Sr­dan Dim­itrov, Frank Temile lead Stripes to vic­tory

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

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

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