Hamrun Spartans took the honours in the match of the week in the Gatorade Elite Round as they overcame the challenge of Valletta, beating them 7-2.
Brazilian forward Raphinha and their keeper Clint Mifsud were the catalysts behind Hamrun’s thirteenth victory of the campaign. Both players helped the Spartans put on a spirited performance as they outplayed the Citizens for most of the game. Rodrigo and Andy Mangion netted a brace while Raphinha, Jason Mifsud and Michel Melo Jose added more goals for the Spartans. Mohammed Elamari and Dylan Musu scored Valletta’s goals.
Luxol maintained their good form after beating Lija Athletic 5-3 in an eight-goal thriller at the Corradino Pavillion. In the first part of the match, Lija were outplayed by the Saints. Later on, they stepped up a gear and scored three times in the space of seven minutes but Luxol held tight for victory. Carl Azzopardi hit the target twice as Celino Alves, Glenn Bonello and Clint Cope added the tally for the St Andrews outfit. Lija made a great comeback through Endrit Kaca, Javier Montes Burgos and Kurt Bartolo but it wasn’t enough for them to grab some points from this match.
Sliema Wanderers beat Sirens 7-2 to replace them atop the Gatorade First Division thanks to a fine performance. The shrewd Wanderers ventured forward from the word go and Sirens keeper Roderick Mascena was called to make difficult saves following efforts by his opponents. On their part, Sirens never surrendered and were unlucky to hit the post twice in the process. A Ribic double, Alan Galea, Paul Bugeja, Josh Parry, Dexter O’Brien and Frankie Scerri scored the goals that mattered for Sliema. Sirens hit back with a brace from Ryan Gilmour Cassar.
Second-placed Zebbug Rangers returned to winning ways after seeing off Qrendi 8-4. Bernard Bonnici was Zebbug’s inspirational player as he scored three goals while Spanish duo Alejandro Rubia Morenas and Inigo Dolara hit a brace. Claudio Venuto added another one for the Rangers who have almost secured a place in the final play-offs. Antonello Brincat’s brace, Bertram Azzopardi and Craig Pickard were on the mark for Qrendi.
In other matches, Mqabba strengthened their hopes for a top four finish after seeing off Gozo 8-1 while Mdina Knights edged Marsaskala 3-2.
Gatorade Elite Round: Luxol 45, Valletta, Hamrun 40, Lija 31, Swieqi 23, Msida 22.
Gatorade First Division: Sliema 25, Zebbug 24, Sirens 23, Mqabba 17, Mdina 12, Qrendi, Marsascala 10, Gozo 1.