Malta Football Association
Battle for third place goes Birkirkara’s way
May 6, 2017
Posted in:
BOV Premier League

The battle for third place went Birkirkara’s way as the Stripes overhauled rivals Valletta on the final weekend of the 2016/17 BOV Premier League season.


Birkirkara edged out Floriana 2-1 to finish three points ahead of the deposed champions whose late-season slump continued on Friday as they went down 2-1 to Ħamrun Spartans.

However, Birkirkara’s qualification for the Europa League is not yet confirmed as they must wait for the outcome of their appeal against their unsuccessful UEFA licence application.


At the Hibernians Stadium, Floriana thought they had taken the lead on 35 minutes as Amadou Samb shot’s appeared to have crossed the line but the match officials deemed otherwise.


Two minutes later, the Stripes opened the scoring. Off a cross from Vito Plut, Miguel Alba slotted home.


With 14 minutes remaining, Birkirkara doubled their advantage. Alba ran clear on the left before passing to Plut who drove home.


Floriana halved the deficit 10 minutes from the end thanks to Enrico Pepe who scrambled the ball home following a goalmouth melee.


In added time, the Greens should have drawn level as they were awarded a penalty after Samb was fouled by Joseph Zerafa in the box. Enzo Ruiz hit incredibly high from the spot.


At the National Stadium, Ħamrun Spartans ended their long wait for a win over Valletta as they prevailed 2-1, their first victory in 13 games.


The Spartans broke the deadlock on nine minutes courtesy of Massimiliano Giusti who beat goalkeeper Nicky Vella after receiving from Mathieu Manset.


A minute before the end of the first half, the Spartans extended their lead when Jake Grech fed Manset on the left and the latter’s effort had the better of Vella.


Valletta narrowed the deficit in the 65th minute, Maximiliano Velasco heading home from a cross by Leandro Aguirre.
After the final whistle, Valletta winger Uchenna Calistus Umeh was sent off after clashing with an opponent.


Mosta FC earned the right to contest the play-off against Qormi after winning their basement duel with Pembroke Athleta who have been relegated to Division One.


Brazilian Pedrinho struck a brace for Mosta who beat their rivals 4-2. Njongo Priso and Francis Onwudinjo were also on target for the Blues who will meet Qormi, the fourth-placed team in Division One, on Friday.


Steven Racic and Raphael Kooh Sohna were the scorers for Pembroke.


In the other match played on Friday, Sliema Wanderers warmed up for their FA Trophy semi-final with a 2-1 win over Balzan in what was Oliver Spiteri’s last match as coach of the latter team.


Denni Dos Santos and Gabriel Aquilina gave Sliema 2-0 lead in the first half while Alfred Effiong pulled one back for Balzan late on.

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