Narrow win gives Stripes sole leadership ahead of Sunday's final match

bkara-tarxien130504JBA goal by Harun Shola Shodiya late in the game enabled Birkirkara to collect the three points in a narrow win over ten-man Tarxien Rainbows.

The Stripes now lie three points ahead of Hibernians with the Paolites playing their final game against Valletta on Sunday. Should they beat the Citizens, Hibs would force a championship decider which would be played next Saturday. Otherwise Birkirkara would be declared champions.

Birkirkara went close on the 2nd minute with a good run by Joseph Zerafa, concluded just wide. Following another good run by Zerafa on the left on the 10th, he served Rowen Muscat who however hit high after controlling the pass.

Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza then tried to dribble goalkeeper Nicky Vella on the 24th minute but the Tarxien custodian blocked his effort into a corner.

Sixteen minutes in the second half, Shola Shodiya had a close-range effort blocked by Nicky Vella, Mifsud Triganza took the rebound but his attempt was also blocked by a defender.

The Rainbows ended in ten men on 63 minutes after Branislav Timotic picked a second yellow card.

However Tarxien went close on 76 minutes when Bueno served Leandro Almeida on the left but the latter’s shot was blocked by Justin Haber into a corner. On the other side of the pitch, Jhonnattann concluded a good effort with a shot which was turned into a corner by the Tarxien goalkeeper.

Birkirkara finally managed to break the deadlock on 79 minutes thanks to a fine volley by Harun Shola Shodiya after a Mifsud Triganza effort, off a cross by Herrera, was blocked by a defender.

Harun Shola Shodiya was voted BOV Player of the Match

B’KARA Justin Haber, Edward Herrera, Nikola Vukanac, Alejandro Mendoza Corujo, Joseph Zerafa (68’ Ryan Camenzuli), Rodrigo Pereira (74’ Jhonnattann Benites da Conceicao), Rowen Muscat, Gareth Sciberras, Paul Fenech, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza (81’ Zach Muscat), Harun Shola Shodiya.
Subs not used: Reuben Gauci, Ryan Scicluna, Yosimar Hernandez, Joselito dos Reis.
Coach: Paul Zammit
Asst. Coach: Peter Pullicino
Goalkeepers’ Coach: Simon Agius

TARXIEN Nicky Vella, Carlo Mamo, Manuel Caruana, Andre Reinaldo de Souza Esposito, Leandro da Silva Almeida, Ryan Sammut (58’ Steve Sadowski), Mark Tanti (46’ Justin Grioli), Daniel Mariano Bueno, Branislav Timotic, Orosco Anonam (86’ David Fenech), Steve Bonnici.
Subs not used: David Cassar, Roderick Bajada, Clive Fenech, Gianluca Calabretta.
Coach: Clive Mizzi
Asst. Coach: Alejandro Martinez Lopez
Goalkeepers Coach: Nikolai Attard

Referee: Adrian Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Sammy Attard
Fourth Official: Andre Arciola
Yellow Cards: Timotic, Zerafa, Sadowski
Red Cards: 63’ Branislav Timotic
Scorers: 79’ Harun Shola Shodiya
Attendance: 1,987

melita-hamrun130504JBMelita ended their BOV Premier League commitments with a fine 5-3 win over Hamrun Spartans in a clash between the two teams who were relegated to Division 1.

The Spartans seemed heading towards a comfortable win after taking a two-goal lead. However after the break, Melita hit back with three goals to forge ahead and although Hamrun temporarily levelled the score, the Amateurs hit twice in the final stages to take home the three points.

Melita had the first attempt at goal on the 12th minute with Julian Galea testing Andrea Cassar with a shot from just inside the area. Hamrun replied with a diagonal shot by Ayrton Micallef from the left ending just wide a few seconds later. On the 14th, Massimo Grima went close with a close-range header hitting the upright.

The Spartans took the lead on the 20th when Giacomo Favero managed to beat Melita goalkeeper Andrew Abela with a shot from outside the area.

Giacomo Favero doubled the score four minutes from the end of the first half when he received a through pass by Emiliano Lattes, rounded the goalkeeper and placed the ball inside the empty net.

Melita pulled one back eleven minutes in the second half when off a Luke Sammut freekick, substitute Jean Pierre Attard headed the ball home.

On the 68th, the Amateurs levelled matters when referee Paul McLoughlin awarded them a penalty after Massimo Grima floored Julian Galea inside the area. From the penalty spot, Michael Valenzia converted.

Three minutes later, Melita were awarded another penalty after goalkeeper Andrea Cassar brought Luke Micallef down inside the area. Anthony Curmi took his place in goal but could do nothing to stop Manuel Ramon Sierra Camacho’s effort from the penalty spot.

The Irish referee awarded a third penalty nine minutes from time after Melita goalkeeper Andrew Abela fouled Emiliano Lattes. Massimo Grima made no mistake from the penalty spot.

Melita regained the lead on 86 minutes thanks to Julian Galea who chipped the ball over goalkeeper Anthony Curmi, shielding the ball on its way to goal as a Hamrun defender desperately tried to clear the ball into safety.

Julian Galea was voted BOV Player of the Match.

HAMRUN Andrea Cassar, Melvin Busuttil (63’ Glenn Azzopardi), David Camilleri, Ayrton Micallef (73’ Anthony Curmi gk), Terence Scerri, Giacomo Favero, Emiliano Lattes, Massimo Grima, Adrian Borg, Luke Grech, Cesar Catalan Clemente (69’ Ryan Spiteri).
Subs not used: Rodney Refalo, Duane Azzopardi, Dylan Busuttil, Agatino Sicali.
Coach: Stefan Sultana
Asst. Coach: Jeffrey Mifsud

MELITA Andrew Abela, Karl Vella Petroni (46’ Luke Sammut), Luke Bianco (62’ Alan Borg Olivier), Rudi Alhinho, Manuel Ramon Sierra Camacho, Michael Valenzia, Andrew Caruana Scicluna, Matthew Borg, Julian Galea, Daniel Cabanillas Ayllon (46’ Jean Pierre Attard), Luke Micallef.
Subs not used: Karl Zahra, Marc Attard, George Gribbon, Nigel Rizzo.
Coach: Patxi Salinas
Asst. Coach: Alejandro Martinez Lopez
Goalkeepers Coach: Nikolai Attard

Referee: Paul McLoughlin (NIR)
Assistant Referees: Emmett Dynan, Robert Clarke (NIR)
Fourth Official: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Yellow Cards: Cabanillas, Grima, Scerri, Abela, Favero
Red Cards: 71’ Andrea Cassar
Scorers: 20′ Giacomo Favero; 41′ Giacomo Favero; 56′ Jean Pierre Attard; 68′ Michael Valenzia pen; 73′ Manuel Ramon Sierra Camacho pen; 83’ Massimo Grima pen; 86’ Julian Galea