Ħamrun Spartans 0
Sliema Wanderers 1
Sliema Wanderers picked up their third successive win when they edged Ħamrun Spartans 1-0 at the Tedesco Stadium.
Sliema started brightly and after six minutes Francis Qeros made his way into the area and his low shot breezed the upright.
Ħamrun had an even better chance on 16 minutes when Dale Camilleri picked Cristian Zaccardo inside the area but the Italian wingback fluffed his shot with only goalkeeper Glenn Zammit to beat.
The stalemate was broken on 17 minutes when the Wanderers were awarded a penalty. Philip Chircop was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the area wit the referee pointing to the spot.
Matias Muchardi stepped up for the kick and his effort was pushed away by Jake Galea but from the rebound Qeros was on hand to poke the ball home.
Ten minutes from the break, Muchardi had another good opportunity to score against his former club when he was put through on goal by Frank Temile but the Argentine midfielder was denied by Galea.
On the stroke of half-time Sliema came again close to extending their advantage when Gabriel Aquilina played in Muchardi who saw his effort repelled again by Galea.
On the restart, Ħamrun coach Jacques Scerri withdrew Chircop and roped in Lydon Micallef who took a right wing role.
Micallef immediately tried his luck with a shot from the edge of the area that was saved by Zammit.
The Spartans showed more intent to try and restore the equilibrium but their hopes were jolted on 64 minutes when Guilherme picked his second yellow card and was dismissed.
Despite being a man down Ħamrun continued to push more men forward and inevitably leaving their defence exposed.
In fact on 75 minutes, Sliema broke forward with Qeros seeing his effort somehow kept out by Galea and from the rebound Gabriel Aquilina’s drive was cleared off the line by Daniel Zerafa.
Four minutes later, Francisco Marino Clavero played in Lydon Micallef but the striker took too much time to conclude and was blocked.
Ħamrun almost snatched a point in stoppage time when Caruana’s curling drive just missed the upright as Sliema held on for the win.
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