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Cabrera’s second-half penalty comes to Birkirkara’s rescue

Birkirkara's Paul Mbong (right) tackles Leandro Aguirre. Photo: Christine Borg


Cabrera 67 pen


Fonseca 47


G.Nava-6, D. Pires-6 (90 N. Micallef), Y. Yankam-7, P. Mbong-6, K. Zammit-5, M, Fedele-5 (63 A, Ciolacu), C. Attard-5, D. Cabrera-7, A. Coppola-5, C. Ribeiro-6, K. Tulimieri-6 (85 JP Farrugia).


M. Drobnajk-6, A. Attard-6 (79 D. Agius), C. Bonanni-5.5, P. Xuereb-7, J. Aguilar-7.5, R. Scicluna-6, F. Moracci-6, D. Vukovic-6, V. Sanago-6 (87 K. Keqi), T. Fonesca-6 (72 T. Vella).

Referee: Glen Tonna.

Yellow cards: Xuereb, Fonseca, Drobnjak, Zammit, Sanago, Aguilar,

BOV player of the match: Juan Cruz Aguilar (Marsaxlokk).

Enzo Cabrera came to Birkirkara’s rescue as his second-half penalty earned his team a 1-1 draw against Marsaxlokk.

Although Birkirkara were expected to pick up spoils, the final outcome still came in handy for the Stripes as they managed to move just two points behind second-placed Gżira in the race for the runners-up spot.

Birkirkara dominated early on but lacked the cutting edge to open up a resolute Marsaxlokk defence.

On 16 minutes, Cabrera came close but his deflected effort finished just over.

With Tiago Fonesca in a withdrawn role for Marsaxlokk, Kristian Keqi and Terence Vella on the bench, Vamara Sanago had little support up front.

Paul Mbong looked sharp in attack for Birkirkara and he was unlucky not to give his team the lead, when he was set up by Yannick Yankam but his effort was punched away by Marsaxlokk goalkeeper Marko Drobnjak.

Despite Birkirkara’s dominance, it was Marsaxlokk who went ahead two minutes after the break.

Santiago Moracci, a largely peripheral figure in the first half, instigated the move when he outsprinted Zammit on the right flank before squaring to Fonseca who finished off with a powerfully-struck shot in the bottom corner.

With the game slipping away from Birkirkara, Tedesco brought on Andrei Ciolacu for Matteo Fedele.

On 67 minutes, Cabrera was credited with a fine run that allowed him inside the area before Claudio Bonanni’s suspicious challenge on the Birkirkara striker was sanctioned by a penalty. The Argentine striker picked himself up to send Drobnjak the wrong way.

The Stripes threw more men forward and Yankam had a chance to secure victory, only to slice his shot wide from inside the area.

But Marsaxlokk’s defence stood firm and Pablo Doffo was delighted with a valuable point.

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