Ħamrun Spartans will bid to keep alive their dream of reaching the group stages of the UEFA Conference League when they face FK Partizan in Belgrade in the Play-Off Round. This is the first time that a Maltese team has reached this stage of this competition…
10.52pm FULL TIME! Ħamrun Spartans succumb 4-1 to Partizan Belgrade in the first leg of the play-off round.
A difficult result to turn around in next week’s second leg as Ħamrun will host the Serbian giants at the National Stadium.
10.48pm We are in the dying stages of the game as Partizan are preserving their three-goal in a comfortable manner… few minutes left.
10.39pm Roko Prsa with a header after meeting a Ryan Camenzuli’s cross but failed to guide the ball into the net.
10.36pm GOAL! Patrick Andrade finds Partizan’s fourth with a brilliant solo effort inside the penalty area before beating Henry Bonello with a low-drive.
10.35pm Ħamrun Spartans still trailing by two goals with 15 minutes left for the final whistle.
10.25pm Partizan finally threaten and it is Diabate who again races into space but Camenzuli was on hand to shut down his attempt at goal.
10.16 CLOSE… Guillaumier almost scores again when he connects to another Prsa free-kick but this time he is denied by Popovic.
10.14pm GOAL! Ħamrun finally score… Matthew Guillaumier connect to Prsa’s corner kick and heads the ball past Popovic.
10.08 CLOSE… Elvis Mashike could have made an instant impact when the forward was put in space by Jonny but his first touch was too heavy when clear on goal and Partizan somehow clear
10.06pm On 47 minutes, Matthew Guillaumier connected to Prsa’s delivery from a corner but his header finished just over.
10.04pm Branko Nisevic withdrew Nedeljkovic and roped in Elvis Mashike as the Spartans try to at least pull a goal back in the match.
9.47pm Ħamrun thought they had pulled a goal back when goalkeeper Popovic failed to hold Prsa’s shot, in came Jonny who anticipated the goalkeeper to flick the ball towards Corbalan who fired home.
However, the referee annulled the goal for a foul on the goalkeeper.
9.41pm The match is looking as good as over, but the Spartans players continue to step up their efforts to at least pull a goal back with Corbalan having a shot blocked by a Partizan defender.
9.33pm GOAL… Partizan find a third as they continue to flex their muscles over Ħamrun Spartans.
Partizan punish the Spartans in a quick transition as Diabate concludes a well-worked counter-attack past Bonello.
9.26pm GOAL… Partizan double their lead!
From a corner action, Vujacic nodded the ball into the path of Slobodan Urosevic who headed into the net.
9.23pm After that setback, the Spartans continued to show good composure but they still are lacking more punch when pushing forward
9.18pm GOAL… PARTIZAN SCORE!
Zivkovic’s throughball was diverted by Queensy Menig into the path of Ricardo who rounded Bonello and deposited the ball into an empty net.
9.11pm Partizan were almost handed an opener on nine minutes when Bjelicic lost possession with the ball falling to Gomes who was denied by the diving Bonello
9.06pm A flurry of quick chances for Ħamrun Spartans… first with Jonny whose effort was diverted into corner before a Ryan Camenzuli’s effort sailed wide over the bar from the edge of the area.
9pm KICK-OFF IS UNDERWAY! Ħamrun Spartans to attack from left to right.
8.59pm The teams are underway on the field as we wait for the referee’s signal to kickstart this game.
8.51pm Ħamrun Spartans’ fans are geared up for their club’s biggest game in its history.
8.48pm A reminder that Partizan Belgrade were forced to close a stand or stands that at least hold 2,000 seats in total after a UEFA Disciplinary Board handed them a heavy fine and a partial closure of their stadium following last week’s actions against AEK Larnaca.
8.47pm Partizan Belgrade are meeting Ħamrun Spartans in their fifth head-to-head encounter with a Maltese opponent.
Here’s a look at all previous encounters.
8.43pm Partizan are at the back of a last-gasp winner in their latest championship game against Mladost…
8.40pm Here is the selection Partizan Belgrade’s new coach Gordan Petric…
Aleksandar Popovic; Slobodan Urosevic, Sinisa Sanicanin, Igor Vujacic, Svetozar Markovic, Patrick Andrade, Ljubomir Fejsa, Fousseni Diabata, Marko Zivkovic, Ricardo Gomes, Queensy Menig.
8.38pm Ħamrun Spartans’ fan look cheerful and are very loud inside Partizan Belgrade’s home venue…
8.37pm Approximately 120 Maltese fans have travelled with Ħamrun Spartans to follow their heroes at the Partizan Stadium…
8.35pm Midfielder Roko Prsa has proved a crucial addition to Ħamrun Spartans so far, having started five of the last six European games and also scoring in the 4-1 win against Alashkert.
We spoke to the Croatian midfielder as he takes his place at the heart of the midfield in tonight’s game.
8.32pm ĦAMRUN SPARTANS’ STARTING FORMATION!
Here are Branko Nisevic’s players selected to face Partizan Belgrade in this first leg tie…
Henry Bonello; Ognjen Bjelicic, Emerson, Steve Borg; Juan Corbalan, Matthew Guillaumier, Roko Prsa, Eder, Ryan Camenzuli; Jonny, Igor Nedeljkovic.
8.30pm For the Maltese club, this will be a very difficult tie against a team who last year reached the last 16 of the same competition.
We spoke to Serbian journalist Milan Zdrakovic about Ħamrun’s chances of eliminating Partizan Belgrade.
8.25pm Ħamrun Spartans have four members that will be familiar with tonight’s surroundings…
Branko Nisevic was born in Serbia on August 31, 1971.
The other three are all players including new arrivals Ognjen Bjelicic and Igor Nedejlkovic who both spoke to Serbian media in recent days.
8.20pm Here are couple of interesting reads as we give you a closer look into the Ħamrun Spartans environment..
8.15pm Welcome to our blog as we take you inside the Partizan Stadium as Ħamrun Spartans have an appointment with history.
Branko Nisevic’s side take on the 27-time Serbian champions in the first leg of the play-off round.
At stake? A coveted place in the group stages of the UEFA competition.