Tounkara 27; Wellington 39
Mbong 44; Falcone 49
D. Cassar-6, Wellington-6.5, Raphael, W. Domoraud-6.5, J. Walker-6, A. Borg-5, S. Tounkara-7, R. Scicluna-6, T. Agius-6 (85 R. Romao), M. Angel Bustos-5 (71 M. Mifsud), T. Espindola-6.
S. Guarnone-6, E. Pepe-6, Y. Yankam-6, L. Montebello-5, P. Mbong-6.5 (65 Caio), R. Briffa-6, F. Falcone-6.5, C. Attard-6, C. Bonanni-5, O. Carniello-65, A. Alves-65 (86 F. Verde).
Referee Darryl Agius.
Yellow card Bustos.
BOV Player of the match Paul Mbong (Birkirkara).
Birkirkara and Sirens gave life to a highly-entertaining encounter that saw the Stripes prevail in a six-goal thriller at the Hibs Stadium.
There was little separating either side as both adopted an offensive approach right from the outset and it was only Birkirkara’s superior cutting edge in front of goal that earned them the spoils to maintain their impressive form of late.
In fact, this was Birkirkara’s second win in a row and lifted them in fourth place on 24 points, four adrift of joint-leaders Ħamrun Spartans and Sliema Wanderers who, however, have a game in hand.
On the other hand, Sirens produced another bright display under coach Giovanni Tedesco but in the end they lacked that much needed cutting edge in the final third but surely the St Paul’s Bay side are showing signs that are capable to climb out of the bottom places in the standings.
Birkirkara were on the offensive right from the start and after eight minutes Federico Fclone moved clear on the right and served Paul Mbong whose was pushed away by David Cassar.
At the other hand, Samba Tounkara worked a good one-two with Wifried Domoraud before hitting an angled drive that flashed just wide.
Birkirkara should have taken the lead on 17 minutes when David Cassar punched away Alves’s cross into the path of Enrico Pepe but the latter’s shot was pushed away by Sirens no. 1.
The rebound fell to Paul Mbong who turned past Cassar and served Yannick Yankam but the latter’s shot was cleared off the line by Raphael.
Cassar was again the protagonist on 26 minutes when he dived to his right to push away Cain Attard’s inswinger.
The Sirens custodian was left helpless from the ensuing corner as Oscar Carniello latched onto Alex Alves delivery to divert the ball into the net.
Birkirkara’s joy was shortlived though as straight from the kick-off Sirens were handed a way back when Claudio Bonanni tried to head the ball towards goalkeeper Guarnone but his header lacked power and in came Samba Tounkara dribbled the Stripes keeper to fire home.
Birkirkara tried to regroup and Federico Falcone came close but his shot was blocked by Cassar.
Instead it was Sirens who struck against on 39 minutes when from a Tounkara corner, Wellington was left unmarked to fire home.
The goals kept flowing and Birkirakra restored parity on the stroke of half-time when from an Alves free-kick, the Sirens defence failed to clear the danger and Mbong hammered the ball into the roof of the net.
Birkirkara started the second half strongly and after just four minutes they restored their lead.
Falcone stormed inside the area and hit a rasping drive past Cassar.
The match remained entertaining and Sirens came close to draw level again on the hour when Ryan Scicluna picked Domoraud but the Frenchman’s effort just missed the upright.
Tedesco roped in Michael Mifsud for the final stages of the match but despite their efforts they struggled to created any serious danger.
Instead, it was Birkirkara who added a fourth goal in stoppage time when in a quick break, Luke Montebello’s shot was deflected past Cassar.