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BOV Premier League

Nine-man Sirens rally to surprise Birkirkara

Birkirkara's Leandro Aguirre outmuscles Fernando Brandan. Photo: Domenic Aquilina

SIRENS                        3         

Vieira 53; Brandan 72

Reid 74

BIRKIRKARA               2         

Montebello 13 pen, 39


S. Mintoff-5.5, K. Reid-6.5, F. Brandan-6.5 (90 A. Blanco), D. Albanese-6, A. Borg-6, J. Walker-6, C. Zammit Lonardelli-6, A. Cini-6, C. Riascos-5.5 (68 F. Avoce), D. Jackson-6, V. Vieira-6.5 (80 C. Borg).


D. Fernandes-6.5, E. Pepe-6, L. Montebello-6.5, C. Bonanni-5.5 (85’ K. Bevis), P. Mbong-6 (85’ Y. Yankam), K. Zammit-6, F. Falcone-5.5, C. Attard-6, O. Carniello-5.5 (46’ E. Ruiz), L. Aguirre-6, J. Macedo-6.

Referee: Daniel Portelli.

Yellow cards: Carniello, Jackson, Aguirre, Reid, Fernandes.

Red Cards: Jackson (S) 80; Reid (S) 89.

BOV Player of the match: Luke Montebello (Birkirkara).

Sirens staged a brilliant comeback as they came back from two goals down at half-time to beat Birkirkara 3-2.

The win puts Sirens in third place three points behind Birkirkara. The Stripes, who were aiming for the victory to join Hibernians on top, therefore suffered a major upset and stay three points behind the Paolites.

Birkirkara coach Andre Paus was forced to make one change from the team which defeated Gudja United last week, replacing the suspended Ryan Scicluna with Claudio Bonanni.

Winston Muscat, on the other hand, named an unchanged side despite the defeat to Valletta.

The Stripes took the lead on 13 minutes.

A run by Luke Montebello on the left was halted by Carlo Zammit Lonardelli who pushed the Malta international striker and from the penalty spot, the towering forward converted.

Sirens replied with a Fernando Brandan freekick which brought the best out of goalkeeper Daniel Fernandes who turned the ball into a corner on 16 minutes.

Six minutes from the end of the first half, Birkirkara doubled the score. 

Jeferson Macedo released Paul Mbong on the right and off the latter’s cross, Montebello hit hard past the Sirens goalkeeper.

Seven minutes in the second half, the Birkirkara custodian turned into a corner a fine header from close range by Kemar Reid.

The St Paul’s Bay side reduced the gap a minute later. Fernando Brandan entered the penalty area from the right and served Vitor Vieira who slotted the ball past Fernandes.

On 72 minutes, Sirens levelled matters. Kemar Reid advanced all alone, only to be brought down by Cain Attard inside the area. Referee Daniel Portelli ordered a penalty and Brandan made no mistake.

Two minutes later, Sirens made it 3-2. Vitor Vieira served Reid on the left and the latter advanced into the area before having a first attempt saved partially by Fernandes but the ball fell at his feet and beat the Birkirkara goalkeeper with an angled shot.

Ten minutes from time, Sirens were reduced to ten men as Degran Jackson was about to be substituted, he received a second yellow card for time wasting for not leaving the pitch immediately.

On 89 minutes, Kemar Reid was also sent off for Sirens, receiving a second yellow card for a foul just outside the area.

Standings provided by SofaScore LiveScore

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