Birkirkara winners of AME Cupby Ayrton Galea - 5th August 2012
Birkirkara won the first edition of the AME Cup when in a balanced match, they continued their winning streak and beat Sliema Wanderers with a 2-1 score.
Many were surprised with Sliema's performance as they made life difficult for ‘The Stripes' more than expected. However, thanks to Birkirkara's determination, which was evident throughout the whole competition, they managed to score a later winner.
The Birkirkara forwards, who were brilliant in the last matches, found a tough opposition today but they still managed to do enough to score twice. Joselito Dos Reis extended his scoring streak to five matches as today he scored the winning goal and his eight one of the competition which saw him being declared as the best scorer of the tournament.
Also, one must praise the numerous and vociferous Birkirkara supporters led by the Birkirkara Ultras, as their support was surely the 12th player on the pitch.
Mr. Paul Zammit decided to start the match with the same eleven players as he did in the semi-final against Mosta. Spanish defender Alejandro Mendoza was making his second appearance in the heart of the defence.
The First Half
A shot by Joselito Dos Reis in the first minute was easily saved by the Sliema goalkeeper Henry Bonello.
Following a quite start, Sliema Wanderers took the lead on the 11th minute when off a corner from the right, Omar El Ghaouti beat Gauci.
On the 21nd minute, following a cross from the right, Ivan Woods headed wide for Sliema.
A direct free-kick by Joselito Dos Reis on the 28th minute ended wide. On the other side of the play, a free-kick for Sliema Wanderers was deflected into a corner on 32nd minute.
A shot by Matias Musccardi for Sliema on the 37th minute ended wide. Another shot for Sliema, this time by Omar El Ghaouti on the 39th minute also ended wide.
In the first substitution for Sliema Wanderers on the 40th minute, John Mintoff was replaced with Miguel CIantar.
The balanced first half ended in a 1-1 draw.
The Second Half
On the 63rd minute Miguel Ciantar rounded Ryan Scicluna but his shot was saved by Gauci.
Reserve player Andre Cassar was sent off for passing remarks towards the referee on the 68th minute.
A shot by Jhonnattann Da Conceicao on the 64th minute was saved by Bonello.
In the second substitution for Sliema on the 73rd minute, Beppe Muscat replaced Omar El Ghaouti.
Reuben Gauci made a fine save on the 78th minute saving a dangerous shot in two attempts.
In the first two substitutions for Birkirkara, on the 80th minute, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza and Zoran Vuckovic replaced Shola Shodiya and Paul Fenech. On the other hand, for Sliema, Josef Mifsud replaced Clifford Gatt Baldacchino.
In the 80th minute, Birkirkara were awarded a penalty and Sliema's custodian Henry Bonello was sent off for flooring Joselito Dos Reis who had already beat Bonello with a close-range effort. Goalkeeper Glenn Zammit replaced Ivan Woods.
Joselito Dos Reis converted the penalty with some luck as Glenn Zammit managed to block the shot, and the ball hit the post before going inside the net.
On the 85th minute, in the third substitution for Birkirkara, Jhonnattan Da Conecao was replaced by Rodrigo Pereira. For Sliema, Diego Ortega was replaced with Pablo Eduardo Gonzalez.
The full time whistle found Birkirkara beating Sliema Wanderers and winning the first edition of the AME Cup.
BIRKIRKARA: Reuben Gauci, Ryan Scicluna, Nikola Vukanac, Alejandro Mendoza, Ryan Camenzuli, Rowen Muscat, Gareth Sciberras, Paul Fenech (80' Zoran Vuckovic), Shola Shodiya (80' Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza), Jhonnattann Da Conceicao (85' Rodrigo Pereira), Joselito Dos Reis (90' Fabian Zammit).
SLIEMA WANDERERS: Henry Bonello, Luca Martinelli, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino (80' Josef Mifsud), Branislav Timotic, John Mintoff, Mark Scerri, Matias Muccardi, Alex Muscat, Diego Ortega (87' Pablo Eduardo Gonzalez), Ivan Woods (82' Glenn Zammit), Omar El Ghaouti (73' Beppe Muscat).
Yellow Cards: Nikola Vukanac (Birkirkara), Mark Scerri, Beppe Muscat, Luca Martinelli (Sliema Wanderers).
Red Cards: Andre Cassar (Birkirkara), Henry Bonello (Sliema Wanderers).