ĦAMRUN SPARTANS 5
Dordevic 8; Barbosa 10
Adeshina 25; Mbong 41
Ħamrun Spartans got their BOV Premier League campaign off to the perfect start with an impressive 5-1 win over Sirens.
The Spartans dominated right from the start, scoring twice within the first ten minutes and going 4-1 ahead by half-time.
Sirens coach Steve D’Amato tried to shake things up during the second half with a number of substitutions but Ħamrun remained comfortably in control, adding further to their lead.
New Ħamrun coach Mark Buttigieg handed the debut to no less than nine players with the only two players from last season’s squad to feature in the starting line-up being Karl Micallef and Ailton Jorge Soares. The latter played a great game along with former Nadur duo Marcelo Barbosa Junior and Predrag Dordevic.
For Sirens, this was a game that they need to forget as quickly as possible. They were just a shadow of the team which did remarkably well against CSKA Sofia last month. Although Ħamrun were clearly a better side, some poor defending by Sirens definitely made things easier for them.
The Spartans took the lead after just eight minutes when off a cross by Barbosa, Sergio Raphael somehow failed to clear and Dordevic hit home past goalkeeper David Cassar.
Two minutes later, Ħamrun doubled the score when off a cross by Ailton from the right, Barbosa headed home from close range.
Sirens replied with a good move by Maxuell on 14 minutes. The former Sta Lucia player unleashed an angled shot which hit the foot of the upright with the ball ending onto the goalkeeper and into a corner.
However, the Spartans increased the lead on 25 minutes. Dordevic delivered a cross from the right, close to the corner flag, and Abdullahi Ige Adeshina headed home past Cassar.
Sirens reduced the gap three minutes later. There was a short clearance by a defender, Terence Agius served Wilfried Domoraud in a central position inside the area and the latter gave Debono no chance.
Four minutes from the end of the first half, Ħamrun restored a three-goal lead. Juan Corbalan released Ailton on the left and following the latter’s cross, Joseph Mbong slotted the ball inside the empty net.
For the second half, Sirens coach Steve D’Amato made two changes, employing substitute Jonathan Pearson at the back.
However, Ħamrun made it 5-1 on 52 minutes. Barbosa sent Ailton through and the latter advanced into the area before hitting the ball past Cassar.
To make matters worse for Sirens, they were reduced to ten men on 72 minutes after Ryan Scicluna picked two yellow cards in just three minutes.
BOV Player of the Match: Ailton Jorge Soares (Ħamrun Spartans).