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Montebello’s last-gasp strike puts Birkirkara fourth

Luke Montebello (left) in a tussle with Mosta's Christ Ememe. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier



Montebello 90


C. Mafoumbi-7, C. Ememe-4, J. Bezzina-6, D. Bonnici-5, G. Sciberras-5 (64 W.Donkin), T. Farrugia-5.5, R. Morisco-6, Z. Brincat-5.5, B. Kaljevic-5, K. Tulimieri-5.5 (64 C. Failla) (72 M. Mifsud), J. Ekani-6.


S. Guarnone-6, E. Pepe-5.5, Y. Yankam-6.5, L. Montebello-6, P. Mbong-5, R. Briffa-6.5, K. Zammit-5.5, C. Bonanni-5, Caio-5 (69 F. Falcone), O. Carniello-6, A. Alves-7 (90 F. Verde)

Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann.

Yellow cards: Tulimieri, Farrugia, Guarnone, Bonanni.

BOV Player of the match: Christoffer Mafoumbi (Mosta)

Just when Birkirkara looked set to be forced to settle for a second consecutive 0-0 draw, Luke Montebello fired home the winner in stoppage time to the delight of the Stripes clan.

The win was a huge boost for Birkirkara who have now moved to fourth place on 28 points, level with Sliema Wanderers.

Mosta can consider themselves unlucky not to have got at least a point after they showed their customary tightness at the back and remain in fifth place, two points behind the Stripes.

Mosta’s intentions were made clear after eight minutes when Kevin Tulimieri got on the end of a dropping ball ln the edge of the Birkirkara area, watching it all the way on to his boot but his crisp, low strike was palmed away by Sandro Guarnone.

Mosta goalkeeper Christoffer Mafoumbi was twice called into action in quick succession. He first clawed away Alves’s 20-metre effort, and from the rebound the Brazilian’s fierce drive needed to be turned around the post by the Congo goalkeeper.

The Stripes maintained the upperhand as they appeared to be making most of their progress on the right side of the pitch with Briffa, Yannick Yankam and Montebello linking well to create some space and give Mosta cause for concern.

On 40 minutes, Briffa won a ball on the halfway line, Yankam’s dummy freed Montebello who burst into the box but Mafoumbi pushed his shot around the post.

Two minutes later,  Birkirkara again posed question on the left flank when Briffa played the ball on Yankam before sending Montebello clear in metres of space. The Malta striker hit a rising shot which Mafoumbi managed to tip over.

Mosta attempted to hit back early after the break but Kaljevic shot straight at Guarnone who saved his effort in two attempts.

On the hour mark, the Birkirkara defence d failed to cut out Johann Bezzina’s cross, on which Zachary Brincat go the faintest of touches as the ball finished just wide.

On 70 minutes, the Mosta keeper showed sharp reflexes again when he blocked away Alves effort.

Michael Mifsud came on as a 72nd minute substitute to make his debut for Mosta to replace Clayton Failla who lasted only eight minutes before going off injured.

However, it was Montebello who gave Birkirkara all three points.

Alves squared the ball for the towering striker as he slipped the ball past Mafoumbi to send the Birkikara clan into raptures.

Standings provided by SofaScore LiveScore

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