After suffering five consecutive defeats, Pembroke Athleta collected their first three points in the BOV Premier League as they defeated Birkirkara 2-1 at the Victor Tedesco Stadium on Monday.
Pembroke fully deserved victory as they showed greater determination throughout the ninety minutes. For the Stripes, this was the second defeat in the last three matches.
Birkirkara had no less than five changes as Steve Bonnici, Vito Plut, Shaun Bajada, Ryan Scicluna and Edward Herrera replaced Cain Attard, Rowen Muscat, Gareth Sciberras, Predrag Jovic and Joseph Zerafa. Matthew Calleja Cremona, Oleksandr Maksymov and Asani Djeljilj replaced Mario Muscat, Miguel Attard and Borche Manevski.
Pembroke forged ahead on the 36th minute when off a cross by Asani Djeljilj, Adrian Borg slotted the ball past goalkeeper Miroslav Kopric.
Just before half-time, Andrea Scozzese was unlucky to hit the upright following a freekick from the left by Paltemio Barbetti.
Birkirkara equalised sixteen minutes in the second half thanks to Frank Temile whose shot from the edge of the area beat goalkeeper Calleja Cremona.
Paltemio Barbetti almost surprised Kopric with a shot from midfield on the 66th minute as he noticed the Birkirkara custodian out of place but somehow the latter managed to deflect.
However two minutes later, Pembroke regained the lead thanks to Jhonatan Bernardo Mariano whose angled shot from the right gave Kopric no chance.
PEMBROKE Matthew Calleja Cremona, Adrian Borg, Oleksandr Maksymov, Manolito Micallef, Brandon Muscat, Andrea Scozzese, Zoran Levnaic, Paltemio Barbetti, Asani Djeljilj, Jhonatan Bernardo Mariano (85′ Luke Montebello), Siraj Arab (77′ David Fenech).
Subs not used: Mario Muscat, Miguel Attard, Tyrone Fenech, Owen Bugeja, Borche Manevski.
Coach: Winston Muscat
B’KARA Miroslav Kopric, Steve Bonnici, Mislav Andjelkovic, Srdjan Dimitrov, Dejan Djordevic (57′ James Brincat), Nikola Vukanac, Frank Temile, Vito Plut, Shaun Bajada (70′ Cain Attard), Ryan Scicluna, Edward Herrera (64′ Gareth Sciberras).
Subs not used: Ini Etime Akpan, Matthew Guillaumier, Matteo Desira Buttigieg, Rowen Muscat.
Coach: Drazen Besek
Referee: Malcolm Spiteri
Assistant Refeees: William Debattista, Chris Azzopardi
Fourth Official: Stefan Pace
Yellow Cards: Djordjevic, Scozzese, Borg, Muscat
Scorers: 36′ Adrian Borg, 61′ Frank Temile, 68′ Jhonatan Bernardo Mariano
BOV Player of the Match: Paltemio Barbetti
Attendance at the Victor Tedesco Stadium: 531
Meanwhile Hamrun Spartans and Floriana shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw at the National Stadium.
Following the defeat to Tarxien, Mark Anthony Borg, Christian Maldini and Massimiliano Giusti made way to Glen Azzopardi, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza and Saturday Nanapere for Hamrun. On the other hand, Mario Fontanella replaced Amadou Samb for Floriana.
Hamrun Spartans were awarded a penalty on the half-hour after a defender handled the ball inside the area following a Jake Grech freekick; from the penalty spot, Jake Grech sent Justin Haber the wrong side to put the Spartans ahead.
Floriana equalised five minutes in the second half when Nicolas Chiesa received a throughpass and hit low pas the helpless David Cassar.
HAMRUN David Cassar, Philip Chircop, Glenn Azzopardi, Haruna Zambuk Garba , Sergio Raphael Dos Anjos, Luke Sciberras, Nanapere Saturday (90+2’ Patrick Jean Teixeira Maia), Leandro Wallace Motta Dos Santos (61’ Massimiliano Giusti), Jake Grech, Jorge Mesqueu Neto, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza (74’ Darren Falzon)
Subs: Matthew Farrugia, Luke Grech, Mark Anthony Borg, Trevor Cilia,
FLORIANA Justin Haber, Antonio Monticelli,(77’ Brooke Farrugia )Enrico Pepe, Enzo Ruiz, Steve Pisani, Maurizio Vella (46’ Amadou Samb), Jurgen Pisani, Alex Cini, Nicolas Chiesa, Mario Fontanella, Ryan Camenzuli (78’ Clyde Borg).
Subs not used: Matthew Grech, Andre Scicluna, Mattia Zarb, Daniel Agius.
Referee: Philip Farrugia
Assistant referees: Edward Spiteri, Mitchell Scerri
Fourth Official: Mario Apap
Yellow Cards: Monticelli, Garba, Falzon
Scorers: 30’ Jake Grech pen, 50’ Nicolas Chiesa
BOV Player of the Match: Nicolas Chiesa
Attendance at the National Stadium: 926