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Ħamrun Spartans through to FA Trophy’s Round of 16 after extra-time win

Ħamrun Spartans forward Elvis Mashike scores his team's third goal against Ghajnsielem. Photo: Anthony Cassar

ĦAMRUN SPARTANS 3

Elvis 90, 115

Dodo 105

GĦAJNSIELEM 1

Dos Santos Cruz 46 pen.

ĦAMRUN SPARTANS H. Bonello, S. Borg (114 M. Mifsud), M. Guillaumier, Dodo, L. Montebello (E. Mashike), R. Prsa (63 Ederson), R. Callegari (65 R. Camenzuli), Vinicius (90 O. Bjelicic), J. Corbalan, E. Marcelina, Jonny (118 S. Xerri).

GĦAJNSIELEM A. Parnis, K. Borg (108 M.A. Scicluna), A. Xuereb (119 J. Vella), D. Farrugia, J. Pedro, S. Attard (D. Portelli), K. Grima, C. Camilleri (113 J. Micallef), Valdeci, C. Da Silva Barbosa, P. Dos Santos Cruz. Yellow cards: Valdeci, Da Silva Barbosa, Callegari, Attard, Pedro.

Referee Ishmael Barbara

Missed penalty Borg (Ħamrun Spartans) 12.

Ħamrun Spartans survived an all-mighty scare as they needed extra time to overcome the challenge of Għajnsielem at the Gozo Stadium on Sunday.

It looked as though the Spartans were heading out of the competition having been trailing into stoppage time after Patrick Dos Santos Cruz’s penalty conversion early in the second half.

But Elvis Mashike came to the Spartans’ rescue as he grabbed the equaliser deep into stoppage time to force extra time.

Then the Spartans took control with Dodo and Mashike sealing a passage to the Last 16 where they face their fierce neighbours Valletta.

Ħamrun had started brightly and should have taken the lead on 12 minutes when they were awarded a penalty for a foul on Jonny. But from the spot, Steve Borg’s effort finished wide.

The Spartans kept pushing forward and Għajnsielem goalkeeper Andre Parnis denied Dodo from close in.

Ħamrun thought they had taken the lead on 40 minutes when Emerson Marcelina hit the ball into the net, but the ‘goal’ was annulled for offside.

On the stroke of half-time, Hamrun were again dangerous through a direct free kick by Roko Prsa that was pushed to a corner by Għajnsielem’s keeper.

However, it was Għajnsielem who took the lead after just 30 seconds of play into the second period. The Blacks were awarded a penalty for a foul by Rodrigo Callegari on Da Silva Barbosa and the Gozitan side took the lead with the shot from the spot kick by Dos Santos Cruz. 

Minutes later, Għajnsielem protested with the match officials as a header by Junior Valdeci Candido from a free kick by Oliveira Santos hit the post and from the rebound, goalkeeper Henry Bonello saved the danger.

But the Gozitans claimed that the ball had already crossed the line. A minute from time, Ħamrun’s keeper Bonello kept his side in contention with a fine save to block an effort by Oliveira Santos. 

When it looked as though the Spartans were crashing out, substitute Elvis Mashike latched onto Dodo’s cross and head the ball into the net to force extra time.

Ħamrun took the lead on 104 minutes when substitute Ognjen Bjelicic released Dodo inside Għajnsielem’s area and the striker, all alone in front of the goalkeeper, netted with a low drive. 

The Spartans sealed the win by scoring the third goal on 116 minutes when Mashike entered Għajnsielem’s area and fired home with a firm drive to the delight of the team’s fans who made the trip to Gozo. 

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