Valletta held in a draw by Birkirkara — Heavy defeat for Hibernians

Leaders Valletta dropped their first points in the BOV Premier League as they were held in a 1-1 draw by Birkirkara. The Citizens stay three points ahead of Birkirkara and four ahead of Hibernians.

It was a fair result as neither side deserved to leave the field of play empty-handed.

Both sides were unable to field their best formation due to the absence of Ryan Fenech for Valletta and Ryan Scicluna for Birkirkara.

The Citizens had the first attempt at goal with a William Barbosa effort which was turned into a corner by Reuben Gauci. Birkirkara replied with a corner from which Alejandro Mendoza headed just wide. A Michael Mifsud effort on 28 minutes was blocked by Reuben Gauci with Nikola Vukanac clearing the ball off the goal line.

Valletta took the lead on 29 minutes when off a cross from the right by Gabriel, Roderick Briffa headed home past goalkeeper Reuben Gauci.

Birkirkara equalised three minutes later when off a cross by Edward Herrera, Jhonnattann served Paul Fenech whose angled shot beat Manuel Bartolo.

Just before half-time, a William Barbosa freekick ended just wide.

A great header by Nikola Vukanac, off a corner by Jhonnattann, was turned into a corner in style by Manuel Bartolo on the 80th minute.

Harun Shola Shodiya was voted BOV Player of the Match.

Photos: Copyright © www.stephengatt.com

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B’KARA Reuben Gauci, Nikola Vukanac, Alejandro Mendoza Corujo, Joseph Zerafa, Ryan Camenzuli (75’ Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza), Gareth Sciberras, Paul Fenech, Edward Herrera, Rowen Muscat, Jhonnattann Benites da Conceicao (80’ Joselito dos Reis), Harun Shola Shodiya (89’ Zach Muscat).
Subs not used: Jonathan Martinelli, Godwin Mckay, McAllister Clinch, David Spiteri.
Coach: Paul Zammit
Asst. Coach: Peter Pullicino

VALLETTA Manuel Bartolo, Ricardo Barreto da Rocha Filho, Jonathan Caruana, Steve Borg, Joao Gabriel da Silva (70’ Leandro da Silva Almeida), Roderck Bajada, Dyson Falzon (37’ Edmond Agius), Denni Rocha dos Santos, William Barbosa, Shaun Bajada, Michael Mifsud (46’ Kurt Magro).
Subs not used: Yenz Cini, Ian Zammit, Llywelyn Cremona, Gilbert Agius.
Coach: Mark Miller
Asst. Coach: Gilbert Agius

Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Assistant Referees: Konrad Borg, Duncan Sultana
Fourth Official: Chris Lautier
Yellow Cards: Sciberras, Mifsud, Camenzuli, E. Agius
Scorers: 29′ Roderick Briffa (V); 32′ Paul Fenech (B)
Attendance: 2,701

Ivan Woods notched a hat-trick as Sliema Wanderers registered a third successive win, beating Hibernians 4-0.

For the Paolites, it was a highly disappointing result and performance following last week’s narrow defeat to Valletta.

Mario Muscat and Marcelo Dias were back for the Paolites but Jean Paul Farrugia and Clayton Failla were ruled out. The Wanderers, on the other hand, lacked Miguel Ciantar.

Sliema had the first attempt at goal with a diagonal shot by Luigi Ruggiero from the left ending just wide on 21 minutes. Hibs replied with a John Nwoba effort which hit Clifford Gatt Baldacchino and the upright before the Sliema defender cleared the ball into safety six minutes later.

The Wanderers managed to take the lead on 39 minutes when a cross by Luigi Ruggiero from the right was deflected by Adrian Pulis and Ivan Woods managed to chip the ball over Mario Muscat with a fine header.

Just before half-time, a Jackson Lima effort was neutralised by Henry Bonello with a ball ending into a corner.

The Blues were awarded a penalty on 72 minutes after John Mintoff was challenged by Rodolfo Soares inside the area. From the penalty spot, Ivan Woods converted.

Sliema almost scored a third goal on 83 minutes when Mario Muscat tried to dribble Matias Muchardi outside the area and the Argentinean midfielder lobbed the ball but Ryan Camilleri cleared the ball off the goal line

A minute later, Vandelannoite lost the ball to Muchardi whose fine shot was neutralised by the Hibs goalkeeper.

The Wanderers scored the third goal on the 90th thanks to Matias Muchardi, served by John Mintoff, whose diagonal shot gave Mario Muscat no chance.

But it was not over yet as two minutes in added time, Ivan Woods made it 4-0 hitting home from close range when served by Mintoff on the right.

Ivan Woods was voted BOV Player of the Match.

SLIEMA Henry Bonello (81’ Glenn Zammit), Luca Martinelli (46’ Andrew Decesare), Alex Muscat, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Stefano Bianciardi, Luigi Ruggiero (63’ Ariel Laudisi), Ivan Woods, Paltemio Barbetti, John Mintoff, Matias Muchardi, Beppe Muscat.
Subs not used: Diego Ortega, Alain Faccini, Branislav Timotic, Mark Scerri.
Coach: Alfonso Greco
Asst. Coach: Jo Jo Bajada

HIBS Mario Muscat, Adrian Pulis, Ryan Camilleri, Rodolfo Soares (73’ Anderson Mendes Ribeiro), Jason Vandelannoite, Bjorn Kristensen, Andrew Cohen (61’ Steve Pisani), Udo Nwoko (46’ Johann Bezzina), Marcelo Dias, John Nwoba, Jackson di Lima Siqueira.
Subs not used: Daniel Balzan, Ayrton Azzopardi, Scott Chircop, Zoran Levnajic.
Coach: Michael Woods
Asst. Coach: Richard Mercieca

Referee: Raymond Crangle (NIR)
Assistant Referees: David Anderson Andrew Stevenson (NIR)
Fourth Official: Andrew Davey (NIR)
Yellow Cards: Bianciardi, Woods, Cohen, Muscat
Scorers: 38′ Ivan Woods, 72′ Ivan Woods (pen), 90′ Matias Muchardi, 90+2′ Ivan Woods