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Ħamrun Spartans on the brink after overcoming Mosta

MOSTA 1

Brincat 61

ĦAMRUN SPARTANS 2

Ederson 6, Mashike 28 pen.

MOSTA

I. Akpan-6, G. Chibueze-5 (46 N. Agius), R. Briffa-6, C. Ememe-5, L. Tenebe-6, D. Bonniċi-4 (46 Z. Brincat-7), C. Failla-6 (75 F. Dore), B. Diarra-6, M. Okoh-6 (88 M. Okoh) , S. Kingue-7.5, J. Vassallo-7 (88 J.Ibe)

ĦAMRUN SPARTANS

H. Bonello-5, M. Guillaumier-6, E. Mashike-6 (88 L. Montebello), Dodo-6 (74 Jonny), K. Holmberg-6 (74 R. Callegari), Ederson-7, O. Bjelicic-6, J. Corbalan-6, J. Mbong-5.5, E. Marcelina-6, R. Camenzuli-6.

Referee: Emanuel Grech

Yellow cards: Corbolan, Mbong, Jonny.

BOV man of the match: Ederson (Ħamrun Spartans).

Ħamrun Spartans moved to within a point of a second title in three years with a hard-fought victory against Mosta as their main title rivals both dropped points yesterday.

Gżira United lost 2-1 to Valletta, and Birkirkara were held to a 1-1 draw by Marsaxlokk. The Spartans could seal the title with a draw against the Maroons on Saturday.

The Spartans had no time to dwell on the disappointment at crashing out of the FA Trophy against Birkirkara. They showed their attacking intentions within six minutes as Ederson gave the champions-elect an early lead.

Matthew Guillaumier started the move with a pass to Ederson who timed his run into the box perfectly to receive the ball and fire a swerving shot past Ini Etim Akpan.

It was all Spartans, Guillaumier curled a fine shot past the post after good work by Dodo.

But on 16 minutes, Precious Tenebe almost drew level when the Nigernian striker headed over from few metres out.

Mosta were made to pay for this miss as Karl Holmberg whipped in a cross from the right and Steve Kingue was adjudged to have handled the Swedish striker’s cross.

From the ensuing spot kick, Elvis Mashike sent Akpan the wrong way.

On the stroke of half-time, Dodo whipped in a free-kick into the box and Guillaumier hit a volley just wide.

Mosta looked a rejuvenated side on the restart, The ineffective Duane Bonniċi and Glamour Eziefula came were replaced by Nathan Agius and Zachary Brincat.

With Mosta on top, Christ Emme lost concentration on a contested throw-in allowing Ryan Camenzuli to play in the impressive Dodo who hit wide.

On the hour mark, Clayton Failla’s vicious inswinging freekick from the left eluded everyone and Kingue headed the ball behind Henry Bonello. However, this ‘goal’ was annulled for offside.

Mosta were not to be denied a minute later when Brincat was allowed time and space in the Ħamrun box to apply a cute lob over Bonello.

Ħamrun struggled to make an impact after the break and it was no surprise when Branko Nisevic made a double change sending on Jonny and Rodrigo Callegari for Holmberg and Dodo respectively.

Jake Vassallo on the right flank endured torrid time trying to tame the Brazilian winger.

In fact, ten minutes from time, Jonny had the opportunity to restore Ħamrun’s two-goal cushion but hit a rising shot over the bar.

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