ĦAMRUN SPARTANS 4
Mashike 27, 63
L. Borg 83
ŻEBBUĠ RANGERS 0
W. Santos-6, S. Borg-6, M. Guillaumier-6.5, L. Montebello-7 (78 L. Borg), E. Mashike-7, R. Prsa-7 (67 Jonny), J. Corbalan-7 (72 S. Xerri), J. Mbong-6.5 (67 Eder), E. Marcelina-6.5, R. Camenzuli-6.5, C. Henrique-6.5 (72 K. Holmberg).
J. Azzopardi-6, H. Motta-5 (79 R. Vella), S. Bugeja-5, L. Almeida-5, Wilker-5, A. Mizzi-5, C. Lokoli Ngoy-5, R. Sanchez-5, J. Macedo-5 (90 T. Bartolo), G. Gesualdi-5 (73 J. Sciberras), K. Bondin-5 (73 S. Miloskovic).
Referee Fyodor Zammit.
Yellow card Borg.
BOV Player of the match Elvis Mashike (Ħamrun Spartans).
Ħamrun Spartans avenged their first-round defeat to Żebbuġ Rangers when they coasted to a comfortable 4-0 at the National Stadium on Monday.
Last November, the Rangers had created one of the biggest upsets of the season when they beat the Spartans 4-2, in a match that was played over two days due to inclement weather. But any hopes the Premier League strugglers had of taking points from the match were quickly dispelled by the newly-crowned champions who dominated the match from start to finish.
In fact, once Elvis Mashike put them ahead in the first half there was no way back for Żebbuġ as the Reds added two more goals after the break to clinch their 21st win of the season.
The Spartans started brightly and after six minutes of play, they came close to taking the lead when from a Roko Prsa corner kick, the ball fell to Steve Borg who saw his firm drive cleared off the line by Gaetano Gesualdi.
Żebbuġ tried to move out of their half but they were making any inroads in the Spartans’ defence.
Ħamrun’s pressure finally yielded an opener on 27 minutes when Prsa found Luke Montebello in space on the right and the Malta forward’s cross-shot was controlled by Mashike who blasted the ball past a helpless Jamie Azzopardi.
Chances remained few and far between with the Spartans unlucky not to double their lead a minute from the break.
Joseph Mbong’s throughball was deflected into the path of Prsa who galloped towards the area and his shot was somehow deflected by the onrushing Azzopardi onto the crossbar.
The pattern of the match remained the same in the second half as Ħamrun continued to enjoy long spells of possession with Żebbuġ trying to break forward with quick forays.
Ħamrun put the game into bed on 62 minutes when Mashike’s cross fell into the path of Montebello who turned past his marker and fire the ball into the net.
Żebbuġ looked deflated and the Spartans added a third goal on 64 minutes when Juan Corbalan’s cross was nodded into the path of Mashike who made no mistake from close in.
Substitute Kalle Holmberg came close to scoring his first goal for the Spartans when his header was not held by Jamie Azzopardi but from the rebound, the Swede forward hit the upright.
A minute later, Leon Borg, another Spartans substitute, was denied by Azzopardi.
The young Spartans striker did grab his first goal for the club’s senior team when deflected home Jonny’s cross. To complete a positive day for the Spartans.
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