Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Valletta, Birkirkara share spoils in six-goal thriller
Apr 16, 2017
Posted in:
General
Leagues
BOV Premier League

Valletta and Birkirkara served up a six-goal thriller on Saturday but had to settle for a point apiece following a 3-3 draw at the National Stadium. While these two rivals were trading goals, Hibernians made a significant step towards winning the title after defeating Gżira United 2-0 with first-half goals from Brazilians Jorginho and Gilmar.



Sitting on a 2-0 half-time lead, Hibs controlled proceedings in the second period to secure their sixth win in seven matches. Gżira United has Rene Louis Zome sent off late on.

 

Gilmar took the BOV player of the match award.

 

Hibernians are now five points ahead of Balzan, 2-1 winners over St Andrews, and six above Valletta who twice came from behind to rescue a point in their clash with Birkirkara.

 

Both teams set out to attack, knowing that only a victory suited their needs. Valletta broke the deadlock after eight minutes, Santiago Malano hitting home from close in after meeting a pass from Romeu Romao.

 

After surviving a couple of scares, Birkirkara equalised four minutes from half-time thanks to Nikola Vukanac who was on hand to drive the ball home amid a goalmouth melee.

 

The Stripes headed into the half-time break on a high after Christian Bubalovic put them 2-1 ahead, nodding home from Srdjan Dimitrov’s cross from the right.

 

Valletta were up against it but equalised with 16 minutes remaining thanks to another close-range finish by substitute Maximiliano Velasco.

 

Their joy was shortlived though as, barely two minutes later, Birkirkara won a penalty after Romao brought down Dimitrov inside the box. Edward Herrera drilled his shot past Dziugas Bartkus to restore Birkirkara’s lead.

 

It was not over yet as, 10 minutes from time, Velasco created space before rifling an angled shot past Bonello to make the score 3-3.

 

Dimitrov, the Birkirkara playmaker, was named BOV player of the match.

 

LATE DRAMA

There was late drama in the match between Balzan and St Andrews at the Hibernians Stadium.

 

Everything happened in the second half with Bojan Kaljevic firing Balzan ahead on 62 minutes.

 

St Andrews had a golden opportunity to equalise as they were awarded a penalty after Dale Camilleri was fouled in the penalty area but Ivan Edgardo Paz blasted high.

 

In stoppage time, the Saints won a second penalty and this time Joseph Farrugia made no mistake.

 

It looked over for Balzan who had defender Bruno sent off in the penalty incident but they managed to snatch a last-gasp winner thanks to defender Elkin Serrano Valero who scored after receiving from Abdelkarim Nafti.

 

Balzan finished the match with nine men after midfielder Ryan Fenech was sent off for directing abusive language towards the referee.

 

Kaljevic, the Balzan striker, was named BOV player of the match.

 

ALL SQUARE

In Saturday’s opening game at the National Stadium, Pembroke Athleta and Tarxien Rainbows shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw.

 

Pembroke forged ahead when Stefan Racic won and converted a penalty on 63 minutes but Tarxien equalised 16 minutes from the end. Zoran Levnaic tripped Alex Alves in the box and Ayrton Azzopardi scored from the penalty spot.

 

Four minutes from time, Pembroke defender Iraklis Roppas was sent off for a second booking.

 

Alex Alves, the Tarxien winger, was named BOV player of the match.

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