Dull Stripes held by Sliema Wanderers

by Ayrton Galea - 18th March 2017
Birkirkara FC
Premier League

National Stadium

18/03/2017 - 16:00
Sliema Wanderers FC

Birkirkara FC dropped another two precious points in the BOV Premier League, when they were held in a 1-1 draw against Sliema Wanderers FC. By this result, Birkirkara once again slip to the fifth place and fails to beat the Wanderers this season.

In a drab encounter, the Stripes failed to keep the pace with the first-three teams and were held in the second draw in the last four matches. This was a disappointing result for the Stripes who once again lost their fourth placed to Floriana.

Coach Nikola Jaros was forced to make one change from last weekend's victory over Hamrun Spartans, as Gonzalo Malan was suspended. Srdjan Dimitrov replaced the Uruguayan forward in the only change for the Stripes.

The First Half

The Stripes surged after ten minutes. They were awarded a free-kick from an ideal position outside the box and Miguel Alba struck a powerful curling drive past the Wanderers goalkeepers. For Alba, this was his third goal in the last four matches.

Two minutes later, Dimitrov supplied a through-ball towards Herrera and his shot scratched past the post. On the other side of the pitch, Jean Paul Farrugia fired over from inside the box on the sixteenth minute.

The Wanderers made the score level on the eighteenth minute, when they were gifted an easy goal. Cain Attard's erratic pass towards Henry Bonello was intercepted by Denni Dos Santos and the latter placed the ball at the back of the net from close-range.

On the twenty-eighth minute, Dos Santos had a good free-kick ending just over the bar. Three minutes later, Alba sent a dangerous cross in the path of Vukanac, but the ball was too long for the towering defender to connect from inside the box.

In the last moments of the first-half, the Stripes went close twice. Herrera headed wide a cross by Alba, while moments later, Alba was in action again when he served Dimitrov but after getting past his marker, he shot wide.

The Second Half

Birkirkara opened the second half on the attack. Jhon Obregon, who replaced Agius for the start of the second half, served Herrera who dribbled past his marker but his shot hit the side netting from a good position.

With only three points satisfies the Stripes, one expected so much better from them in the second half. However, they were too predictable up-front and they were very poor in midfield as they failed to create any scoring opportunities for most of the second half.

Both teams had a decent chance in the last eight minutes of the match. Leonardo Incorvaja had his header ending over the bar, following a free-kick from the left. On the other side, substitute Matthew Guillaumier had a great open-chance but his careless shot ended over.

With both teams unable to break the dead-lock, they settled for a fair point each. Denni Dos Santos was voted the BOV Player of the Match.

BIRKIRKARA: Henry Bonello, Edward Herrera, Christian Bubalovic, Gareth Sciberras, Mislav Andelkovic (74' Matthew Guillaumier), Edmond Agius (46' Jhon Obregon), Srdjan Dimitrov (64' Ryan Scicluna), Nikola Vukanac, Joseph Zerafa, Miguel Alba, Cain Attard.

SLIEMA WANDERERS: Giuseppe Sarao, Alex Muscat, Frank Temile (72' Ryan Spiteri), Denni Dos Santos, Mark Scerri (78' Peter Xuereb), Jonathan Pearson, Stefano Biancardi, Ricardo Correa, Jean Paul Farrugia, Leanardo Incorvaja, Gabriel Aquilina (61' Mathias Muchardi).

Referee: Malcolm Spiteri.
Assistant Referees: Jurgen Spiteri, Christopher Francalanza.
Fourth Official: Glenn Tonna.

Yellow Cards: Joseph Zerafa, Christian Bubalovic, Miguel Alba (Birkirkara) Denni Dos Santos, Frank Temile, Jonathan Pearson (Sliema Wanderers)

Scorers: 10' Miguel Alba (Birkirkara), 18' Denni Dos Santos (Sliema Wanderers).

BOV Player of the Match: Denni Dos Santos (Sliema Wanderers).

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