have seen them narrow the gap to just two points. However, the pressure was all on Żebbuġ, especially after Santa Lucia’s win over Pieta’ Hotspurs which put them just three points behind the Rangers.

Throughout the 90 minutes, Sirens were the better side, creating the better chances but an own goal had to determine the winner.

Coach Winston Muscat made three changes for Sirens as Gary Camilleri, Kei Sano, and Armah Ayo Vaikanah were all handed a start while for Żebbuġ, Shaun Bugeja was preferred to Randall Vella.

Sirens held the initiative in the first half although Żebbuġ went close to taking the lead on 13 minutes with a Stefan Jankovic freekick from the left which ended wide. The St. Paul’s Bay side replied with a Ricardo Correa corner from the right from which Adrian Borg headed just wide on 26 minutes. Two minutes later, another corner from the right by Correa was parried by goalkeeper Jamie Azzopardi.

On the half-hour, Henrique Marcelino Motta just missed the target off a Jankovic corner from the left, and two minutes later, Kei Sano concluded a great solo effort with a shot from inside the area which was, however, neutralised by the Żebbuġ goalkeeper.

Eight minutes into the second half, Sirens managed to take the lead. Ricardo Correa served Jacob Walker on the left and the latter’s cross was deflected by Leandro Almeida past goalkeeper Azzopardi for an unfortunate own goal. 

Żebbuġ tried to react and Motta headed wide on 67 minutes off a Yanis Tonna freekick from the left. Ten minutes later, Charles Lokoli Ngoy delivered a fine cross from the right but Motta’s header ended over the bar.

In the final stages, the Rangers increased the pressure, going close one minute from time with a goal-bound effort by Jeferson Macedo, off a cross by Roberto Sanchez and a deflection by Stanimir Miloskovic, which was blocked by a defender. Finally, two minutes in added time, Motta had the opportunity to level matters but the Brazilian hit wide from an ideal position inside the area.

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