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Ħamrun Spartans rejoin Floriana at the top, Hibernians beat Sirens

Balzan rescue late point against Gudja United.

MARSAXLOKK 0-1 ĦAMRUN SPARTANS
Luke Montebello pen. 41

Ħamrun Spartans rejoined Floriana in first position of the Premier League after a Luke Montebello penalty was enough for them to beat Marsaxlokk.

The Maltese champions are now on 20 points after six wins and two draws in their opening eight league games of the season.

On the other hand, Marsaxlokk are now of one the three teams that have 13 points alongside Sliema Wanderers and Hibernians.

For this game, Ħamrun’s coach Luciano Zauri opted to deploy veteran goalkeeper Federico Marchetti between the sticks.

Next week, the Spartans will face another stern test in Birkirkara who are seventh with 10 points so far.

MARSAXLOKK
M. Drobnjak; Weder, N. Muscat, Y. Messias, D. Bonnici, J. Walker (S. Boakye 68), A. Vaikainah, L. Aguirre (A. Obonogwu 78), R. Scicluna, S. Akinbule, J. Gomes.

ĦAMRUN SPARTANS
F. Marchetti; S. Borg, L. Montebello (Y. Nenov 80), J. Mbong, R. Prsa, E. Freitas, U. Duranovic, O. Bjelicic, S. Paintsil (Jonny 61), E. Marcelina, R. Camenzuli.

Referee Winston Muscat.

Yellow cards Scicluna, Freitas, Marcelina.

SIRENS 1-2 HIBERNIANS
Frank Boateng 79 (S); Giannis Bastianos 22 (H), Claudio Bonanni 43 (H).

Hibernians secured a vital victory over Sirens to keep track of the top three positions of the domestic championship.

The Paolites opened a two-goal lead in the first half through Giannis Bastianos and Claudio Bonanni.

Bastianos, who joined the club during the summer transfer window, struck a long-range effort that beat Ini Akpan for his fifth goal in eight Hibernians appearances.

Former Birkirkara midfielder, Bonanni, followed up with a second just before half-time – his first goal for the Paolites in the 2023/2024 campaign.

After the exchange of ends, Sirens did pull one back through Frank Boateng who found the net immediately after coming off the bench.

However, his goal was not enough to help Sirens salvage at least a point from this game.

Branko Nisevic’s Hibernians are now fifth on 13 points while Sirens remain anchored at the bottom with just a couple of points to show for their efforts.

SIRENS

E. Akpan; T. Almeida, B. Owusu, N. Pulis, C. Agyemang (D. Opoku 64), M. Akadom, A. Cini, S. Borg, K. Donsu, D. Jackson, G. Brizolara (F. Boateng 79).

HIBERNIANS
I.Kone; F. Apap, K. Shaw, R. Bairam, J. Degabriele (A. Hovhannisyan 87), B. Kristensen, A. Souza (S. Okoh 90), G. Artiles (A. Attard 87), C. Bonanni, G. Bastianos, R. Antwi (L. Henrique 77).

Referee Glen Tonna.

Yellow cards Borg, Bonanni, Bairam, Apap, Akadom.

GUDJA UNITED 2-2 BALZAN

Abou Toure pen. 48 (G), Matias Muchardi 79 (G); Jake Grech 71 (B), Leonardo Souza 90 (B).

A frentic finale saw Balzan snatch a late point in a four-goal draw against Gudja United.

Leonardo Souza amended his penalty miss to convert the rebound to help Balzan peg back Gudja and move to 10 points in the Premier League.

The Reds had cancelled a one-goal deficit through substitute Jake Grech on the 71st minute after Gudja forged ahead through Abou Toure just after the break.

Gudja, led by Jesmond Zammit, took the lead again when Mathias Muchardi scored his club’s second goal before Oliver Spiteri’s Balzan managed to rescue a point.

In stoppage time, Balzan ended up with 10 players after Momcilo Raso was given the marching orders.

For Gudja, this results leaves them third-bottom with five points after eight games.

GUDJA UNITED
J. Spiteri; Brenner, S. Cipriott (73 Z. Grech), M. Perea (G. Mensah 72), M. Muchardi, J. Arthur, C. Borg, R. Fernandes, N. Tabone (G. Lorenzoni 73), A. Toure (S. Attard 86), M. Esposito.

BALZAN
R. Briffa; A. Prates, M, Grima (J. Grech 68), B. Hili, R. Michibuchi, N. Zerjal, N. Braunovic (P. Fenech 56), M. Raso, L. Souza, A. Andrejic (A. Katanic 68), P. Olawale (O. Awosanta 56).

Referee Matthew De Gabriele.

Yellow cards Prates, Michibuchi, Perea, Toure, Borg, Brenner.

Red card Momcilo Raso (Balzan) 90.

Missed penalty Leonardo Souza (Balzan) 90.

Standings provided by Sofascore

Photo: Dominic Borg.

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