Birkirkara late penalty stings Valletta

Birkirkara left it late to stun Valletta in a match that ended 1-1. This result means that Hibernians can really keep the pressure on Valletta after they defeated Floriana on the other match of the day.

Birkirkara were the better side during the first half.

Valletta's were in danger on the eighth minute when Birkirkara's Paul Fenech came close to scoring from close range but the ball was cleared to safety.

Birkirkara held the initiative during the first half but it remained goalless thanks to Valletta's solid defence and goalkeeping.

Valletta managed to start the second half with a much better attitude. Two minutes after the start Denni Rocha dos Santos was unlucky to hit the woodwork with his attempt on goal.

Valletta kept putting more pressure on Birkirkara and finally on the 71st minute off a cross by Ousseni Zongo, Dennis Rocha dos Santos found the back of the net with his powerful shot.

As the match looked like it would end in Valletta's favour, Birkirkara was awarded a penalty on the 85th minute when Steve Borg fouled Shola Shodiya inside the area. Moises Avila Perez made no mistake from the penalty spot to beat goalkeeper Andre Hogg and score the equaliser for Birkirkara.

On the 88th minute, Valletta's Alfred Effiong was sent off after the referee spotted him hitting Rodrigo Pereira.

Denni Rocha dos Santos was voted BOV Player of the Match.

VALLETTA Andrew Hogg, Jonathan Caruana, Steve Borg, Aleksandrs Cekulajevs (46′ Alfred Effiong), Ian Azzopardi, Roderick Briffa, Edmond Agius, Ousseni Zongo (83′ Saidou Mady Panandetiguiri), Denni Rocha dos Santos, William Barbosa, Roderick Bajada (57′ Gilbert Agius).
Subs not used: Yenz Cini, Nahuel Pulitano Jimenez, Filippo Andrea Scozzese, Terence Scerri.
Coach: Leonard Farrugia
Assistant Coach: Jesmond Zerafa

BIRKIRKARA Reuben Gauci, Rodrigo Pereira, Nikola Vukanac, Jorge Santos Silva (82′ Moises Avila Perez), Shaun Bajada, Ryan Scicluna (73′ Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza), Paul Fenech, Angus Buhagiar, Gareth Sciberras, Joseph Zerafa, Shola Shodiya Harun (87′ Rowen Muscat).
Subs not used: Karl Magri, Ryan Camenzuli, Alan Tabone, Michael Camilleri.
Coach: Paul Zammit
Assistant Coach: Peter Pullicino

Referee: Glenn Tonna
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Mitchell Scerri
Fourth Official: Esther Farrugia Azzopardi
Yellow Cards: Bajada, Borg, Zerafa, Vukanac, Pereira, Avila Perez

Red Card: Alfred Effiong
Scorers: 71′ Denni Rocha dos Santos (V); 86′ Moises Avila Perez pen (B)



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