Hamrun Spartans reach UEFA Europa Conference League third qualifying round following narrow win in Tbilisi

Despite playing for the whole of the second half in ten men, a goal just before the end of the first half handed Hamrun Spartans a narrow win over Dinamo Tbilisi in the second leg from the UEFA Europa Conference League second qualifying round at the Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena in Tbilisi on Thursday.

Following the dramatic 2-1 win at Ta’ Qali in the first leg, Hamrun Spartans qualify for the third qualifying round with a 3-1 aggregate score. In the next round, the Spartans should be facing Ferencvaros who had defeated Shamrock Rovers 4-0 in the first leg at home.

As expected, Dinamo Tbilisi went out in search of the goals which would have put them back in contention. However, despite enjoying the lion’s share of ball possession, pushing the Spartans in their half-pitch, the Georgian champions were finding it difficult to penetrate.

Then, against the run of play, two minutes in added time, before the end of the first half, Seth Paintsil delivered a cross from the left and Uros Djuranovic controlled the ball before hitting home past goalkeeper Giorgi Loria.

On their way to the tunnel, Djuranovic was sent off following a clash with Dinamo Tbilisi coach Giorgi Chiabrishvili.

In the second half, Dinamo Tbilisi maintained the pressure, going close with two attempts by Giorgi Kharaishvili which hit the woodwork six minutes from time and six minutes in added time. However the Spartans kept their opponents at bay.

DINAMO TBILISI Giorgi Loria, Aleksandre Kalandadze, Saba Khvadagiani, Anzor Mekvabishvili, Imrade Oulad Omar (57′ Davit Skhirtladze), Giorgi Kharaishvili, Barnes Osei (57′ Giorgi Moistsrapishvili), Davit Kobouri (57′ Luka Lakvekheliani), Ousmane Camara (74′ Lasha Odisharia), Giorgi Maisuradze (46′ Nikoloz Mali), Zoran Marušić.

HAMRUN Federico Marchetti, Steve Borg (90+9′ Karlo Bilic), Joseph Mbong (76′ Juan Corbalan), Roko Prsa, Elionay (57′ Nemanja Krstic), Uros Djuranović, Eder (57′ Yuliyan Nenov), Ognjen Bjeličić, Seth Paintsil (76′ Jonny), Emerson Marcelina, Ryan Camenzuli.

Referee: Viktor Shimusik BLR
Assistant referees: Sergei Kosovets, Siarhei Firynovich BLR
Fourth official: Dzmitry Dzmitryieu BLR