Late goals enable Stripes to rescue a point in clash with Qormi

Birkirkara scored twice late in the game to rescue a point as they came back from two goals down against Qormi.

Alfred Effiong scored twice to put Qormi two goals ahead but a late rally by Paul Zammit’s side enabled them to earn a point. For the team led by Mark Miller, this was the third successive draw – another precious point in the battle against relegation.

Birkirkara had the opportunity to take the lead on the 9th minute when they were awarded a penalty after Zoran Levnajic was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the area. However Shola Shodiya’s effort from the penalty spot was neutralised by Matthew Farrugia.

Four minutes from the end of the first half, it was Qormi’s turn to be awarded a penalty after a defender handled the ball inside the area. Alfred Effiong sent Justin Haber the wrong way from the penalty spot to put Mark Miller’s side ahead.

Four minutes in the second half, Birkirkara were unlucky not to equalise when off a cross by Ryan Camenzuli from the left, Edward Herrera flicked the ball past Farrugia but hit the crossbar.

However Qormi doubled the score on the 55th when Gustavo Villalobos sent Alfred Effiong through and the latter dashed past Mauricio Mazzetti, pulling to the right and back to a central position before hitting hard past Haber.

Birkirkara reduced the gap on 75 minutes when substitute Nassir Maachi beat Matthew Farrugia with a fine shot from outside the area.

Six minutes from time, the Stripes levelled matters when off a Rafael Ledesma corner from the right, Nikola Vukanac headed the ball home from close range.

One minutes in added time, Shola Shodiya hit the crossbar with a powerful drive from outside the area for Birkirkara.

B’KARA Justin Haber, Joseph Zerafa, Nikola Vukanac, Mauricio Matias Latini Mazzetti, Haruna Shola Shodiya, Edward Herrera, Paul Fenech, Zach Muscat (60′ Nassir Ahmed Maachi), Rowen Muscat (46′ Rafael Pompeo Rodrigues Ledesma), Ryan Camenzuli (80′ Kurt Zammit), Ryan Scicluna.
Subs not used: Ini Etim Akpan, Matheus Bissi da Silva, Gareth Sciberras, Edmond Agius.
Coach: Paul Zammit

QORMI Matthew Farrugia, Christopher Edafe Uzeh, Alejandro Mendoza Corujo, Alfred Effiong, Clifford Gauci, Emerson Vella, Zoran Levnajic (90′ Marcelo Roberto Lima de Mattos), Duncan Pisani (79′ Ryan Micallef), Jonathan Bondin (67′ Leighton Grech), Billy Berntsson, Gustavo Villalobos.
Subs not used: Mario Muscat, Jurgen Cilia, Bjorn Bondin, Steve Agius.
Coach: Mark Miller

Referee: Sandro Spiteri
Assistant Referees: William Debattista, Sammy Attard
Additional Assistant Referees: Alan Mario Sant, Glen Tonna
Fourth Official: Alan Camilleri
Yellow Cards: M. Farrugia, Vukanac, Villalobos, Shodiya, Grech, Zerafa, Mazzetti
Scorers: 41′ Alfred Effiong pen, 55′ Alfred Effiong, 75′ Nassir Maachi, 84′ Nikola Vukanac
Attendance: 668
BOV Player of the Match: Alfred Effiong