Stripes join Valletta on top

Dingli Swallows vs Birkirkara FC 1-3 (HT 1-2)

Birkirkara joined Valletta on top the BOV Premier League table as they registered a third successive win, beating Dingli Swallows 3-1. Valletta, however have a game in hand.

The Stripes lacked goalkeeper Jorge Mora as he serves a two-match ban. Dino Cachia and Kevin Borg were, on the other hand, missing for Dingli.

The Swallows had a good start, having an excellent opportunity thanks to which they could have taken the lead after just three minutes when off a perfect pass by Joseph Okonkwo from the right, Jeremy Agius failed to connect. Six minutes later, a low shot by Okonkwo from the right was blocked into a corner by goalkeeper Omar Borg. The Stripes replied with a powerful shot by Trevor Cilia which was turned into a corner by Jeffrey Farrugia on 12 minutes. From the resulting corner, Michael Galea headed just wide.

Shawn Tellus cleared off the goalline a ball destined for goal on 22 minutes and a minute later, Michael Galea almost took advantage of an erratic clearance by a defender. A rising shot by Alan Tabone ended just wide on 26 minutes.

Birkirkara took the lead on 27 minutes when a shot by Sylvano Comvalius was cleared off the goalline by Victor Fiteni but Michael Galea took the rebound and placed the ball at the back of the net.

Dingli levelled matters ten minutes later when off a corner from the right by Joseph Okonkwo, Birkirkara midfielder Alan Tabone committed an own goal as he deflected the ball past Omar Borg.

However the Stripes regained the lead four minutes later when off a cross by Trevor Cilia, Michael Galea nodded the ball home from close range.

Just before half-time, a diagonal shot by Trevor Cilia from the right ended just wide.

Seven minutes in the second half, the Dingli custodian came to the rescue blocking a close-range effort by Michael Galea.
On 68 minutes, Birkirkara scored the third goal thanks to a powerful drive by Paul Fenech from outside the area which beat Jeffrey Farrugia.

Birkirkara could have scored another goal seven minutes from time but Michael Galea’s diagonal shot from the right was blocked by Jeffrey Farrugia.

B’KARA Jeffrey Farrugia, Roderick Briffa (79′ Dylan Zarb), Renato Garcia Conceicao, Shawn Tellus, Roderick Spiteri, Kurt Formosa, Victor Fiteni, Christian Muscat, Jeremy Agius (59′ Etienne Farrugia), Andre Rocha Da Silva (30′ Haruna Doda), Joseph Okonkwo.
Subs not used: Ivan Cassar, Clint Caruana, Justin Muscat, Matthew Borg.
Coach: Jesmond Zammit
Team Manager: Reggie Cini

B’KARA Omar Borg, Nikola Vukanac (86′ Andrew Scicluna), Branko Nisevic, Joseph Zerafa, Alan Tabone (59′ Thomas Paris), Paul Fenech, Trevor Cilia, Shaun Bajada, Sylvano Comvalius (80′ Rowen Muscat), George Mallia, Michael Galea.
Subs not used: Christian Francica, Carl Pulo, Angus Buhagiar, Diansand Brincat.
Coach: Paul Zammit

Referee: Kevin Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Glenn Tonna, Malcolm Mercieca
Fourth Official: Alan Mario Sant
Yellow Cards: Tabone
BOV Player of the Match: Michael Galea
Scorers: 27′ Michael Galea (B)
37′ own goal Alan Tabone (D)
41′ Michael Galea (B)
68′ Paul Fenech (B)