I. Akpan-6, R. Briffa-6 (81 F. Dore), C. Ememe-6, P. Tenebe-6 (67 K. Yamazaki), D. Bonnici-6 (67 M. Okoh), C. Failla-6, B. Diarra-6, J. Akrong-6, J. Vassallo-6, Z. Brincat-6.5 (90 T. Farrugia), J. Ekani-6.5 (90 S. Kingue).
G. Nava-6, O. Iorio-6, Y. Yankam-6.5, K. Zammit-6, M. Fedele-6.5 (72 A. Da Paixao), C. Attard-6, N. Micallef-6 (82 J. Farrugia), E. Cabrera-6, A. Coppola-6, D. Ribeiro-6, A. Ciolacu-6.5 (72 K. Tulimieri).
Referee: Slobodan Petrovic.
Yellow Cards: J. Akrong, C. Ememe, K. Zammit, M. Fedele, E. Cabrera, M. Okoh.
BOV Player of the Match: Andrei Ciolacu (Birkirkara).
Birkirkara missed out on the opportunity of moving second in the table as they were held in a 1-1 draw by Mosta.
Following Gżira United’s defeat to Ħamrun Spartans, the Stripes went into this game looking for the three points which would have put them in the runner-up spot but had to settle for just one point which leaves them one point behind the Maroons.
Likewise Mosta failed to take advantage of Hibernians’ defeat to Marsaxlokk to stay sixth.
However, all in all, it was a balanced encounter and although Birkirkara hit the posts twice, Mosta did not deserve to leave Ta’ Qali empty-handed.
Birkirkara coach Giovanni Tedesco could not count on the suspended Paul Mbong and made two further changes as Osvaldo Iorio, Neil Micallef and Andrei Ciolacu were all handed a start.
Mosta also had three changes as Jonas Rodriguez Ekani, Jacob Akrong and Zachary Brincat were preferred to Glamour Chibueze, Steve Kingue and Michael Chidera Okoh.
The Stripes went in search of an early goal and after just six minutes, they went close with a powerful drive by Andrei Ciolacu from the left which hit the crossbar.
However, Mosta managed to take the lead on 27 minutes. Rodriguez Ekani served Boubakary Diarra who rounded a defender before trying his luck with a shot from outside the area which was not held by goalkeeper Giacomo Nava.
Birkirkara replied with a Denis Custodio Ribeiro cross shot from the left which was parried by Akpan on 37 minutes but three minutes later, Mosta missed a good opportunity when off an assist by Zachary Brincat, Christ Ememe hit high from an ideal position inside the area.
The Stripes were unlucky not to equalise on 43 minutes. An overhead kick by Matteo Fedele was cleared off the goal line and off the rebound, Andrei Ciolacu hit the crossbar.
However, Birkirkara were not to be denied two minutes later. Andrei Ciolacu delivered a cross from the left and Yannick Yankam’s effort hit the upright before ending at the back of the net.
Three minutes in the second half, Christ Ememe had a shot from outside the area ending just wide. Neil Micallef had a powerful drive for Birkirkara just missing the target on 61 minutes but three minutes later, Precious Linus Tenebe went close with a low shot from the edge of the area turned into a corner by Nava.
Goalkeeper Giacomo Nava came to the rescue for Birkirkara three minutes from time when he tipped into a corner a fine Michael Chidera Okoh header off a cross by Zachary Brincat from the right. From the resulting corner by Failla, Okoh hit just wide.
Finally, one minute in added time, a good move between two substitutes for Birkikrkara saw Alex da Paixao serving Kevin Tulimieri whose low shot was neutralised by Akpan.
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