The Malta Independent 16 December 2018, Sunday

BOV Premier League: Stripes back to winning terms with late strikes

Monday, 24 September 2018, 00:34 Last update: about 4 months ago

Simon Farrugia

Photos: Domenic Aquilina
Photos: Domenic Aquilina

Floriana            0
Birkirkara         2

Floriana:  I. Akpan, E. Ruiz, S. Pisani (D. Grima 82' ), I. Varela, M. Vella (D. Agius 73' ), J. Conceicao Cabral, C. Failla, J. Pisani. A. Cini, A. Oyama (C. Borg 83' ), E. Marcellina

Birkirkara:  K. Naumovski, D. Chapoval, M. Andelkovic, P. Fenech, K. Zammit (M. Beerman 55' ), E. Ferreira Dos Santos, C. Attard, T. Agius ( E. Herrera 55' ), M. Franca De Siqueira, E. De Souza Thiago, M. Basrak (J, Grech 75' )

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Referee:  Malcolm Spiteri

Asst refs:  Jurgen Spiteri, Mitchell Scerri

4th official: Matthew Degabriele

Scorers:  Mislav Andelkovic 88', Jake Grech 94'

Yellow cards:  K. Zammit, D. Chapoval, A. Cini

Red Card:  A. Cini

Player of the match: Marcelo Franca De Sequeira (Floriana)

TMI Top 3:  1. M.Franca De Sequeira , 2. K.Naumovski , 3. M. Andelkovic  

Attendance:  1187

A gem of a goal scored two minutes from the end by Mislav Andelkovic  paved the way for  the Stripes from Birkirkara to register their third win from four matches. A win which put joint second with Sliema and Balzan.

It was harsh on Floriana who held the upper hand for long periods though playing since the 39th minute in inferiority after the dismissal of Cini.

Floriana were on a high after last week's win over Hibernians, their first win of the campaign. On the other hand last week marked the first defeat for the Stripes following a 3-0 drubbing by reigning champions Valletta.

It was the Greens who made the early running but Birkirkara were never outclassed and had the lions share of play. Luis Oliveira started with the same formation of their previous encounter with Paul Zammit making two changes, Cain Attard and Thiago De Souza coming in for Mifsud and Uchenna.

Birkirkara went close on 7 minutes when a Franca De Siqueira acute shot was blocked by Akpan. With Floriana countering on 11 minutes with the ball reaching Cabral but on trying to round Naumovski was disposed off the ball by Attard with the Greens personnel protesting harshly.

Akpan once again saved a Franca De Siqueira shot from outside the area turning onto a corner.  In the 24th minute Cabral was again in the thick of action only for his long distance drive to be palmed onto a corner by Naumovski.

But Floriana were dealt a huge blow six minutes from the break when Alex Cini was given the marching orders following a second bookable offence.

The second half was rather dull with play restricted for long stretches in the midfield area. On 69 minutes a Varela shot was deflected by Chapoval. And in the 74th minute the Stripes responded but Franca De Siqueira's overhead kick was easy prey for Akpan.

A minute later Floriana went near through a Varela dipper but Naumovski was on the alert to turn over onto a corner.  With the Greens though in numerical disadvantage increasing their tempo with another chance in the 79th minute but a Daniel Agius shot was saved by Naumovski.

Ten minutes from time Paul Fenech tested Akpan with a shot from the distance. And in the 86th minute Akpan once again was the saviour when he blocked Grech's free kick.

Two minutes from the end Mislav Andelkovic scored a wonder strike finding the net from the edge of the area. Floriana threw everything on the attack and in added time Varela found Jurgen Pisani but his header was saved by Andelkovic.

With Birkirkara wrapping it up in the 94th minute in a quick counter attack with Franca De Sequeira finding Jake Grech who tapped in from close range.

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