Birkirkara claimed their first three points as they scored twice in the second half to beat Sirens 2-0 at the Centenary Stadium on Friday.
With Giovanni Tedesco as their new coach, the Stripes had new recruits Giacomo Nava, Diego Pires Dall’Oca, Alessandro Coppola, Kevin Tulimieri and Alex da Paixao Alves all named in the starting line-up while Denis Custodio Ribeiro, Enzo Daniel Cabrera, Denis Custodio Ribeiro and Osvaldo Iorio Forestero were included as substitutes.
Sirens, on the other hand, were practically a completely new team with just Alex Cini and Rei Tachikawa the only players from last year’s squad in their starting line-up. In fact, they had Andrea Cassar, Gary Camilleri, Sean Cipriott, Weder Soares da Silva, Marcelo Pereira Muniz, Kei San, Rei Tachikawa, Paulo Vyctor Bento Do Vale, Ivan Kolev and Gabriel Fernandes Ventura all making their debut.
Photos: Copyright © www.stephengatt.com
During the first half, the Stripes were unlucky to hit the crossbar with a Kevin Tulimieri effort which hit the crossbar following a deflection by a defender.
However, on the hour, Birkirkara took the lead when Alessandro Coppola had a powerful freekick partially saved by Andrea Cassar and off the rebound, Alex da Paixao Alves placed the ball at the back of the net.
Five minutes in added time, in a swift counter-attack for Birkirkara, Alex da Paixao sent Denis Custodio Ribeiro through and the latter hit low past the Sirens goalkeeper.