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Sirens prevail in five-goal thriller against Marsaxlokk

Kei Sano (right) launches a Sirens attack against Marsaxlokk. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Walker 10, 84
Tachikawa 32

Agius 42; Xuereb 45

M. Grech-6.5, G. Camilleri-6, M. Pereira-6 (72 S. Sessegnon), K. Sano-8, R. Tachikawa-6.7, S. Cipriott, A. Borg-6.5, J. Walker-7.5, A. Vaikainah-6, A. Cini-6 (79 D. Jackson), R. Correa Duarte-6.5 (84 A. Vella).

M. Drobnjak-6.5, A. Attard-6 (77 P. Sammut), P. Xuereb-6.5 (63 U. Edafe), S. Ferraris-7, J. Aguilar-6.5, O. Carniello-6, R. Scicluna-6.5, S. Moracci-6, D. Vukovic-6 (63 D. Mifsud), D. Agius-7, T. Fonseca-6 (51 T. Vella).

Referee Daniel Portelli.

Yellow cards Xuereb, Agius, Vaikainah, Ferraris.

Red card Cipriott (S) 44.

BOV Player of the match Kei Sano (Sirens).

Sirens prevailed in a five-goal thriller against Marsaxlokk 3-2 at the Tony Bezzina Stadium.

A blockbuster first half saw Marsaxlokk coming back from a two-goal deficit to level proceedings but Sirens managed to find a winner despite playing the full second half a man less.

Sirens went ahead on 10 minutes when the ball fell to Kei Sano inside the area, his attempt from the ground ricochetted off the Marsaxlokk defence before Jacob Walker slotted home.

On 32 minutes, Sirens added to their lead when a counter attack led the ball to Sano who combined with fellow Japanese Rei Tachikawa as he fired straight into the bottom corner.

Marsaxlokk looked second best but against the run of play, they managed to get themselves back into the affair on 42 minutes. The ball was moved along the Sirens area before reaching Daniel Agius who fired straight at goal.

Adding to Sirens’ woes was a direct red card for Sean Cipriott with a minute to go in the first half for a dangerous tackle on Santiago Moracci.

Things went from bad to worse for Sirens when Marsaxlokk equalised with the last action of the half. An Agius corner in injury time slid past Grech’s diving attempt and Peter Xuereb was ready to tap the ball home.

After the break, Marsaxlokk had the first chance at goal just before the hour when Santiago Ferraris hit a shot from distance which Grech blocked into the path of Agius, the Sirens goalkeeper making a second save to keep the score level.

Despite the numerical difference, Sirens could have been the ones to go ahead on 65 minutes when Sano broke through but was blocked by Drobnjak.

The final stages saw both sides go neck and neck to try and find a breakthrough and Walker proved the hero of the afternoon six minutes from time as Sirens took the three points.

Sano went on another run on the left and unhindered by the Marsaxlokk defence, the forward let fly a whipping cross which Walker met with a header that Drobnjak could not keep away from his goal.

Marsaxlokk had their final chance to level again when Peter Paul Sammut fired a cannon of a shot with a minute to go but Grech was on hand to block away.

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