Birkirkara and Floriana shared the spoils in a goalless draw in a match between two teams eager for points at the National Stadium on Sunday. A result which satisfied neither side as the Stripes were eager to bounce back from the defeat to Valletta while Floriana were chasing a win after two draws and a defeat to Hibernians.
The Stripes are now four points before fourth-placed Hamrun and five behind Gzira. On the other hand, Floriana join St. Andrews in ninth place, one point behind Tarxien but just two ahead of Senglea and Mosta who are joint-third from bottom.
Andrew Hogg was making his debut for Birkirkara along with Nikola Vukanac who re-joined the club earlier this week. Another new signing, this time for Floriana – Kristian Keqi – was included as a substitute.
In the first half, Floriana were the better side, having the best scoring opportunity when off an Arthur Henrique Oyama freekick, Enzo Ruiz was unlucky to head the ball onto the crossbar.
During the second half, Birkirkara improved and created chances thanks to which they could have scored but Akpan performed two good saves on Jorginho.
B’KARA Andrew Hogg, Matthew Guillaumier, Mislav Andjelkovic, Maurizio Vella (46′ Thiago Brito de Souza), Luke Montebello (46′ Jorge Pereira da Silva), Johann Bezzina (76′ Terence Agius), Clayton Failla, Eduardo Ferreira dos Santos, Nikola Vukanac, Cain Attard
Subs not used: Amara Sylla, Kurt Zammit, Gianluca Bugeja, Carlo Zammit Lonardelli.
Coach: Mark Buttigieg
Asst. Coach: John Arne Riise
FLORIANA Ini Etim Akpan, Enzo Ruiz, Brandon Paiber, Jurgen Pisani, Alex Cini, Ulises Arias (88′ Daniel Agius), Arthur Henrique Oyama, Edward Herrera (74′ Kristian Keqi), Ezequiel Cesani, Emerson Marcelina, Lucas Vieira da Silva (78′ Terence Vella).
Subs not used: Matthew Grech, Clyde Borg, Bradley Sciberras, Dylan Grima.
Coach: Guido Ugolotti
Asst. Coach: Massimo Savio
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Thomas Debono
Fourth Official: Emanuel Grech
Yellow Cards: Vella, Vukanac, Marcelinho
BOV Player of the Match: Brandon Paiber