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Seven-goal Raphinha sparks City rout

Raphinha (right) scored seven goals in Valletta’s 20-1 thrashing of Tarxien JML. Photo: Joe Borg 

Raphinha (right) scored seven goals in Valletta’s 20-1 thrashing of Tarxien JML. Photo: Joe Borg 

Raphinha, top scorer of last season’s Gatorade League, hit seven goals to lead Valletta to a massive 20-1 victory over Tarxien JML and help the champions maintain their perfect start to the season.

Three games from match-day two produced a bonanza of goals as Ħamrun Tre Angeli also obtained a comprehensive win over Sliema while Qormi had to fight hard to conquer Mrieħel ESS in a 13-goal thriller.

Tarxien’s resistance only lasted a few minutes as playmaker Raphinha was an inspiration for Valletta.

Jovica Milijic and Denis di Maio each scored a hat-trick with the other City goals coming from Carl Azzopardi, who scored a double, Xavier Saliba, Daniel Brincat, Melvin Borg and Mohammed Elamari plus an own goal.

Ħamrun chalked up their second consecutive win after outclassing Sliema 9-1 to keep the pace with the other title contenders.

They opened a six-goal lead before the interval and, although Sliema hit back with an Aleksandar Ribic goal, Ħamrun didn’t lose composure as they scored three more goals in the second half.

Brazilian striker Everton Veve helped himself to six goals, Daniele Degennaro notched a brace while Daniel Mifsud got another one for Ħamrun.

Qormi gained the first three points of the season after a thrilling 7-6 victory over Mrieħel ESS.

The match was balanced in the first half but on the restart Qormi looked the better side even though Mrieħel battled hard not to finish empty-handed.

With the score level at 6-6, Qormi managed to snatch the winner at the death. Adrian Fenech and George Chircop hit the target twice while Luca Mallia, Antoine Galea and Miguel Alcaraz were also on the mark for Qormi.

Mrieħel ESS had Emanuel Muscat scoring twice while Julian Rodriguez, Ayoub Ahmed, Fabio Grech and Ahmed Abu Maama also put their name on the scoresheet against Qormi.

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