The Malta Independent 5 March 2024, Tuesday
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Stoppage time goal gives Stripes deserved win

Saturday, 10 February 2024, 09:10 Last update: about 23 days ago

Simon Farrugia

Valletta’s Juan Bolanos and Birkirkara’s Kurt Zammit in action from yesterday’s match. Photo: Nicholas Falzon
Valletta’s Juan Bolanos and Birkirkara’s Kurt Zammit in action from yesterday’s match. Photo: Nicholas Falzon

A stoppage time goal by Alessandro Coppola gave Birkirkara a valuable three points in their quest to try and climb into the European zone. On the other hand back to reality for Valletta as their fight for survival continues.

For the Citizens this was a sec‐ ond blow over a few days since during the week they were elim‐ inated from the Izibet FA Trophy by Mosta. In the league they were on a positive run of two wins and a draw.

As for the Stripes this was their first league committment under the stewardship of Jose Borg and after a hard fought qualification during the week against lowly Sirens, this result was a welcome tonic for the boys in yellow.

In the first round the match ended in a 1‐1 draw.

The match was a rather slow pace one with both goalkeepers rarely being called into action.

Though the Stripes held a bit of territorial superiority. Valletta defended boldy but in the end had to lower their heads when Coppola headed into the net.

The few actions of the first half came all from Birkirkara. Eight minutes from the break a long distance shot by Diakite with Guarnone saving with difficulty. And on 41 minutes the Valletta goalkeeper was once again in the thick of action saving a Kurt Za‐ mmit cross shot. Nearing the end of the first half a Coppola shot sailed just over the bar.

Both teams started the second half brightly. On 68 minutes a Maia free kick missed the de‐ sired target. But it was all about enthusiam and nothing else with play restricted to the midfield area amid a series of mistakes from both sides.

Until finally Birkirkara scored the winner with Coppola head‐ ing home a corner to the delight of the Stripes technical staff and the few supporters that made it to the National Stadium.


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