Birkirkara finish third as Valletta suffer third consecutive defeat

Birkirkara leapfrogged Valletta into the third place as they defeated Floriana while Valletta suffered a third consecutive defeat as they lost to Hamrun Spartans. The final decision on who will be representing Malta in the UEFA Europa League apart from runners-up Balzan and the winners of the FA Trophy now depends on the MFA Appeals Board who will hear the Stripes’ submissions after their application for a UEFA licence was turned down by the Licensing Board.

At the National Stadium, Hamrun Spartans defeated Valletta 2-1.

The Spartans therefore returned to winning ways after going thirteen games without a win while Valletta ended their commitments on a most disappointing note with a third successive defeat, winning just one out of the last seven matches.

Hamrun took the lead on the 9th minute thanks to Massimiliano Giusti, served by Mathieu Manset from the right, who controlled the ball before beating Nicky Vella from the edge of the area.

One minute from the end of the first half, the Spartans doubled the score when Jake Grech released Mathieu Manset on the left and the latter’s angled shot was not held by the Valletta custodian.

Valletta pulled one back on the 65th minute thanks to Maxi Velasco who headed the ball home following a cross by Leandro Aguirre from the left.

After the final whistle, Valletta had Uchenna Calistus Umeh sent off following a clash with an opponent.

HAMRUN David Cassar, Glenn Azzopardi (66’ Philip Chircop), Karl Micallef, Sergio Raphael dos Anjos, Igor Misan, Luke Grech, Jorge Mesqueu Neto, Luke Sciberras, Jake Grech, Mathieu Manset (84’ Saturday Nanapere), Massimiliano Giusti (69’ Leandro Motta).
Subs not used: Lyden Moore, Trevor Cilia, Brandon Paiber, Jeremy Busuttil.
Coach: Jacques Scerri

VALLETTA Nicky Vella, Steve Borg, Ryan Camilleri, Santiago Malano, M. Mifsud, Jean Borg (61’ Romeu Romao), Claudio Pani (87’ Llywelyn Cremona), Uchenna Umeh, Leandro Aguirre, Maxi Velasco, Valdo Alhinho (73’ Luke Montebello).
Subs not used: Maverick Buhagiar, Russell Fenech, Shaun Dimech, Nicholas Pulis.
Coach: Paul Zammit

Referee: Alan Mario Sant
Assistant Referees: Roberto Vella, Paul Apap
Additional Assistant Referees: Malcolm Spiteri, Darko Stankovic
Fourth Official: Dusan Petrovic
Yellow Cards: Misan, Alhinho, S. Borg, Umeh, D. Cassar
BOV Player of the Match: Mathieu Manset
Attendance at the National Stadium: 595

At the Hibernians Stadium, Birkirkara defeated Floriana 2-1.

Birkirkara managed to take the lead seven minutes from the end of the first half when off a low cross by Vito Plut, Miguel Angel Alba slotted the ball past goalkeeper Justin Haber.

The Stripes doubled the score on the 76th minute thanks to Vito Plut Alba made a devastating run down the left flank before his cross was blasted home by Plut.

Enrico Pepe pulled one back for Floriana ten minutes from time.

In added time, the Greens were awarded a penalty after Amadou Samb was brought down inside the area by Zerafa but Enzo Ruiz hit high from the penalty spot.

B’KARA Henry Bonello, Edward Herrera, Christian Bubalovic (37′ Steve Bonnici)(51′ Mathew Guillaumier), Mislav Andjelkovic, Srdjan Dimitrov (81′ Edmond Agius), Vito Plut, Nikola Vukanac, Joseph Zerafa, Miguel Alba, Ryan Scicluna, Gonzalo Malan.
Subs not used: Ini Akpan, Gareth Sciberras, Matteo Desira Buttigieg, James Brincat.
Coach: Nikola Jaros

FLORIANA Justin Haber, Andre Scicluna, Antonio Monticelli (69′ Clyde Borg), Enrico Pepe, Enzo Ruiz, Steve Pisani, Sebastian Nayar, Alex Cini (57′ Maurizio Vella), Amadou Samb, Nicolas Chiesa, Ryan Camenzuli (90′ Lomar Cutajar).
Subs not used: Matthew Grech, Mattia Zarb, Zack Camilleri, Jake Stensen.
Coach: Giovanni Tedesco

Referee: Fyodor Zammit
Assistant Referees: Luke Portelli, William Debattista
Additional Assistant Referees: Matthew De Gabriele, Stefan Pace
Fourth Official: Alan Camilleri
Yellow Cards: Bubalovic, Cini, Samb, Pisani, Zerafa, Nayar
BOV Player of the Match: Miguel Angel Alba