The Malta Independent 21 October 2019, Monday

Football: BoV Premier League - Newcomer Andrei Agius A winner for Birkirkara

Malta Independent Monday, 31 January 2011, 00:00 Last update: about 10 years ago

With their two recent signings finally cleared to play, Birkirkara were able to overcome a stubborn Vittoriosa side and move within one point of third team above them Floriana.

Of all the new talent on display, central defender Andrei Agius stole the limelight as he scored his side’s winner in the first half upon his debut. Brazilian striker Rodolfo Kumbravicius, known as Alemao, failed to leave an impression – perhaps too early to rite him off – but his big frame renders him clumsy and the forward lacks flair.

Michael Galea and Patrick Borg were exiled to the bench as Terence Vella was preferred to Karl Pulo in the Stripes’ starting line-up.

Vittoriosa effected only one change. Alan Tabone started the match, against his former team mates, as Leighton Grech was named among the substitutes.

As might have been expected, Birkirkara did most of the early running as Vittoriosa stayed composed and tactically more aware. Lattes was the first to test the Vittoriosa keeper Agius with a low drive from near the byeline, turned into a corner.

Vittoriosa replied with a Silva run down the right. His low cross was cleared by Agius before Edison could connect.

Gradually Birkirkara started to find their rhythm and twice threatened to break the deadlock in as many minutes. Bajada advanced through the middle but put his final shot wide. On a Lattes cross from the right, Vella’s shot from the far side hit the underside of the bar.

Vella headed tamely a Lattes free kick but Birkirkara always looked the more likely to score.

On 38 minutes, Bajada played a free kick from the left which the Vittoriosa defence failed to clear and Vukanac could send a counter cross for Andrei Agius to chest the ball and score with a scissors kick.

Vittoriosa could hardly trouble the Birkirkara defence for the rest of the half and even when Tabone sent an inviting low ball across the face of goal, there was nobody to connect to it.

Vittoriosa carved out the second half’s first chance when the Birkirkara keeper Fraser fisted out Micallef’s free kick for Ryan Grech to hit the loose ball narrowly over.

Birkirkara still enjoyed the better share of possession but struggled to make it count in the face of an organised Vittoriosa defence. Their build-ups were often stifled on the edge of the Stars’ penalty area as the Stripes failed to produce enough incisive movement, especially because Alemao lacked mobility. He was eventually substituted on 72 minutes.

With a quarter of an hour remaining, it as still anybody’s game, especially after Vittoriosa put in Leighton Grech for Tabone to give them more impetus. His insidious cross on 74 minutes was headed out by Buhagiar.

Birkirkara themselves could have sealed the match with a Fenech powerful shot which keeper Agius repelled into a corner.

And on the stroke of full time, Vittoriosa went narest of salvaging a point when keeper Fraser fisted out a Leighton Grech corner and then superbly tipped Micallef’s long range shot over the bar to preserve the win for Birkirkara.

Vittoriosa S S. Agius, K. Sammut, C. Micallef, S. Wellman, J. Chetcuti, M. Maccari, R. Grech, L. Edison, J. Silva, A. Ewurum, A. Tabone (L. Grech)

Coach W. Muscat

Birkirkara M. Fraser, T. Vella (R. Camenzuli), J. Zerafa, N. Vukanac, S. Bajada (R. Scicluna), A. Agius, R. Kumbrevicius (K. Pulo), R. Muscat, P. Fenech, E. Lattes, A. Buhagiar

Coach P. Zammit

Referee A. M. Sant

Asst.refs E. Spiteri, M. Mercieca

4th official E. Azzopardi

Scorers A. Agius 38

Player of the match E. Lattes (B’Kara)

TMi top 3 1. A. Buhagiar 2. M. Maccari 3. E. Lattes

Attendance 1,633

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