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Watch: Prsa heads Ħamrun’s winner as Spartans continue to put pressure on Floriana

Ħamrun midfielder Roko Prsa heads the ball away against Gżira United. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi


Roko Prsa 45

D. Zarkov; C. Chaba (61 L. Riascos), G. Bohrer, A. Borg (80 D. Boadu), Thaylor, Z. Scerri, M. Dias (85 K. Spence), L. Macula, F. Zuniga, Z. Cassar, B. Borg.

F. Marchetti; L. Montebello (85 E. Bruno), R. Prsa, Elionay, O. Bjelicic, J, Corbalan, S. Paintsil (71 S. Borg), C. Rutjens, E. Marcelina, R. Camenzuli, Jonny.

Referee: Malcolm Spiteri.

Yellow card: Marcelina, Camenzuli, Zarkov, Prsa, Macula.

Red card: Emerson Marcelina (Ħamrun Spartans) 69.

Ten-man Ħamrun Spartans survived a nervy final 30 minutes to edge past Gżira United and return just two points behind leaders Floriana in the Premier League standings.

Roko Prsa scored the all-important winner, albeit in a controversial manner after an apparent Seth Paintsil’s handball just before the goal, as the Spartans are now on 55 points.

Luciano Zauri needed his side to reply to Mauro Camoranesi’s Floriana victory after running rampant past Floriana.

The Spartans had to suffer Gżira’s constant pressing in the second part of the game, with Ħamrun also playing with ten players after captain Emerson Marcelina was sent off for a second bookable offence.

The Maroons remain eighth on 29 points, five points above the red zone.

Seth Paintsil replaced the suspended Joseph Mbong while the other hand, Andrew Cohen has made two changes to his Gżira’s starting line-up.

Zach Cassar and Andrew Borg replace Thiaguinho and Jackson Mendoza.

Gżira United threatened first when Lucas Macula’s effort was blocked by Federico Marchetti before the Ħamrun’s backline cleared the danger away.

On the other end of the field, league’s top scorer Luke Montebello almost added another goal to his tally with a brilliant curling effort just to be denied by the crossbar.

The Malta forward produced another effort towards goal, this time a low-drive that glanced past Darijan Zarkov’s goal.

On the other hand, Gżira replied with two dangerous efforts.

First, Gabriel Bohrer struck the woodwork with a delightful shot from outside the area before Brooklyn Borg almost beat Marchetti with another long-range shot.

Nonetheless, it was Ħamrun who drew first blood just before half-time when Roko Prsa headed home from inside the small area.

In the second half, the Spartans created the first best chance when Jonny fired wide past Zarkov’s goal.

Zauri’s team was dominating for large spells of the game but for all their possession, they rarely forced Zarkov into serious action.

Twenty minutes from time, Ħamrun were dealt a blow when captain Emerson Marcelina was given the marching orders after a second yellow card.

Immediately, coach Zauri reacted by deploying experienced defender Steve Borg to fill the central defender role left empty by the Brazilian.

Andrew Cohen’s countermove was Dacosta Boadu before Kyle Spence took to the field later on as the Maroons were looking to capitalise on their numerical advantage.

Despite their late rally, Gżira could not find a leveller as the Spartans kept them at bay to claim three crucial points.

Standings provided by Sofascore

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