Stripes move six points clear thanks to eleventh win on the trot

BOV-Premier-LeagueChampions Birkirkara moved six points clear at the top of the BOV Premier League table as they registered the eleventh consecutive win thanks to a 3-1 win over Qormi.

The Stripes therefore continue to impress and at this point, seem to be the main candidates for the title.

For Qormi, this was the third defeat in four matches, remaining third from bottom on fifteen points.

Jhonnattann and Ryan Scicluna returned for Birkirkara but Daniel Zerafa was ruled out injured. Qormi, who have now released another two Italian players Marco Petrassi and Giuseppe Bellucci, lacked the injured Jorge Pereira da Silva.

Gareth Sciberras almost surprised Matthew Farrugia with a cross shot from the right on the 8th minute. One minute later, a Paul Fenech effort ended just wide.

The Stripes took the lead on the 15th minute when a Jhonnattann freekick hit the crossbar, the ball bounced just off the goal line with Edward Herrera heading home off the rebound.

Jhonnattann then concluded a good move with a low shot which scraped past the post on 21 minutes.

Alfred Effiong had the opportunity to level matters on 62 minutes when all alone in front of Haber but his powerful drive was neutralised by the Birkirkara custodian.

In a swift counter-attack, a minute later, Rowen Muscat served Jhonnattann whose fine shot was turned into a corner by Matthew Farrugia. From the resulting corner by Jhonnattann from the right, Alejandro Mendoza Corujo headed home past Farrugia.

Qormi reduced the gap on 77 minutes when Triston Caruana released Alfred Effiong inside the area and the latter rounded Justin Haber before depositing the ball in the net with an angled shot.

Birkirkara went close to restoring a two-goal lead thanks to a powerful drive by Nikola Vukanac which was however parried by Matthew Farrugia. A minute later, the Qormi custodian performed a good save on a Jhonnattann header off a cross by Ryan Scicluna from the right. A Triston Caruana powerful drive scraped past the post on 85 minutes.

Two minutes from time, Birkirkara sealed the issue with the third goal when off a cross from the left by Jhonnattann, substitute Ryan Scicluna slotted the ball past Farrugia from close range.

QORMI Matthew Farrugia, Alfred Effiong, Roderick Sammut Christian Terribile (69′ Gianluca Nucera), Leighton Grech, Roderick Bajada, Joao Gabriel da Silva (77′ Abudullai Issaka), Triston Caruana, Emerson Vella (69′ Duncan Pisani), Owen Bugeja, Jonathan Bondin.
Subs not used: Steve Sultana, Karl Sciortino, Leonardo Gabrieli, Dylan Pirotta
Coach: Karel Zeman

B’KARA Justin Haber, Joseph Zerafa, Alejandro Mendoza Corujo, Nikola Vukanac, Jhonnattann Benites da Conceicao (88′ Ryan Camenzuli), Gareth Sciberras, Frank Temile (78′ Ryan Scicluna), Rowen Muscat, Haruna Shola Shodiya (61′ Terence Vella), Paul Zammit, Edward Herrera.
Subs not used: Reuben Gauci, Zach Muscat, Antoine Borg, Demba Toure.
Coach: Paul Zammit

Referee: Andre Arciola
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Albert Borg Cadona
Additional Assistant Referees: Alan Mario Sant, Paul Caruana
Fourth Official: Malcolm Spiteri
Yellow Cards:
Scorers: 15′ Edward Herrera, 66′ Alejandro Mendoza Corujo, 77′ Alfred Effiong, 88′ Ryan Scicluna
BOV Player of the Match: Jhonnattann Benites da Conceicao
Attendance: 1,617