Birkirkara held by Ki Klaksvik

Michael Mifsud’s first goal for the stripes was cancelled out by Ronni Moller-Iversen as Birkirkara were held in a 1-1 draw by Ki Klaksvik.

Edward Herrera of Birkirkara and Boris Dosljak challenging each other for the ball. Photo: Christine Borg
Edward Herrera of Birkirkara and Boris Dosljak challenging each other for the ball. Photo: Christine Borg

Ki Klaksvik are a side that plays in Faroe Island’s Premier League. They are one of the most successful clubs in their country and managed to win Faroe Island’s Premier League seventeen times. During the previous campaign, they missed out on the title on goal difference. At the moment, they sit second behind Havnar Boltfelag.

As stated by Paul Zammit in yesterday’s press conference, this game was not going to be easy for the Maltese side as they changed a number of players from the previous season. In fact, a number of these newly signed players started the match. Such players include Arian Mrsulja, Eduardo Mancha, Michael Mifsud, Marcelinho and Uchenna Umeh.

Birkirkara’s coach started with a 4-3-3 formation which indicated his attempt to try to win the game in order to progress to the next round of the Europa League.

During the first half, both sides cancelled each other out inside the centre of the pitch. As a matter of fact, neither team managed a single shot on goal.

With regards to Birkirkara, it was evident that the players have been together for a short period of time. Their major problem was lack of communication between themselves and thus their final pass never managed to penetrate past Ki Klaksvik’s defence. In addition, it was significant that there was a need to increase the number of players in the centre of the pitch as Jake Grech, Mislav Andjelkovic and Marcelinho struggled to aid Mifsud, Fabiano and Umeh who were playing up front.

Birkirkara started the second half more determined and managed to threaten Ki Klaksvik on the 50th minute. Umeh hit a low shot from distance that was neutralised by Kristian Joensen.

The stripes kept seeing more of the ball and created another chance on the hour mark. Cain Attard delivered the ball towards Marcelinho whose shot from the left was saved by Joensen.

Ki Klaksvik replied on the 69th minute. Jakup Andreason’s shot from outside the penalty area went high.

Birkirkara forged ahead two minutes later. Grech’s shot took a deflection and went into the path of Mifsud. The veteran striker fired a shot from the right that gave Joensen no chance.

However, Ki Klaksvik hit back and equalised on the 88th minute. From a corner, Andreasen delivered a cross that was met by Deni Pavlovic who headed the ball past Kristijan Naumovski.

Ki Klaksvik nearly scored the winning goal two minutes later. Substitute Molli-Iversen went on a great run before hitting a shot that ended up marginally over.

Following this result, Birkirkara will now need to win or secure a draw in which they score more than one goal in order to make it to the second preliminary round.

The return leg will be played on the 5th of July.

Birkirkara starting line-up: Kristijan Naumovski, Edward Herrera, Arian Mrsulja, Mislav Andjelkovic, Jake Grech, Eduardo Mancha, Michael Mifsud, Fabiano, Cain Attard, Marcelinho, Uchenna Umeh

Ki Klaksvic starting line-up: Kristian Joensen, Marko Dusak, Deni Pavlovic, Joannes Bjartalio, Pall Klettskard, Hordur Askham, Olavur Niclasen, Jakup Andreasen, Boris Dosljak, Semir Hadzibulic, Joannes Kalso Danielsen

Referee: Besfort Kasumi (Kosovo)

Assistant Referees: Edmond Zeqiri, Fatmir Sekiraqa

Fourth Official: Genc Nuza

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