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Birkirkara fail to gain ground on Hibernians after being held by Gżira United

Birkirkara's Paul Mbong (centre) charges past Gżira duo Yuri Messias (left) and Steve Pisani. Photo: Domenic Aquilina

GŻIRA UNITED 1           

Messias 37

BIRKIRKARA      1           

Falcone 34


A. Curmi-6, G. Bohrer-6, S. Borg-6.5, N. Muscat-6.5, S. Pisani-6, Y. Messias-6.5, N. Portelli-5.5, M. Maia-6 (69 M. Davis), T. Espindola-6, J. De Assis-6, J. Mendoza-6.


D. Fernandes-6, E. Pepe-6.5, L. Montebello-6, P. Mbong-6 (71 K. Bevis), K. Zammit-6, F. Falcone-6, R. Scicluna-6 (82 C. Bonanni), C. Attard-6, O. Carniello-5.5, L. Aguirre-6, J. Macedo-6.5.

Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann.

Yellow cards: G. Bohrer, S. Pisani, K. Zammit.

BOV Player of the Match: Enrico Pepe (Birkirkara).

Birkirkara extended their unbeaten run in the BOV Premier League following a 1-1 draw against Gżira United at the National Stadium yesterday.

For the Stripes this was their second successive draw in the league after last week they were also held by Floriana by the same identical scoreline.

Birkirkara therefore missed out on joining Hibernians at the top of the standings, as they remain two points behind the Paolites.

Gżira, on the other hand, obtained the third draw from the last four matches and join another four teams on the six-point mark.

Birkirkara made three changes from their last outing as Enrico Pepe, Ryan Scicluna and Leandro Aguirre replaced Enzo Ruiz, Yannick Yankam and Claudio Bonanni.

For Gżira, Martin Davis missed out as coach Darren Abdilla handed a start to Yuri Messias.

The Maroons had the first attempt at goal on 10 minutes as Nikolai Muscat exchanged the ball with Jefferson de Assis before testing goalkeeper Daniel Fernandes with a shot from outside the area.

Five minutes later, the Birkirkara custodian blocked a long-distance freekick by Steve Pisani.

On 26 minutes, Ryan Scicluna served Jeferson Macedo on the right but the latter’s conclusion was blocked by goalkeeper Anthony Curmi.

Hardly a minute later, Paul Mbong released Luke Montebello inside the area but his close-range attempt was blocked by Curmi.

However, on 34 minutes, the Stripes were not to be denied as Cain Attard delivered a cross from the right and Federico Falcone slotted the ball past goalkeeper Curmi.

But three minutes later, the Maroons restored equilibrium.

Yuri Messias pounced on a long clearance by Steve Borg and advanced on the right before beating Fernandes with a diagonal shot.

Gżira missed a good opportunity two minutes from the end of the first half through Jefferson who hit high from close range.

In time added on, Messias concluded a good move with a shot from outside the area which, however, ended off target.

Five minutes in the second half, Luke Montebello had a shot from outside the area which was neutralised by Curmi and five minutes later, Cain Attard came to the rescue for Birkirkara, clearing off the goal line a Messias effort.

The Stripes went close once again on 67 minutes as Leandro Aguirre hit the upright with a free-kick from the left.

However, from then on the match lost much of intensity and we had to wait until the final minutes of the match for another scoring opportunity.

In the dying minutes, Jeferson Macedo concluded a good move with a shot from the edge of the area which, however, ended off target and in added time, a Messias freekick finished high.

Standings provided by SofaScore LiveScore

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