Birkirkara moved three points clear on top the BOV Premier League after beating Valletta 1-0 in this weekend’s big match.
The Citizens are therefore ruled out of the race for the title as they fall six points behind the Stripes. Hibernians will join Birkirkara on top should they beat Mosta on Sunday. Next week, Birkirkara face Tarxien Rainbows while Hibernians take on Valletta. If both teams claim maximum points, they would end their commitments on level points and therefore a championship decider would be necessary.
Alejandro Mendoza, Rodrigo Pereira, Rowen Muscat and Paul Fenech returned for Birkirkara after missing the clash with Mosta but Zach Muscat was ruled out through suspension. On the other hand, Valletta welcomed back Michael Mifsud in their starting line-up.
Birkirkara managed to take the lead when off a cross from the right by Edward Herrera, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza was at the right place at the right time to slot the ball past Yenz Cini from close range.
Six minutes in the second half, the Stripes missed an excellent opportunity when off another good move by Edward Herrera, Mifsud Triganza with the open goal at his mercy, hit incredibly high. Three minutes later, Denni was unlucky to hit the crossbar for Valletta with a fierce shot from outside the area.
On 63 minutes, the Citizens hit the crossbar once again with a Denni header following a freekick from the left by William Barbosa. On the 76th, off a cross by Ryan Fenech from the left, Denni controlled the ball, serving Michael Mifsud whose low shot was neutralised by the Birkirkara goalkeeper.
Finally one minute from time, a freekick by William Barbosa scraped past the post.
Edward Herrera was voted BOV Player of the Match.
B’KARA Justin Haber, Rodrigo Pereira, Nikola Vukanac, Alejandro Mendoza Corujo, Joseph Zerafa (75’ Ryan Camenzuli), Rowen Muscat, Gareth Sciberras, Paul Fenech, Edward Herrera, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza (67’ Ryan Scicluna), Harun Shola Shodiya (67’ Jhonnattann Benites da Conceicao).
Subs not used: Reuben Gauci, Godwin Mckay, Yosimar Hernandez, Joselito dos Reis.
Coach: Paul Zammit
Asst. Coach: Peter Pullicino
Goalkeepers Coach: Simon Agius
VALLETTA Yenz Cini, Jonathan Caruana, Ian Azzopardi, Ryan Fenech, Edmond Agius (49’ Roderick Briffa), Michael Mifsud (80’ Demba Toure), William Barbosa, Abubakar Bello-Osagie (72’ Daniel Bogdanovic), Denni Rocha dos Santos, Jason Lee Vandelannoite, Luke Dimech.
Subs not used: Manuel Bartolo, Joao Gabriel da Silva, Joseph JoJo Ogunuppe, Dyson Falzon.
Coach: Mark Miller
Asst. Coach: Gilbert Agius
Goalkeepers’ Coach: Reuben Debono
Referee: Mario Apap
Assistant Referees: Mitchell Scerri, Peter Abela
Fourth Official: Alan Mario Sant
Yellow Cards: R. Fenech, Zerafa, Sciberras
Scorers: 36’ Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza
Stanley Ohawuchi scored four as Sliema Wanderers secured fourth place with a fine 4-3 win over Tarxien Rainbows. Tarxien performed a good comeback, midway through the second half to restore equilibrium after going two goals down but the Wanderers still managed to notch the winner.
Sliema coach Alfonso Greco could not field his best formation due to the absence of Alex Muscat, Ian Zammit, Ivan Woods and Miguel Ciantar. Tarxien, on the other hand, lacked Carlo Mamo.
The game could not have a more promising start as Tarxien managed to take the lead after just twenty seconds through Andrezinho whose fine shot from outside the area beat goalkeeper Glenn Zammit.
Forty-five seconds later, Sliema equalised when Luca Martinelli sent Stanley Ohawuchi through and the latter rounded the goalkeeper before placing the ball at the back of the net.
Sliema forged ahead on the 23rd minute when Stanley Ohawuchi concluded a solo effort on the right flank with a shot half-height which beat the Tarxien goalkeeper.
Fourteen minutes in the second half, the Wanderers increased the lead thanks to another goal by Stanley Ohawuchi who received a through pass by Martinelli, beating Nicky Vella with a rising shot.
Tarxien reduced the gap on the 70th when off a cross by Mark Tanti from the right, Daniel Mariano Bueno headed the ball home.
Six minutes later, Daniel Mariano Bueno received a pass inside the area and with a diagonal shot from the right, he beat goalkeeper Glenn Zammit.
However Sliema regained the lead seven minutes from time thanks to Stanley Ohawuchi’s low shot from the right which beat goalkeeper Vella.
Stanley Ohawuchi was voted BOV Player of the Match.
TARXIEN Nicky Vella, Steve Sadowski, Manuel Caruana, Andrew Agius, Andre Reinaldo de Souza Esposito, Justin Grioli, Mark Tanti, Daniel Mariano Bueno, Branislav Timotic (73’ Ryan Sammut), Gianluca Calabretta (46’ Leandro da Silva Almeida), Orosco Anonam.
Subs not used: David Cassar, Roderick Bajada, David Fenech, Clive Fenech, Steve Bonnici.
Coach: Clive Mizzi
Asst. Coach: Steven Vella
Goalkeepers Coach: Michael Church
SLIEMA Glenn Zammit, Luca Martinelli, Stanley Ohawuchi, Paltemio Barbetti, John Mintoff (75’ Andrew Decesare), Mark Scerri (80’ Ryan Dalli), Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Shaun Bajada (72’ Beppe Muscat), Josef Mifsud, Matias Muchardi, Stefano Bianciardi.
Subs not used: James Abela, Luigi Ruggiero, Ariel Laudisi, Alain Faccini.
Coach: Alfonso Greco
Asst. Coach: JoJo Bajada
Goalkeepers’ Coach: Roderick Agius
Referee: Esther Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Sammy Attard Eman Grech
Fourth Official: Clayton Pisani
Yellow Cards: Calabretta, Anonam, Agius
Scorers: 1′ Andre Reinaldo de Souza Esposito, 2′ Stanley Ohawuchi, 23′ Stanley Ohawuchi, 59′ Stanley Ohawuchi, 70′ Daniel Mariano Bueno, 76′ Daniel Mariano Bueno, 83’ Stanley Ohawuchi