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Birkirkara stroll past Mosta to go fourth in BOV Premier League

Birkirkara's Paul Mbong (left) looks for a way through against Mosta. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

MOSTA             0


Ciolacu 3

A. Zammit 24

Birkirkara maintained their charge towards qualification to European football this summer when they eased past relegation strugglers Mosta at the National Stadium on Saturday.

It was a clinical performance from the Stripes who all but wrapped up the points inside the first 24 minutes of the match as excellent goals from Andrei Ciolacu and Andrea Zammit put them on their way to an impressive victory.

Jose Borg’s team have now moved up to fourth place in the standings, two clear of Marsaxlokk, who, however, face Valletta on Sunday.

On the other hand, Mosta suffered a damaging setback to their hopes of avoiding relegation as Joe Grech’s team are just above the relegation zone with 20 points, two clear of Valletta and Sta Lucia who are in action on Sunday.

Birkirkara were off to a flying start and inside the first three minutes, they were already a goal ahead.

Zammit did well to keep the ball in play on the right flank and serve Ciolacu on the edge of the area. The Romanian forward did not think twice to unleash a firm drive that flew into the net.

Mosta responded on seven minutes when Precious Tenebe flicked the ball into the path of Armin Hovhannisyan but the Armenian’s shot finished over.

Things got worse for Mosta on 25 minutes as Birkirkara doubled their lead.

Paul Mbong’s cross was deviated into the path of Simon Zibo whose shot was tipped away by Akpan. The ball fell into the path of Zammit whose first effort was again kept out by the Mosta no.1 but from the rebound, the former Messina striker blasted home with an acrobatic shot.

Mosta should have pulled a goal back on the half-hour mark when Henry Nwoga dispossessed Pepe but the Nigerian fired over with Marcel Zapytowski only to beat.

Zachary Brincat had an even better chance minutes later when he sped inside the area but failed to beat the onrushing Zapytowski.

After the break, Zammit should have put the game to bed when he found himself in ample space but fired over the bar from close in.

On 68 minutes, Christian Nnajji had the chance to put his team back into the match when the Nigerian received the ball from Nwoga but his shot was straight at Zapytowski.

Seven minutes from time, Nwoga missed another great chance when he headed over with just Zapytowski to beat as Birkirkara eased to victory.

Hibernians forward Jurgen Degabriele tries a shot at the Balzan goal before getting called for offside. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Hibernians held by Balzan in goalless draw

BALZAN            0


In the opening match of the day, Hibernians and Balzan took a point each following a disappointing goalless draw.

The stalemate did little to boost either side’s aspirations as Hibernians have moved level with fourth-placed Marsaxlokk on 26, albeit the latter face Valletta on Sunday.

On the other hand, Balzan move onto the 21-point mark, three clear of the relegation zone but with the majority of their rivals in action on Sunday, they may finish the weekend in a precarious position.

Hibernians enjoyed a slight edge throughout the match but for all their possession, they struggled to break down a resolute Balzan defence.

The Paolites’ best chance in the first half came on the stroke of half-time with Jurgen Degabriele’s shot finishing just wide.

Hibs had another good opportunity early in the second half with Gabriel Artiles looking odds on to score but he saw his shot blocked by the Balzan defence from routine distance.

Balzan threatened late on with Ibrahim Kone taking centre stage when he managed to keep out an Aleksandar Katanic shot.

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