BOV Premier League | Valletta 0 – Ħamrun Spartans 1

Valletta lost the opportunity to move on level points with Gżira and Hibernians at the top of the table as they suffered a surprising 1-0 defeat at the hands of Ħamrun Spartans.

Photo: Dominic Borg
Photo: Dominic Borg

The first half was quite balanced. Valletta held the initiative, but Ħamrun defender bravely. Both sides managed to threaten each other once.

Valletta created the first chance of the match on the 22nd minute. Miguel Angel Alba’s delivery from a free-kick was met by Bojan Kaljevic whose effort hit the upright and was pushed away by Manuel Bartolo.

The Spartans replied on the 41st minute. Ryan Darmanin’s cross found Kevin Tulimieri and the latter forced an excellent save from Henry Bonello. Valletta’s goalkeeper also suffered an injury and had to be replaced by Yenz Cini prior to the beginning of the second half.

The second half was also played at a very slow tempo. However, as time went by, Ħamrun saw more of the ball and threatened Valletta on a number of occasions.

The holders managed to put the ball inside the net early in the second half, but their goal was ruled out. Following a mistake by Bartolo, Mario Fontanella finished inside the net. However, the assistant referee raised his flag for an offside.

Ħamrun hit back and scored the winning goal on the 70th minute. Valletta’s defenders failed to clear their marks following a free-kick. The ball went into the path of Tulimieri whose powerful shot from inside the penalty area gave Yenz Cini no chance.

Tedesco’s side nearly added another on the 82nd minute. Tulimieri went on a good run down the left flank and delivered the ball towards the unmarked Domoraud who headed over from close range.

Ħamrun were reduced to ten men on the 90th minute as Karl Micallef was shown his second yellow card of the match.

Despite the red card, Ħamrun remained solid as they held firm to take home three precious points.

Valletta starting line-up: Henry Bonello, Jonathan Caruana, Santiago Malano, Matteo Picciolo, Jean Borg, Enmy Manuel Pena Beltre, Joseph Zerafa, Ibrahim Saleh, Miguel Angel alba, Mario Fontanella, Bojan Kaljevic

Ħamrun Spartans starting line-up: Manuel Bartolo, Antonio Monticelli, Enrico Pepe, Triston Caruana, Sebastian Nayar, Wilfried Domoraud, Matthew Gauci, Marco Criaco, Karl Micallef, Caetano Calil, Kevin Tulimieri

Referee: Philip Farrugia

Assistant Referees: Roberto Vella, Mitchell Scerri

Fourth Official: Mario Apap

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