Hamrun Spartans suffered their first defeat after nine wins and a draw from the first ten matches as they lost 2-4 to Zebbug Rangers at the Centenary Stadium on Sunday as the second half of the match which was originally scheduled for November 12, but interrupted at half-time, was resumed.
Although Hamrun lose their unbeaten record, they are still six points clear ahead of second-placed Gzira United while Zebbug Rangers move third from bottom, two points ahead of Santa Lucia and three ahead of Pieta’ Hotspurs.
At the end of the first half, the score was 2-1 for Zebbug as Shaun Bugeja had put them ahead after just three minutes and an own goal by Henry Bonello off a Stefan Jankovic freekick on the 11th enabled them to double the score. Jonny had reduced the gap three minutes later.
When the game resumed on Sunday, Zebbug went close on the 46th with a Charles Lokoli Ngoy effort which was turned into a corner by Bonello. Hamrun replied with a Jonny effort ending wide and a Rodrigo Callegari effort cross which was parried by Azzopardi. A fine header by Matthew Guillaumier on 72 minutes ended just wide.
With time running out, Branko Nisevic made three substitutions but they could only threaten with an Emerson Marcelina header on 84 minutes which was parried by Azzopardi and a close-range effort by Elvis Mashike which was neutralised by the Zebbug custodian.
One minute from time, Zebbug went 3-1 ahead thanks to Charles Lokoli Ngoy who concluded a good run on the left by rounding Steve Borg and beating Bonello with a shot which hit the posts twice before ending at the back of the net.
Two minutes in added time, Hamrun reduced the gap through Elvis Mashike who headed the ball home from close range when served by Dodo from the left.
However three minutes later, after Hamrun had an appeal for a penalty turned down by the referee, Leandro Almeida sent Charles Lokoli through on the left and the latter beat Vinicius on the run before slotting the ball past Bonello to make it 4-2.