Second-half goals sink Stripes

Qormi earned three precious points as they returned to winning ways defeating Birkirkara 2-0. Three points which put them in fourth place, one ahead of the Stripes.

The two teams shared the exchanges during the first half but when they were reduced to ten men, Qormi, ironically, managed to score two goals. The Stripes also had a player sent off late in the game.

Both coaches could not field their best formation due to the absence of Federico Mirarchi, Joseph Farrugia and Daniel Nwoke for Qormi, Rowen Muscat for Birkirkara.

Qormi went close to taking the lead on the 7th minute when off a through pass by Luke Sciberras, Abubakar Bello-Osagie anticipated goalkeeper Aleksandar Canovic who had rushed to the edge of the area but the ball ended just wide.

A powerful drive by Paul Fenech was turned into a corner by Steve Sultana. On the other side of the pitch, Abubakar Bello-Osagie headed just wide off an inviting cross by Joseph Chetcuti from the left.

Ten minutes in the second half, Qormi midfielder Stuart Duff was sent off by referee Paul Caruana in a rather strange incident. The Scottish midfielder removed his shirt without permission, apparently after it was ripped off, therefore earning a second yellow card.

Three minutes later, Qormi managed to take the lead when Jorge Pereira da Silva served Abubakar Bello-Osagie on the right and the latter’s powerful shot gave goalkeeper Aleksandar Canovic no chance.

Qormi doubled the score on 72 minutes thanks to a perfect lob by Jorge Pereira da Silva, served by Bondin on the left, with the ball ending at the back of the net.

Eight minutes from time, substitute Leighton Grech was sent off after collecting a second yellow card.

Jorge Pereira da Silva was voted BOV Player of the Match.

QORMI Steve Sultana, Roderick Sammut, Matthew Bartolo, Joseph Chetcuti (63’ Jeffrey Chetcuti), Stuart Duff, Luke Sciberras, Kenneth Scicluna, Jonathan Bondin, Jorge Pereira da Silva (90+2′ Charlon Sammut), Stephen Wellman, Abubakar Bello-Osagie (88′ Dino Cachia).
Subs not used: Matthew Farrugia, Carmelo Farrugia, Ranier Buhagiar, Christian Briffa.
Coach: Stephen Azzopardi

B‘KARA Aleksandar Canovic, Terence Vella (81′ Ryan Scicluna), Rodrigo Pereira (72‘ Shola Haruna Shodiya), Angus Buhagiar, Paul Fenech, Trevor Cilia, Joseph Zerafa, Dragan Perisic, Gareth Sciberras, Moises Avila Perez, Alan Tabone (63‘ Leighton Grech).
Subs not used: Jorge Mora, Ryan Camenzuli, Andrew Decesare, Shaun Bajada.
Coach: Paul Zammit
Asst. Coach: Peter Pullicino

Referee: Paul Caruana
Assistant Referees: Mariano Debono, Chris Francalanza
Fourth Official: Malcolm Spiteri
Yellow Cards: Perisic, Tabone, Duff, Sciberras, Grech
Red Cards: 55’ Stuart Duff, 82′ Leighton Grech
Scorers: 58’ Abubakar Bello-Osagie, 72’ Jorge Pereira da Silva
Attendance: 888