Hole­bas sees Wat­ford to Boro win

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

JOSE HOLE­BAS’S pow­er­ful strike saw Wat­ford to a 1-0 win away to Mid­dles­brough in the Premier League yes­ter­day.

Vic­tory saw Wat­ford climb to ninth in the ta­ble but the re­sult con­demned north­east side Mid­dles­brough to a fourth de­feat in five league matches.

Greece in­ter­na­tional Hole­bas’s goal was a rare high­light in a largely unin­spir­ing con­test where ref­eree Roger East turned down sev­eral penalty ap­peals of vary­ing merit at the River­side Sta­dium.

Mid­dles­brough had the greater share of pos­ses­sion in the first half but rarely threat­ened the Hor­nets’ goal.

Ste­wart Down­ing fired a third­minute half-vol­ley over the cross­bar and Gas­ton Ramirez dragged a shot wide.

Mid­dles­brough’s Al­varo Ne­gredo had a penalty ap­peal re­jected as he went down un­der the com­bined chal­lenge of Younes Kaboul and Nordin Am­ra­bat, who was for­tu­nate to es­cape pun­ish­ment for grab­bing hold of his op­po­nent’s shirt.

Mo­ments later, Boro had a far less con­vinc­ing penalty shout when Down­ing headed against Am­ra­bat’s arm from point-blank range be­fore fir­ing the re­bound wide of goal.

Boro de­fender Ben Gib­son tried his luck with a 35-yard shot but the match was still goal­less come half­time.

The home side ap­pealed un­suc­cess­fully for a penalty early in the sec­ond half when Ne­gredo went to ground fol­low­ing a chal­lenge by Hole­bas.

At the other end of the pitch, Hole­bas gave Wat­ford the lead in some style when, hav­ing latched onto Marten de Roon’s clear­ance, he smashed a fierce shot high into the top cor­ner and be­yond stunned goal­keeper Vic­tor Valdes.

Ramirez had an­other penalty ap­peal turned down af­ter fall­ing to the turf fol­low­ing a clash with Miguel Bri­tos eight min­utes later, and in the clos­ing stages it was Wat­ford who al­most grabbed the game’s sec­ond goal when a shot from Isaac Suc­cess was saved by Valdes. – AFP

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