Birkirkara lose 1-0 despite great performance

by Ayrton Galea - 13th August 2012
Birkirkara FC

Centenary Stadium

13/08/2012 - 17:30
SU 1 Dezembro

Birkirkara suffered a very unlucky defeat against the Portuguese side, SU 1 Dezembro. Despite being the best team for long stretches Birkirkara lost 1-0.

Without any doubt, Birkirkara deserved something from this match as they played what could be called a perfect tactical match. If last Saturday's match was characterised by loose marking, this time Birkirkara left no space and they were faultless at the back.

One must remember that in 2009, Dezembro trashed Birkirkara with a 10-0 score and many expected another big score but they were mistaken. In view of this, today's minimum defeat is a respectable one.

The local champions were coming from a heavy 8-0 defeat against Olimpia Cluj-Napoca while Dezembro were coming from a comfortable 4-0 victory over Glentoran FC.

Birkirkara had Isabelle Mazzitelli missing after she failed to recover on time. Maryrose Cardona was not in the best condition due to suffering a back injury and she started the match on the bench. Kelly Agius Pace was deployed in unfamiliar right back position. Dorcas Debono replaced Kelly Agius Pace in the forward line.

The First Half

A direct freekick by Isolaine Carvalha for Dezembro ended over on the 4th minute.

A freekick by Dezembro on the 13th minute was blocked by Janice Xuereb and cleared by the defence.

A header by Paula Santos on the 15th minute off a corner from the left was blocked by Xuereb and the defence cleared into safety.

Dezembro took the lead on the 16th minute when after a fine solo action, Andreia Silva beat Janice Xuereb with a low shot from close range.

A shot by Filipa Patao for Dezembro on the 19th minute ended wide.

Birkirkara's improvement was clear to notice in the first twenty minutes despite a goal disadvantage as they kept closing all the gaps and were much more disciplined in their tactics.

The referee ordered the first water break on the 22nd minute with both coaches giving fresh instructions.

Following a fine action, a cross by Dorcas Debono was deflected and saved by goalkeeper Mcrais on the 24th minute.

Rachel Cuschieri and Martina Cilia combined well on the 28th minute but the latter's cross was saved by the goalkeeper.

Birkirkara almost equalised on the 33rd minute when following a perfect cross by Rachel Cuschieri on the left, Gabriella Zahra's fine header ended over the bar by inches.

Birkirkara continued to be the better team on the pitch and on the 44th minute, Gabriella Zahra served Rachel Cuschieri who sent a perfect cross in direction of Dorcas Debono but her first touch was too long and the goalkeeper saved without difficulty.

The first half saw Birkirkara being the better team, fighting for every ball and creating the best chances but still in a 1-0 disadvantage. The players were applauded by those present for their determined performance so far.

The Second Half

A volley for Dezembro on the 46th minute by Paula Santos ended over. Another shot for Dezmebro by Isolaine Carvalha on the 51st minute was easily saved by goalkeeper Xuereb.

Dezembro came out better in the second half as they kept Birkirkara under pressure but Birkirkara made life impossible for them as they battled for every ball and closed every space.

In the first substitution for Dezembro on the 55th minute, Andreia Silva was replaced with Maria Fontes.

Birkirkara also made use of their first substitution as on the 64th minute, and the captain Chantal Fenench was replaced with Maryrose Cardona. Stephania Farrugia was given the captain band for the rest of the match.

Janice Xuereb saved a dangerous cross from the right on the 65th minute.

A header by substitute Maria Fontes on the 66th minute ended over.

In the second substiution for Dezembro on the 66th minute, Paula Santos was replaced with Catalina Carnalho.

Referee gave the second water break on the 68th minute with the Birkirkara players being constantly applauded for their effort while receiving the latest instructions by their Head Coach.

In the third and final substitution for Dezembro on the 74th minute, Silva Birunhe was replaced with Susana Alves.

In the second substitution for Birkirkara, Simone Buttigieg replaced Martina Cilia on the 78th minute. Also in the third substitution for Birkirkara on the 81st minute, Rosanne Xerri replaced Dorcas Debono who had a very good performance.

A shot for Dezembro by Elsa Ventura on the 83rd minute ended marginally over.

On the 85th minute Gabriella Zahra sent a fine through ball towards the unmarked Rosanne Xerri, but the latter was floored. The Birkirkara supporters appealed a yellow card to be shown, but the referee had different thoughts.

A through ball by Rachel Cuschieri on the 92nd minute towards Rosanne Xerri was a bit long and the goalkeeper saved the danger.

The full time whistle found the Birkirkara players satisfied with their performance but disappointed for leaving the math empty handed despite their magnificant performance.

BIRKIRKARA: Janice Xuereb, Kelly Agius Pace, Yasmeen Vella, Stephania Farrugia, Kirsty Feasey, Kimberly Parnis, Rachel Cuschieri, Chantal Fenech (58' Maryrose Cardona), Gabriella Zahra, Martina Cilia (78' Simone Buttigieg), Dorcas Debono (78' Rosanne Xerri).

SU 1 DEZEMBRO: Patricia Mcrais, Isolaine Carvalha, Elsa Ventura, Lara Matos, Paula Santos (66' Catarina Carnalho), Mariana Cabral, Patricia Gouveia, Silvia Birunhe (74' Susana Alves), Andrieia Silva (55' Maria Fontes), Filipa Patao, Iana Francisco.

Scorers: 18' Andreia Silva (Dezembro).

Yellow Cards: Kim Parnis, Kelly Agius Pace (Birkirkara), Patricia Gouveia (Dezembro).

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