Hot­sticks win league opener

Malta Independent - - SPORT - Um­pires: Shawn Mif­sud, Glen Bonello

Light­shop Hot­sticks went ahead in the 5th minute when Jonathan Borg picked a de­flected clear­ance in the cen­tre of the D and hit an un­stop­pable shot high into the net.

Hot­sticks then con­tin­ued to ex­ert con­stant pres­sure on the Ra­bat rear­guard but did not take ad­van­tage of four penalty cor­ner awards.

Ra­bat then put their counter-at­tack­ing game to good use and on 27 min­utes missed a golden chance to equalise. Three min­utes later Matthew Buha­giar hit home to draw Ra­bat level.

Hot­sticks then did not avail them­selves of an­other two penalty cor­ner awards, the half time whis­tle sound­ing with the score dead­locked at 1 – 1.

Hot­sticks started the sec­ond half in de­ter­mined fash­ion and went 2 -1 up on 42 min­utes when Steve Portelli hit a beauty into the roof of the net as a re­sult of a penalty cor­ner ac­tion, at a time when Lu­dolf Raster­hoff was or­ches­trat­ing all the Hot­sticks moves from mid­field.

On 50 min­utes Hot­sticks hit the post and con­tin­ued to dom­i­nate the game ter­ri­to­ri­ally, stretch­ing the Ra­bat de­fences to the limit but Ra­bat then cre­ated and squan­dered two gilt edged chances to equalise on 65 min­utes.

The game ended with a 2 -1 vic­tory for Light­shop Hot­sticks in this, the open­ing en­counter of the HAM Chal­lenge Cup Group A.

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