Malta Football Association
Birkirkara back on track as title rivals drop points
Jan 30, 2017
Posted in:
BOV Premier League
Photo: Joe Borg
Photo: Joe Borg

  • Photo: Joe Borg
  • Photo: Joe Borg
  • Photo: Domenic Aquilina
  • Photo: Domenic Aquilina
  • Photo: Paul Zammit Cutajar
  • Photo: Paul Zammit Cutajar

It has been a very fruitful weekend for Birkirkara as their come-from-behind 2-1 win over Hibernians coupled with draws for Balzan and Valletta gave their title hopes a much-needed boost.

Another weekend of exciting action and goals – 20 in total – saw Birkirkara come back from 1-0 down to gain three important points thanks to goals from Vito Plut (61) and Nikola Vukanac (80).


Malta U-21 striker Juergen Degabriele had given Hibernians the lead 10 minutes into the second half but the Paolites were unable to hold off Birkirkara’s reaction.


While Birkirkara have leapfrogged Floriana into fourth place on 34 points, Hibernians missed the chance to displace Balzan from the top as they remain second with 40 points from 20 games.


On Saturday, Balzan surrendered a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw with the much-improved Tarxien Rainbows who are unbeaten in their last seven games.


Abdelkarim Nafti (33) and Paul Fenech (44) put Balzan 2-0 by half-time but the Rainbows made a strong rally to rescue a point with late goals from Julian Galea (76) and Alex Nilsson (81).


Tarxien are sixth in the standings on 28 points.


The competitive and balanced nature of this season’s BOV Premier League was also evident in Saturday’s clash between Valletta and St Andrews which ended one-all.


Tomas Radzinevicius scored his first goal for Valletta with a fine strike on 32 minutes but St Andrews levelled matters nine minutes into the second half when Zigaz Kastevec headed past goalkeeper Dziugas Bartkus.


Valletta remain third in the standings on 37 points, five adrift of Balzan, while St Andrews are ninth on 22 points.


Floriana failed to capitalise on the loss of points incurred by both Balzan and Valletta after going down 4-3 to Gżira United in a thrilling game on Sunday.


Argentine striker Ignacio Varela opened the scoring on 42 minutes but Gżira enjoyed a spellbinding spell in the first 25 minutes of the second period, scoring four times through Ige Adeshina, Ian Azzopardi, Juan Corbalan and Loaus Rene Zome.


Ryan Camenzuli reduced the arrears 11 minutes from time and Mario Fontanella gave Floriana a lifeline when converting a late penalty but Gżira held on to secure their first win after three successive defeats.


In the other games, Mosta ended a 13-match winless run with a 2-1 win over Sliema Wanderers and Pembroke Athleta edged Ħamrun Spartans 1-0 to bolster their own survival hopes.


Njongo Priso and Zachary Brincat were on target for Mosta with Alex Muscat temporarily putting Sliema level from the penalty spot.


Mosta share bottom spot with Pembroke Athleta who beat the Spartans with a first-half strike from Daren Falzon to gain a much-needed lift in their fight for survival.

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