BOV Premier League | Ħamrun Spartans 0 – Birkirkara 1

Luke Montebello’s goal on the 83rd minute made all the difference as Birkirkara secured a narrow 1-0 win over Ħamrun Spartans.

Thiago Espindola De Paula of Ħamrun tackling Ryan Scicluna for the ball. Photo: Dominic Borg
Thiago Espindola De Paula of Ħamrun tackling Ryan Scicluna for the ball. Photo: Dominic Borg

During the first half, both teams only managed two opportunities each. However, Ħamrun had more of the ball and looked dangerous in front of goal.

Birkirkara tested Steve Sultana after eight minutes. Kurt Zammit went on a good run before hitting a low shot that was saved by the Ħamrun shot stopper.

The Spartans replied a minute later. Davide Succi sent a shot that took a deflection off a defender before hitting the post.

Following twenty-two minutes without a single shot on goal, Birkirkara went close on the 31st minute. From a corner, the ball was delivered into the path of Montebello who fired high.

However, Ħamrun didn’t sit back and threatened again on the 39th minute. Marco Criaco’s cross was met by Tiago Souza De Silveira whose header went slightly over.

Paul Zammit substituted Kurt Zammit with Bruno Fernandez De Brito before the start of the second half to attempt to instil more creativity in his side. In fact, they showed better football throughout the entire second half.

 On the 57th minute, Ryan Camenzuli fired a low shot that was parried by Sultana.

Five minutes later, Carlos Albero Da Silva Goncalves Junior hit a shot from distance that ended up over.

Ħamrun replied on the 70th minute. Marco Criaco’s shot from distance was neutralised by Schranz.

Zammit’s side had another chance on the 79th minute. Da Silva Goncalves received the ball on the right side of the penalty area and hit a powerful drive that went over.

Birkirkara’s efforts paid off on the 83rd minute. Jake Grech’s shot took a deflection off a defender and went into the path of Montebello whose low finish gave Sultana no chance.

Ħamrun gave everything in the last seven minutes, but were unable to find a way past Birkirkara’s defence.

Ħamrun Spartans starting line-up: Steve Sultana, Tiago Souza De Silveira, Daniel Zerafa, Marco Criaco, Guilherme Felipe De Castro, Cristian Zaccardo, Davide Succi, Thiago Espindola De Paula, Triston Caruana, Francisco Manoel Marino Clavero (Siraj Eddin Arab -74), Karl Micallef (Julian Galea – 87)

Birkirkara starting line-up: Philip Schranz, Cain Attard, Nikola Vukanac, Lucas Maia, Kurt Zammit (Bruno Fernandez De Brito – 45), Mislav Andelkovic, Ryan Camenzuli, Ryan Scicluna, Edward Herrera (Jake Grech – 67), Carlos Alberto Da Silva Goncalves Junior (Llyewlyn Cremona -87) , Luke Montebello

Referee: Philip Farrugia

Assistant Referees: Jurgen Spiteri, William Debattista

Fourth Official: Sandro Spiteri

Yellow Cards: Carlos Alberto Da Silva Goncalves Junior (Birkirkara), Ryan Scicluna (Birkirkara), Ryan Camenzuli (Birkirkara), Daniel Zerafa (Ħamrun Spartans), Luke Montebello (Birkirkara), Mislav Andelkovic (Birkirkara)

BOV Player of the Match: Marco Criaco (Ħamrun Spartans)