SLIEMA WANDERERS 0
ĦAMRUN SPARTANS 2
Mbong 14, 85
J. Galea-7; K. Shaw-6; Gilmar-6 (70 A. Satariano); J. Cisotti-5; Denilson5; G. Aquilina-6; R. Kakinuma-6 (81 M. Sansone); O. Linton-6 (70 E. Agius); M. Beerman-6; D. Vukovic-6 (81 J. Mintoff); S. Comvalius-6 (59 J. Farrugia).
E. Bartolo-6.5; D. Gojkovic-6 (90 D. Borg); M. Guillaumier-6.5; A. Oyama-6; J. Mbong-7; J. Soares-7.5 (90 I. Adeshina); F. Sasere-7; E. Serrano-6.5; J. Corbalan-6.5; P. Djordjevic-6; E. Marcelina-7.
Referee Trustin Farrugia Cann.
Yellow cards Marcelina, Kakinuma, Linton, Bartolo.
BOV Player of the Match Jorge Soares (Ħamrun Spartans).
Ħamrun Spartans stepped up the pressure on the Premier League pacesetters after defeating Sliema Wanderers in a direct clash at the National Stadium.
Malta international Joseph Mbong scored a goal in each half to make it five goals in 11 appearances for the Spartans so far.
Led by Mark Buttigieg, the Spartans managed to bounce back from the disappointing 2-2 draw against Lija Athletic with a vibrant performance that will surely boost their title hopes.
Sliema, on their part, will rue goalscoring chances missed by Gilmar early in the second half which could have easily put them on level terms with the Spartans.
However, those opportunities came back to haunt them as Ħamrun were more clinical in front of goal and headed home with the three points in the bag.
Ħamrun Spartans made their intentions clear early on when Jorge Soares tried his luck from inside the box but misfired his shot.
Sliema and Ħamrun displayed proactive football in search of goals, underlining the offensive prowess that both sides boast in their respective squads.
The Spartans looked more in command of the game and on 14 minutes, Mbong capitalised on a Soares assist to put Ħamrun ahead.
Sliema’s reaction came through Gilmar who threatened from a free-kick just for Ħamrun to clear the danger away.
Before the break, Sliema custodian Jake Galea was forced into action when he denied Soares as the Blues headed into the interval a goal behind.
At the restart, Sliema missed a flurry of quick chances through Brazilian forward Gilmar who twice from point-blank range failed to put the Blues level.
First, Dejan Vukovic whipped in a low cross into the box with Gilmar sending his ball wide before hitting the crossbar after connecting with a Sylvano Comvalius’ cross.
Moments later, Predrag Djordjevic let fly a thumping volley but could not direct the ball into the net.
Fifteen minutes from time, the Serbian midfielder could have easily wrapped up the win but from inside the eighteen, he shot straight into Galea’s hands to the despair of the Ħamrun clan.
Nonetheless, the Spartans made sure of the win with Mbong’s second who headed home after receiving a pin-point cross from Djordjevic.