Relentless Hamrun Spartans secured the top position in the Gatorade Elite Round standings by winning 11-5 against Swieqi United while Lija Athletic returned to winning ways as they defeated Msida St. Joseph 6-4.
The Spartans were motivated to seal the first place in the table as they held most of the initiative in their match against Swieqi. The main protagonist for Paul Rapa’s side was Madson Caetano de Abreu who netted three goals while his Brazilian counterpart Raphinha, George Frendo and Joan Losada Teruel each hit the target twice. Robert Fenech and Michel Melo Jose completed the mission for the Spartans. Swieqi, who were playing their last match of the season, had Bulgarian Boicho Marev finding the net three times while Andre Ciancio and Diego Gomes de Mello added more goals.
Lija Athletic managed to return to winning ways after seeing off a mighty Msida side 6-4. It was an intensive game which produced 10 goals and a lot of goal-scoring opportunities. Lija had the final say in this match as goals from Andre Henrique (2), Jason Gauci, Redeemer Borg, Kurt Bartolo and Chris Cardona pushed forward their intentions for the final victory.
Msida, had a double from Floren Manea, Armando Gjepali and Christian Arturo Navarro who put their names on the score sheet.
After these results, the Gatorade Elite Round enters in an exciting phase as the play-offs will be held next Friday during which Hamrun face Lija while Luxol cross swords with Valletta.
In the Gatorade First Division, Sliema almost assured themselves of the first position in the table after easing past Zebbug Rangers 7-2.
A superb showing from their key players, Aleksandar Ribic and Eslam Khalifa destroyed the Rangers and enabled the Wanderers to maintain their three-point advantage over their nearest rivals Sirens. On the other hand, this was another disappointing night for Zebbug who suffered their third consecutive defeat. Eslam Khalifa inspired the Wanderers as he netted a hat-trick, Aleksandar Ribic notched a brace while Paul Bugeja, Brandon Debono and Dexter O’Brien also put their names on the scoresheet. Alejandro Rubia Morenas and Jonathan Sammut scored Zebbug’s consolation goals.
Meanwhile, Sirens recorded an important win, 4-1, over fellow top-four challengers Mqabba. The latter trailed 2-0 at half-time and couldn’t stop the St Paul’s Bay side to score two more goals to assure themselves of the second position in the standings. George Chircop scored a brace while Ryan Gilmour Cassar and Alessio Martino added more goals for Sirens.
Ryan Mifsud hit the target for Mqabba.
Mdina Knights extended their unbeaten streak to four matches after a handsome 3-2 win over Gozo while Marsasacala leapfrogged Qrendi after a clear 4-1 win over their same opponents.
Gatorade Elite Round: Hamrun 49, Luxol 48, Valletta 40, Lija 35, Swieqi 27, Msida 22.
Gatorade First Division: Sliema 32, Sirens 29, Zebbug 24, Mqabba 21, Mdina 19, Marsascala 16, Qrendi 14, Gozo 1.