After beating Marsaxlokk in their previous outing, Mqabba collected another precious point as they held Birkirkara in a 2-2 draw.
Clive Mizzi’s side shared the exchanges with their opponents for long stretches and deserved to leave Ta’ Qali with a positive result following another good performance. On the other hand, much more was expected from Birkirkara.
Birkirkara welcomed back Andrew Decesare but once again lacked Rowen Muscat and Shaun Bajada. Thiago dos Santos Mazzitelli was ruled out for Mqabba as he serves a one-match ban.
Mqabba had the first attempt at goal after just two minutes with a diagonal shot by Bojan Mamic from the left being deflected into a corner. The Stripes replied with a Rodrigo Pereira freekick from the left ending just wide.
On the 14th minute, Claudio Calleja missed a good opportunity when he received a good pass on the right and rounded a defender but his close-range shot was neutralised by the Spanish goalkeeper.
Two minutes later, Birkirkara took the lead. Moises Avila Perez received a perfect pass on the left and he managed to beat Kris Calleja with a diagonal shot with the ball hitting the foot of the post before ending at the back of the net.
Marko Potezica tried his luck for Mqabba with a powerful shot from outside the area on 38 minutes but Mora blocked his attempt.
Seven minutes in the second half, Mqabba levelled matters when John Paul Muscat served Bojan Mamic on the left and the Serbian striker slotted the ball past goalkeeper Jorge Mora.
Clive Mizzi’s side gained confidence and Claudio Calleja, served by Mamic, then had a good attempt blocked by Decesare on 61 minutes.
Birkirkara regained the lead on 74 minutes when off a Leighton Grech freekick, Moises Avila headed the ball into the direction of Rodrigo Frank Pereira whose close-range header gave Kris Calleja no chance.
But their joy was short-lived as two minutes later, Bojan Mamic received a through pass and advanced upfield before slotting the ball once again past Jorge Mora to equalise once again.
Bojan Mamic was voted BOV Player of the Match.
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MQABBA Kris Calleja, Pierre Grima, Marko Potezica, Andrew Scicluna, Branislav Timotic, David Azzopardi (74’ James Paris), Claudio Calleja, John Paul Muscat (58’ Marlon Briffa), Mauro Bonnici, Clayton Micallef, Bojan Mamic (89’ Ryan Sammut).
Subs not used: Franklin Azzopardi, Mark Anthony Psaila, Omar Farrugia, Rene Duca.
Coach: Clive Mizzi
Assistant Coach: Renzo Kerr Cumbo
B’KARA Jorge Mora, Ryan Scicluna (71’ Alan Tabone), Rodrigo Pereira, Gareth Sciberras, Paul Fenech, Trevor Cilia, Andrew Decesare, Moises Avila Perez, Leighton Grech (76’ Terence Vella), Joseph Zerafa, Angus Buhagiar.
Subs not used: Karl Magri, Wayne Chetcuti, Andrea Cassar, Ryan Camenzuli, Aiden Galea.
Coach: Patrick Curmi
Assistant Coach: Peter Pullicino
Referee: Mario Apap
Assistant referees: William Debattista, Paul Apap
Fourth official: Marco Borg
Yellow Cards: Buhagiar, Briffa, Sammut
Scorers: 16’ Moises Avila Perez, 52’ Bojan Mamic, 74’ Rodrigo Periera, 76’ Bojan Mamic
A goal by Ivan Woods towards the end of the first half enabled Floriana to return to winning ways as they beat Hamrun Spartans 1-0.
The Greens lacked William Amamoo who was serving a one-match ban. Hamrun, on the other hand, had defender Roderick Fenech starting the game on the bench.
The Spartans created the first goal scoring opportunity after just a couple of minutes. Owen Bugeja headed the ball back for Manuel Bartolo who tried to clear the ball into safety, Gaetan Spiteri took the rebound and crossed for Kevin Sammut whose header ended just over the bar.
On 22 minutes, Omar Borg performed a good save on John Mintoff and off the rebound, Joseph Borg headed high. Gaetan Spiteri then missed a golden opportunity to put the Spartans ahead when he failed to connect off an inviting cross from the right by Porcari.
Floriana took the lead five minutes from the end of the first half when Ivan Woods, served by Duncan Pisani on the right, controlled the ball before hitting past goalkeeper Omar Borg.
Three minutes in the second half, Massimo Grima went close for the Spartans with a direct freekick which scraped past the post. On 53 minutes, Clyde Borg served Joseph Borg on the left but the latter’s rising shot ended high.
Manuel Bartolo then performed a great save into a corner on a Porcari header following a Rupert Mangion freekick. On the other side of the pitch, a John Mintoff was turned into a corner by Omar Borg on the hour.
On 74 minutes, the Hamrun custodian performed a fine save on a good effort by Christian Caruana. Massimo Grima then went close with a fine header off a Rupert Mangion freekick but Manuel Bartolo turned the ball into a corner on 84 minutes.
Finally in added time, Ribeiro’s close-range effort was blocked by a defender with Porcari failing to take the rebound.
Pablo Doffo was voted BOV Player of the Match.
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HAMRUN Omar Borg, Nikica Gacesa, Massimo Grima, Rupert Mangion, Anderson Mendes Ribeiro, Kevin Sammut, Matthew Gauci, Carlo Polli, Gaetan Spiteri (46’ Lee James Agius), Luis Fernando Silva (21’ Carlos Eduardo Toneto Porcari) Gianluca Calabretta (80’ Steve Bonnici).
Subs not used: Andrea Cassar, Roderick Fenech, David Camilleri, Clyde Camoin.
Coach: Jesmond Zammit
Assistant Coach: Vince Carbonaro
FLORIANA Manuel Bartolo, Owen Bugeja, Manolito Micallef, Tyrone Farrugia (32’ Clyde Borg), Duncan Pisani, Pablo Doffo, Ivan Woods, Christian Cassar, Joseph Borg (70’ Christian Caruana), John Mintoff (77’ Thomas Paris), Boris Odwong.
Subs not used: Daniel Said, Joseph Okonkwo, Andrew Spiteri, Ryan Darmanin.
Coach: Michael Woods
Assistant Coach: Frank Schembri
Referee: Kevin Azzopardi
Assistant referees: Ingmar Spiteri, Mitchell Scerri
Fourth official: Andre Arciola
Yellow Cards: Calabretta, Ribeiro, Grima, C. Borg
Scorers: 40’ Ivan Woods