ĦAMRUN SPARTANS 1
Doumbia 89 pen.
E. Bartolo-6, D. Gojkovic-7, M. Guillaumier-5.5, J. Ailton Soares-6, F. Sasere-6, E. Serrano Valero-6.5, J. Corbalan-6.5, P. Djordjevic-6, K. Micallef-7, C. Dielna-7, S. Doumbia-6.5 (89 I. Adeshina).
M. Calleja Cremona-6, F. Apap-6, L. Almeida-6.5, Raphael (85 J. Wilkson), J. Grech-5 (65 T. Fonseca), J. Degabriele (85 I. Iriberri), B. Kristensen-5, D. Vella-6, G. Artiles-5 (90 A. Attard), A. Agius-6, Gilmar-6.
Referee T. Farrugia Cann.
Yellow cards Guillaumier, Raphael, Ailton Soares, Kristensen.
BOV Player of the match: Leandro Almeida (Hibernians).
Ħamrun Spartans took a giant step towards their first league title after a thirty-year wait as a Seydou Doumbia goal from the penalty spot earned them a crucial victory over Hibernians.
Far more was expected from this match between the two major favourites for the league title this season as for much of the match neither side managed to hold the upperhand with scoring chances few and far between.
In fact it looked as though this match was heading to a goalless draw when two minutes from time Ferdinando Apap upended Claude Dielna inside the area and from the spot Seydou Doumbia fired home the winner.
With the win, Ħamrun have now moved five points clear of Hibernians to put themselves in a strong position to win the title.
The opening minutes of the match was characterized by several heated exchanges between both sets of players who were clearly feeling the importance of the occasion.
Scoring chances were a rarity in the first half as both teams were guilty of wayward passing and continues foul play with the result that there was little flow of play.
The first opportunity fell to the Spartans when Dodo nodded the ball into the path of Franklin Sasere who quickly picked Seydou Doumbia inside the area but the veteran striker headed wide.
On the half hour, Karl Micallef charged inside the area to meet Dodo’s cross but headed over.
The best chance of the half fell to Hibernians a minute from the break when Gilmar found Jurgen Degabriele in space but the Malta striker shot straight into the hands of Manuel Bartolo.
On 51 minutes, Sasere had his first shot on target but his effort was too central to trouble Matthew Calleja Cremona.
The match remained tight with both sides struggling to create any semblance of scoring opportunities.
Thirteen minutes from time Gilmar should have won it for Hibernians when Degabriele played in Gilmar who raced through but fired the ball wide.
A minute later Degabriele turned past his marker but his shot was pushed away by Bartolo.
Seven minutes from time, Dodo race through the Hibs defence but his low pass towards Doumbia was too long and the chance went abegging.
Ħamrun were awarded a penalty seven minutes from time, when Dielna was floored inside the area by Ferdinando Apap and from the spot Doumbia blasted the ball past Calleja Cremona.
In stoppage time, Gilmar came close but his inswinger was pushed away by Bartolo.
The Brazilian had another chance soon after but his shot finished just over as Ħamrun held on for the win.