Maltese football experienced a memorable night on Thursday when Ħamrun Spartans became the first local team to ever reach the playoff round of a UEFA club competition.

Branko Nisevic’s men defied the odds as they knocked out Bulgarian giants Levski Sofia following a dramatic penalty shoot-out, having won the match 2-1 to tie the aggregate score at 2-2.

Matthew Guillaumier had put Ħamrun ahead on 74 minutes before Ryan Camenzuli notched a dramatic winner in stoppage time, seconds after Tsunami seemed to have sent Levski through with an injury-time equaliser.

But goalkeeper Henry Bonello turned out to be the Ħamrun Spartans hero as the Malta shot-stopper saved two penalties in the shoot-out with Matteo Fedele blasting home the winning spot kick to the delight of the Spartans fans, present in Sofia, and around the streets of Ħamrun on Thursday night.

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