Birkirkara secure runner-up spot

Birkirkara will be playing European football once again after they secured the runner-up spot, beating Pieta’ Hotspurs 3-2 at the National Stadium on Friday.

The Stripes move seven points clear of third-placed Balzan and eight ahead of Gzira United and Hibernians with the latter three having just two games to play for the end of the season.

The Hotspurs, on the other hand, remain anchored at the bottom of the table with 11 points, three behind Zebbug Rangers and Santa Lucia, who both have a game in hand. However, although they could still end their commitments on level points with Zebbug and Santa Lucia, an inferior record in the direct encounters mean that they have now been relegated to the Challenge League.

Birkirkara took the lead on the 16th minute when a cross by Osvaldo Iorio was blocked by Reeves Cini but Yannick Yankam headed home off the rebound.

Two minutes in added time, before the end of the first half, the Stripes doubled the score courtesy of Osvaldo Iorio who hit home off the rebound after an Enzo Daniel Cabrera effort hit the woodwork.

Pieta’ reduced the gap on the 65th minute when an Armen Hovhannisyan effort was deflected by the goalkeeper onto the upright, Daniel Zerafa hit the upright once again off the rebound with Clinton Bangura finally placing the ball at the back of the net.

Substitute Alex da Paixao Alves made it 3-1 for Birkirkara on the 74th minute, beating Cini with a low shot following a fine solo effort.

Two minutes in added time, the Hotspurs scored again when a Takuma Yamaguchi effort was deflected by Osvaldo Iorio past Sylla for an own goal.

>> Birkirkara vs Pieta’ Hotspurs match card

>> BOV Premier League Results, Fixtures, Tables & Scorers