Qormi crush 10-man Spartans

Photo: Jason Borg

Photo: Jason Borg


Qormi struck four goals in the second half to ease past derby rivals Hamrun Spartans who played with 10 men for 75 minutes after the early dismissal of goalkeeper Andrea Cassar.

Edison Zarate hit a brace for Qormi who gained their first victory after two defeat while Hamrun conceded their seventh defeat in a row.

Thanks to this win, Qormi leafrogged Balzan into eighth place while Hamrun remain third from bottom.

Inside the opening two minutes, Hamrun defender Massimo Grima headed against the top of crossbar from Ryan Spiteri's corner.

The Spartans suffered a setback on 15 minutes when goalkeeper Andrea Cassar was shown a straight red card for fielding the ball outside the box as he saved a shot from the goalbound Sebastiano Siritto. Anthony Curmi, the Spartans reserve goalkeeper, came on for Glenn Azzopardi.

Kris Thackray's shot from the ensuing free-kick was high. Unsurprisingly, Qormi took the initiative. Thackray hit wide from the edge of the box before Siritto had a close-range effort saved by Curmi after he was teed up by Leighton Grech.

Eight minutes from half-time, Thackray headed over from Edison Bilbao Zarate's corner. Roderick Fenech, the Hamrun captain, saved his side from a dangerous situation as he sprinted back into the area to block Siritto's shot after the Qormi striker had pounced on a short backheader by Anton Vergilov.

Before the end of the first half, Hamrun's Gianluca Calabretta had a central shot saved by Steve Sultana, the Qormi goalkeeper.

Ten minutes into the second half, Qormi broke the deadlock. Siritto's close-range effort was pushed away by Curmi but Zarate headed home from the rebound.

Curmi then saved a dipping free-kick by Chetcuti but, on 63 minutes, Qormi increased their advantage. Jonathan Bondin supplied a through-ball to Siritto who fired past Curmi.

Five minutes later, Qormi went 3-0 up. Chetcuti advanced on the left before passing to Zarate who beat Curmi with a precise shot from the edge of the penalty area.

Qormi added to the Spartans' woes when Chetcuti got on the end of a long ball and sidefooted past Curmi to put his side 4-0 up.

In the dying moments, Qormi's Stephen Wellman went close with a curling free-kick and substitute Gabriel Buttigieg hit wide from a good position.

Qormi midfielder Zarate was named BOV player of the match.



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