Malta Football Association
Grech on the spot as Birkirkara down Balzan
Aug 18, 2018
Posted in:
BOV Premier League
Photo: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
Photo: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

  • Photo: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
  • Photo: Joe Borg/MFA
  • Photo: Joe Borg/MFA

BALZAN        0


Birkirkara began their 2018-19 BOV Premier League campaign on a high note after beating Balzan 1-0 at the National Stadium.

Jake Grech’s penalty – given for a foul on Thiago Brito – after just 15 minutes decided Friday’s game between two teams with high hopes of challenging for the title.


Paul Fenech, who rejoined Birkirkara from Balzan, Milan Basrak, Thiago Brito, Danilo Chapoval and Carlos Chavarria made their debut for Birkirkara while Eduardo Mancha had made his bow for the club in the Europa League.


Goalkeeper Steve Sultana and Nenad Slijvic made their first league appearance for Balzan who had a host of good chances, especially in the first half through Bojan Kaljevic and Alfred Effiong who failed to find the target.


Balzan ended the match with 10 men after Ricardo Correa was sent off for retaliation.


BOV player of the match: Jake Grech (Birkirkara).



HIBERNIANS         2



Hibernians needed a stoppage-time goal to see off the challenge of Pietà Hotspurs in their Premier League opener at the Victor Tedesco Stadium on Friday, winning 2-1.


Radojevic, Isaah Toah Ntow, Ivan Blazevic, Tiago Adan Fonseca and Taylon Correa Marcolino, on as a substitute, were handed their debut by new Hibernians coach Stefano Sanderra.


Goalkeeper Nicky Vella, Takaki Ose, Shunsuke Nakamura and Paul Chimezie made their first appearance for the Hotspurs.


The game was only eight minutes old when Hibs forged ahead thanks to Jurgen Degabriele whose angled shot had the better of goalkeeper Nicky Vella.


On the stroke of half-time, Johann Bezzina came close to doubling Hibs’ lead but his free-kick came off the crossbar.


Pietà levelled nine minutes into the second half with a fortuitous own goal.


Gabriel Mensah’s cross was deflected by goalkeeper Andrew Hogg but the ball came off Hibs defender Andrei Agius and ended in the back of the net.


Pietà’s hopes appeared to suffer a blow when, midway into the second half, Jalo Ishaya Irimiya was dismissed after earning a second yellow card for a reckless challenge.


Despite their numerical advantage, Hibs struggled to impose themselves but, two minutes into stoppage time, substitute Correa Marcolino scored the winner with a strong shot which went in via the upright.


BOV player of the match: Jurgen Degabriele (Hibernians).




QORMI                             1


Alessio Cassar was Qormi’s hero as the newly-promoted side marked their return to top-flight football with a 1-0 victory over Senglea Athletic at the Victor Tedesco Stadium on Friday.


The Yellow-Blacks were the better team in the early stages, going close when Davide Mansi headed wide from Seo In Kim’s cross.


Karl Cutajar was wide for Senglea whose goalkeeper Philip Schranz pushed away a curling free-kick from Iven Zammit.


Schranz denied Kim with a good save just before the end of the first half. 


Qormi struck the winner six minutes into the second half, Cassar firing home from close range after being set up by Yannick Yankam’s headed assist.


BOV player of the match: Seo In Kim (Qormi).

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