ĦAMRUN SPARTANS 4
Jonny 12, 31, 62
F. Marchetti, S. Borg (76 J. Corbalan), L. Montebello (68 Y. Nenov), J. Mbong, R. Prsa, Elionay, U. Djuranovic, O. Bjelicic, E. Marcelina, R. Camenzuli, Jonny (82 Eder).
M. Zapytowski, J. Pajovic, E. Pepe, Adailton (62 M. Maia), Y. Yankam, P. Mbong, K. Zammit, A. Satariano, E. Pena Beltre, S. Zibo, A. Diakite.
Referee Slobodan Petrovic.
Yellow cards Pepe, J. Mbong, Montebello, Prsa, Yankam, Nenov.
Ħamrun Spartans ended a 31-year-wait to secure the BOV Super Cup emphatically when they brushed aside Birkirkara in a one-sided final at the National Stadium.
Brazilian striker Jonny was the architect behind the Spartans victory as the nippy Brazilian scored a fine hat-trick and Eder added a fourth that not only avenged last week’s damaging league defeat to the same Birkirkara but more importantly handed the club their sixth success in the competition.
Yesterday’s triumph saw the Spartans maintain their 100 per cent record in the competition as the Reds have won all the six Super Cup finals played in their club history.
Ħamrun fully deserved their victory yesterday as they were on top of their game right from the outset.
In fact, they looked a pale shadow of the team that was completely outplayed by the Stripes last weekend.
The Spartans held control of the game right from the outset with their midfield duo of Roko Prsa and Elionay giving little space to the Stripes to manouvre with a high-pressing game while their defensive line-up was rock solid with goalkeeper Federico Marchetti rarely threatened by the Stripes forward.
No doubt, this was the response the Ħamrun Spartans’ top hierarchy expected from their players after last week’s poor display and will be kept as the blueprint of what they need to produce if they are to go on and win the Premier League and the FA Trophy later on this season.
As expected the opening exchanges of the match turned out to be very tight with both sides trying to gain an edge in midfield in a bid to take control of the match.
Ħamrun came close to take the lead on seven minutes. Uros Djuranovic broke free on the right and sent a low cross into the path of Jonny who hit it first time with the ball finishing just past the upright.
The Spartans kept pushing forward and their efforts were rewarded on 12 minutes when Ryan Camenzuli’s cross from the right completely caught the Birkirkara defence off guard and in came Jonny who headed the ball into the net.
Birkirkara finally threatened on 19 minutes when from a Paul Mbong corner kick, Adailton was first to the ball but his header was saved by Marchetti.
The onus was now on Birkirkara to take the game to their opponents and try push for an equaliser.
But instead it was the Spartans who doubled their lead just past the half hour mark when Djuranovic played in Mbong who quickly squared the ball into the path of Jonny who stabbed the ball into the net.
Birkirkara had a huge chance to reopen the match three minutes from the break. Pepe’s cross was nodded by Yankam into the path of Adailton who, however, lost his footing in front of Marchetti before the Spartans cleared.
A minute later, Satariano came close but his angled drive was pushed away by Marchetti.
Ħamrun could have added a third in injury time when Montebello sped inside the area, turned past his marker and his thumping drive was pushed away by Zapytowski.
Birkirkara stepped up their efforts to get back into match early in the second half and on 47 minutes, they won a free-kick on the edge of the area but Satariano’s shot finished over.
However, the Spartans all but killed off the match on 62 minutes and again Jonny took centre stage.
Mbong sent a vertical pass into the path of Jonny who outmuscled Kurt Zammit and despite being from the tightest of angles the nippy Brazilian fired the ball past Zapytowski.
Ħamrun put the gloss on their win in stoppage time when substitute Eder won possession in midfield with the ball falling to Prsa who sprinted towards goal before teeing up Eder who beat Zapytowski with an angled drive to seal a commanding victory.
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