Srdan Dimitrov, Frank Temile lead Stripes to victory
A Dimitrov strike in the first half and another by Temile in the second led Birkirkara to a 2-0 win against lowly Mosta yesterday evening.
It was a return to victory for Drazen Besec’s side after having tasted their first defeat last weekend against Sliema.
With Balzan defeating Hibernians to make the top place their own, Birkirkara have now moved to second place, one point behind their neighbours.
After the 2-1 defeat against Sliema, Birkirkara coach Drazen Besek made two changes with Djordevic and Rowen Muscat taking the place of Vito Plut and Ryan Scicluna.
On their part, Mosta had Raylon Kaylon Paisley, from Jamaica, making his debut – he was unimpressive and it was obvious he needs more time to settle down. Otherwise coach Lufi kept faith with the players who had obtained the club’s first win against Gzira.
The Stripes appeared determined to forget all about their loss to Sliema as they dominated their opponents in the first half.
They created a good number of chances, but failed to score more than once leaving their opponents with the chance to come back strongly in the game in the second half.
Mosta seemed to be concentrating mostly on defence in an effort to keep the Stripes at bay, but were forced to change tactics when the Stripes finally opened the scoring.
In fact, in the second half, Mosta moved forward with more purpose and could have equalised from at least one of two very good chances which came their way before they eventually suffered a second goal which killed all their hopes of saving a point.
Birkirkara took the initiative from the start and in the 2nd minute, they won a second corner, following which the ball ran out to the unmarked Djordevic whose shot was blocked on the line by a Mosta defender and then the rebound from the same Stripes player went wide.
In the 10th minute, from a Dimitrov freekick, Vukanac headed wide of the Mosta post.
Soon after, Jovic twice went close to scoring for the Stripes. His first headed attempt was blocked by Bartolo with Temile seeing his rebound blocked to a corner. Then from Dimitrov’s corner, another Jovic header hit the crossbar.
Mosta concentrated more on defence as their few forays into the Birkirkara half were few. On one occasion, Vlcek had a grounder saved easily by goalie Kopric.
The Stripes eventually took the lead on the 34th minute. It was Dimitrov who crossed into the Birkirkara goalmouth where goalie Bartolo was surprised and the ball ended at the back of the net.
Birkirkara insisted on attack and in the 43rd minute, a Zerafa scorcher forced Bartolo to punch the ball away to safety.
In the next action, the unmarked Rowen Muscat was set up in the area by Dimitrov, but first he miskicked his shot and then sent the ball wide from the same ideal position.
In the 55th minute, Birkirkara missed another good chance to double the score. Muscat was put through on the left, his effort was blocked by the onrushing Bartolo and Djordevic hit wide with Bartolo still out of position.
In the 64th minute, Mosta were unlucky not to equalise when Oseghale hit the crossbar with Kopric completely beaten and moments later, the same player was through on the left, but he skied the ball from a favourable position.
On 77 minutes, Temile should have closed the match for the Stripes, but he skied the ball from five metres after a bad clearance by a Mosta defender.
Temile redeemed himself two minutes later as he headed in past Bartolo following a Cain Attard cross.
Cain Attard (left) trying to finish his action with a cross Photo: Matthew Tabone