Birkirkara extended their positive run of late as they scored twice in the first half to beat Sliema Wanderers at the National Stadium on Saturday. A win which puts the Stripes two points behind second-placed Hibernians.
For the Wanderers, this was the second consecutive defeat which leaves them in the eighth place, no less than fourteen points behind third-placed Birkirkara.
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The Stripes had foreigners Miroslav Kopric, Goran Mujanovic, Christian Bubalovic and Mislav Andelkovic making their league debut apart from Matthew Guillaumier who was included as a substitute. Justin Haber, Edward Herrera and Ryan Scicluna were ruled out injured. The Wanderers, on the other hand, lacked the suspended goalkeeper Timothy Aquilina.
Birkirkara took the lead on the 17th minute thanks to a Ryan Camenzuli freekick, slightly deflected by a defender, which beat goalkeeper Glenn Zammit.
The Stripes doubled the score eight minutes from the end of the first half when off an Andelkovic corner, Mauricio Mazzetti’s header was cleared off the goal line by Zammit, Bubalovic’s header off the rebound was blocked by a defender and the ball reached Frank Temile who slammed the ball home.
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B’KARA Miroslav Kopric, Goran Mujanovic, Christian Bubalovic (76’ Cain Attard), Mauricio Matias Latini Mazzetti, Gareth Sciberras, Edmond Agius (64’ Matthew Guillaumier), Mislav Andelkovic, Joseph Zerafa, Frank Temile, Ryan Camenzuli, Vito Plut (87’ Clint Zammit)
Subs: Ini Etim Akpan, Kurt Zammit, Fabian Lufi, Andrea Curmi
Coach: Drazen Besek
SLIEMA Glenn Zammit, Alex Muscat (84’ Michelle Sansone), Mark Scerri (46’ Benjamin Essel), Rafael Pompeo Rodrigues Ledesma, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Marko Potezica, Aidan Jake Friggieri, Johann Bezzina, Kyle Hendry (34’ Peter Xuereb), Gary Muir, Luke Dimech.
Subs not used: Entonjo Elezaj, John Mintoff, Omar Elouni, Kurt Shaw
Referee: Esther Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Sammy Attard
Additional Assistant Referees: Marco Borg, Matthew Degabriele
Fourth Official: Martin Borg
Yellow cards: Bubalovic, Essel
Scorers: 17’ Ryan Camenzuli, 37’ Frank Temile
BOV Player of the Match: Ryan Camenzuli
Renato Vella reporting from the National Stadium