BOV Premier League | Senglea Athletic 2 – Hamrun Spartans 2

Hamrun suffered a blow to their chances of clinching a spot inside the Europa League as they were held in a 2-2 draw by Senglea.

Photo: Dominic Borg
Photo: Dominic Borg

Hamrun came into this match looking to secure a win in order to remain in pole position for a place in the Europa League. The Spartans were coming from a 2-1 win over Qormi.

On the other hand, Senglea also needed to take something from the match as they are still risking relegation. Vincenzo Potenza’s men were coming from a 2-2 draw against Tarxien Rainbows.

The first half was quite balanced. Hamrun saw more of the ball; however, they failed to capitalise. Meanwhile, Senglea were dangerous every time they went inside Hamrun’s half and managed to build a 1-0 advantage prior to half-time.

Senglea created the first chance on goal after 16 minutes. Matias Garcia drilled a low shot that was neutralised by Bartolo.

Hamrun hit back immediately. Caetano Calil fired a powerful shot from the edge of the penalty area that forced a good save from Matthew Farrugia.

Senglea went close again on the 19th minute. Following a corner, Gary Camilleri’s effort was saved by Bartolo.

The Spartans threatened Senglea on the 22nd minute. From a corner, the ball ended up in the path of Calil who headed it slightly over.

Senglea’s edge in front of goal paid off on the 33rd minute. Gonzalo Virano played Leighton Grech through and the latter ran inside the penalty area before firing a stunning shot that gave Bartolo no chance.

Hamrun hit back a minute later, Carlos Henneberg’s cross from the left was met by Kevin Tulimieri whose header was saved by Farrugia.

The post denied Hamrun from equalising on the 42nd minute. Criaco’s delivery went into the path of Kevin Tulimieri whose close range effort stamped off the post.

The same player was denied by the post again two minutes later. This time, Tulimieri went on an excellent run inside the penalty area before firing a powerful shot that hit the upright.

As expected, Hamrun started the second half eager to equalise and had an excellent opportunity on the 52nd minute.  Criaco delivered a cross towards the unmarked Tulimieri who was denied by Senglea’s custodian.

Tulimieri finally managed to score for Hamrun a minute later. Following a corner, the Italian received the ball from Caruana and headed the ball past Farrugia.

Despite Hamrun’s goal, Senglea remained focused and regained their lead on the 63rd minute. Grech served Taisei Marukawa inside the penalty area and the latter sent a shot from an angled position that ended up inside the net.

Farrugia denied Hamrun from equalising again on the 68th minute. Tulimieri went past a defender inside the penalty area and hit a low shot that was blocked by Senglea’s goalkeeper.

Luck was definitely not on Hamrun’s side as they were denied by the post again on the 70th minute. From a corner, Caruana’s delivery found Enrico Pepe who headed the ball towards the upright.

Hamrun drew level once more on the 79th minute. Senglea’s defender failed to clear their marks following a free-kick, the ball fell into the path of Carlos Henneberg whose acrobatic effort from close range went behind Farrugia.

Hamrun remained on the offensive in their attempts to win the match and had another promising chance on the 86th minute. Sebastian Nayar’s delivery fell for Ryan Darmanin who headed the ball off target.

Senglea suffered a set-back during the additional time as Augusto Caseres was sent off after being shown his second yellow card of the match.

Despite having an extra man, Hamrun didn’t have enough time to react as Senglea held on to take a precious point.

Following this result, Hamrun are on level points with Sliema Wanderers who like Hamrun are eager to compete in next season’s Europa League.

Senglea Athletic starting line-up: Matthew Farrugia, Taisei Marukawa, El Mehdi Sidqy, Zachary Cassar, Leighton Grech (Bradley Schembri- 89), Gonzalo Leyton, Diego Venancio, Gary Camilleri, Nicholas Gonzalo VIrano, Matias Garcia, Augusto Caseres

Hamrun Spartans starting line-up: Emmanuel Bartolo, Enrico Pepe, Triston Caruana, Carlos Henneberg, Andre` Charles Scicluna, Conor Borg (Sebastian Nayar- 51), Marco Criaco, Karl Micallef, Orestis Nikolopoulos, Caetano Calil (Ryan Darmanin- 74), Kevin Tulimieri

Referee: Darryl Agius

Assistant Referees: Jurgen Spiteri, Duncan Spencer

Fourth Official: Mario Apap

BOV Player of the Match: Leighton Grech (Senglea)

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