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Stars back in the Premier League

Vittoriosa Stars 6
Marsaxlokk 1

Vittoriosa Stars made sure of promotion after a lapse of two years after trouncing Marsaxlokk 6-1 yesterday.

The other teams in the running to join the Stars in the Premier next season are Lija, Naxxar and Pieta. Second-placed Lija clash against Naxxar in their remaining fixture.

The match was decided in the first 16 minutes as the Stars scored four goals to the delight of their supporters who were present in big numbers at the Ħamrun ground.

Vittoriosa opened the score after only two minutes at the end of a fast counter-break with Marcelo Perriera slotting the ball home after a darting run and cross from the left flank by Gary Muir.

Two minutes later the score became 2-0.

Lydon Micallef dribbled past several defenders before finding Perriera in the box. The ball took a deflection off a Marsaxlokk defender but the Brazilian still headed the ball home.

The goals kept coming and in the fifth minute Marlon Grech rose high to head past goalkeeper Vella and pull one back for Marsaxlokk.

But the Stars restored a two-goal cushion on eight minutes when Micallef burst his way past three Marsaxlokk men in the penalty area before hitting the ball past keeper Omar Borg.

Oliver Spiteri’s Vittoriosa held control and went 4-1 up on 16 minutes when Mark Barbara drove the ball in from 12 metres out after Perriera had found Muir on the right wing and the latter’s cut-back for Barbara was concluded in style.

The pace slowed significantly after that frantic opening although Vittoriosa were always in command.

They continued to dictate matters in the second half and on 58 minutes Ramon Dos Santos headed inches wide following a Muir corner.

Muir was foiled by Borg as his first-time effort from just inside the area was saved superbly by the Marsaxlokk custodian but 11 minutes from time the Stars scored a fifth through substitute Siraj Arab whose pile-driver flew home from 25 metres out.

With seven minutes to go, Arab, put through by the influential Perreira, placed the ball low into the net and out of keeper Borg’s reach to make it 6-1.

Unfortunately for Muir, he had to leave the field in the last minutes of the match after suffering what looked like a thigh injury. With his side already effecting all three substitutions, the Stars had to play the last six minutes with 10 men.

Vittoriosa: J.M. Vella, M. Buttigieg, L. Vella Critien, M. Barbara S. Grech (A. Spiteri), M. Tabone (J. Camilleri), M. Perreira, G. Muir, R. Dos Santos, L. Micallef (Siraj Arab), Samir Arab.

Marsaxlokk: O. Borg, R. Mifsud (D. Tabone), K. Scicluna, D. Fava, G. Caruana (D. Grech), R. Mangion, D. Da Silva Silveira, M. Brincat (P. Paris), D. Micallef, A. Grabowski, M. Grech.

Referee: Clayton Pisani.

Man of the match: Marcelo Perriera (Vittoriosa Stars).

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