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Birkirkara returned to play after a four week lapse with a much needed win against high flying Gudja United. It was a good display by the Stripes who scored three time without reply in the first half.
The Yellows were hardly hit through the pandemic and had to quarantine their players for a long period thus missing on a handful of matches. In fact, their only points from six matches came with a win over Hamrun and a draw against Lija losing to Valletta, Mosta, Zejtun Corinthians, and Sliema Wanderers.
On the other hand, Gudja had a fantastic start to this campaign and prior to this weekend’s programme held fifth position. Birkirkara’s Francesco Verde was suspended for this match.
Birkirkara did the early running and on 7 minutes Carniello had his header blocked by the Gudja goalkeeper, Montebello’s shot from the rebound was cleared by Grioli and finally, Zammit saved Bonanni.
Gudja responded in the 18th minute when following a good solo run Yuri Messias saw his central shot saved with ease by Guarnone.
The Stripes broke the deadlock in the 28th minute when Cain Attard won a tussle with Silva Mota passing towards Federico Falcone whose shot from inside the area hit the upright hitting Adamovic in the process and ending at the back of the net.
Two minutes later Birkirkara doubled their lead when off a De Paixao Alves corner Carniello headed towards the far post with Kurt Zammit being on hand to head into an empty net. And in the 33rd minute, a Prado shot passed in front of goal ending wide.
In the 43rd minute, Birkirkara scored their third goal. It was from the penalty spot with Luke Montebello blasting home after Bolanos had brought down Caio Prado.
In the second half, the Stripes eased the pressure and controlled well with Gudja venturing forward occasionally. Just off the hour mark, Bolanos blasted well over the bar when well positioned. And on 67 minutes a Yuri Messias shot was splendidly saved by Guarnone.
Till the end, Gudja tried all they could but found a stubborn Birkirkara rearguard which controlled with great authority to bag three valuable points in their quest to climb up the ladder and jump into the right side of the table.
Referee: Alex Johnson
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Ivan Galea
Fourth Official: Malcolm Spiteri
CAIO PRADO (B)
BOV PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Match report: Malta Independent