Birkirkara registered another comfortable win as they beat Tarxien Rainbows 4-0 at the Hibernians Stadium on Friday.
Birkirkara had three changes as Nikola Vukanac, Matthew Guillaumier and Frank Temile replaced Christian Bubalovic, Ryan Scicluna and Dejan Djordjevic. Rowen Muscat returned for the Stripes after a spell on loan with Pavia in Italy when he was included as a substitute. On the other hand, the Rainbows had one change from the team which was held by Gzira last week as Brazilian Rogélio Antonio Van Horn Ávila replaced Ayrton Azzopardi
The Stripes managed to take the lead on the 3rd minute when off a fine freekick by Srdjan Dimitrov, Vito Plut headed home past goalkeeper Andrea Cassar.
Birkirkara doubled the score on the 17th minute thanks to a great freekick by Srdjan Dimitrov which gave the Tarxien goalkeeper no chance.
Frank Temile made it 3-0 on the 63rd when Vito Plut advanced upfield in a swift counter-attack for Birkirkara, serving the Nigerian-born striker who slotted home from close range.
Four minutes later, the Stripes scored a fourth goal when Plut entered the penalty area and served Gareth Sciberras who hit low past the Tarxien goalkeeper.
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B’KARA Miroslav Kopric, Cain Attard, Nikola Vukanac, Predrag Jovic, Joseph Zerafa, Gareth Sciberras, Matthew Guillaumier (69′ James Brincat), Mislav Andelkovic (83′ Rowen Muscat), Srdjan Dimitrov (76′ Matteo Desira Buttigieg) Frank Temile, Vito Plut.
Substitutes: Ini Akpan, Edward Herrera, Fabien Lufi, Steven Bonnici.
Coach: Drazen Besek
TARXIEN Andrea Cassar, Ebiabowei Baker, Triston Caruana (54′ Julian Galea), Daniel Ponce de Leon Garcia, Alex Nilsson, Sergio Pendes, Daniel Zerafa (74’Luke Zahra), Alex da Paixao Alves, Joao Pedro Oliveira Santos, Kurt Zammit, Rogélio Antonio Van Horn Ávila (62′ Ayrton Azzopardi).
Substitutes: Philip Schranz, Matthew Brincat, Dylan Micallef, Sasha Borg.
Coach: Jacques Scerri
Referee: Fyodor Zammit
Assistant Referees: Duncan Sultana, David Castillo
Fourth Official: Emanuel Grech
Meanwhile Bojan Kaljevic was the hero for Balzan as he scored twice to hand them a 2-1 win over Pembroke Athleta at the Victor Tedesco Stadium.
Pembroke had three changes from the team which lost to Floriana as goalkeeper Matthew Calleja Cremona and Brazilians Mateus Regis da Silva and Jhonatan Bernardo Mariano replaced Mario Muscat and suspended duo Luke Montebello and Siraj Arab Eddin. Balzan, on the other hand, had goalkeeper Christian Cassar replacing Ivan Janjusevic while Matteo Piciollo made his debut for Oliver Spiteri’s side when he was included as a substitute.
Balzan managed to take the lead on the 6th minute when off a Justin Grioli freekick from the left, Bojan Kaljevic headed the ball home past goalkeeper Matthew Calleja Cremona.
Pembroke, however, levelled matters on the 28th thanks to Mateus Regis da Silva whose overhead kick was deflected by a defender past goalkeeper Christian Cassar.
Ten minutes from time, Pembroke almost notched the winner when off a cross by Jhonatan Bernardo Mariano from the right, Cassar performed a great save at point blank on Mateus Regis and off the rebound, David Fenech’s effort was blocked on the goal line by Levnaic.
However Balzan notched the winner six minutes later when off a Paul Fenech corner, Bojan Kaljevic headed the ball home.
In added time, David Fenech missed an excellent opportunity to equalise when he hit just wide from close range following an inviting cross by Clifford Gauci.
PEMBROKE Matthew Calleja Cremona, Brandon Muscat, Oleksandr Maksyov (63′ David Fenech), Manolito Micallef, Zoran Levnaic, Paltemio Barbetti, Mateus Regis da Silva (82′ Andrea Scozzese), Jhonatan Bernardo Mariano, Miguel Attard, Adrian Borg, Clifford Gauci.
Subs not used: Mario Muscat, Neil Micallef, Neil Grech, Tyrone Fenech, Owen Bugeja.
Coach: Winston Muscat
BALZAN Christian Cassar, Bojan Kaljevic, Clive Brincat, Steve Bezzina, Anderson Francisco de Barros (79′ Ryan Fenech), Paul Fenech, Alfred Effiong (46′ Matteo Piciollo), Justin Grioli, Lydon Micallef, Elkin Orlando Serrano Valero, Terence Agius (62′ Abdelkarim Nafti).
Subs not used; Ivan Janjusevic, Dylan Grima, Sean Cipriott, Samir Arab.
Coach: Oliver Spiteri
Referee: Clayton Pisani
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Chris Francalanza
Fourth Official: Etienne Mercieca
Yellow Cards: Maksymov, Gauci, De, Borg, R. Fenech
BOV Player of the Match: Paul Fenech