Fair result in a direct clash
A good reaction by Valletta in the last half an hour of a game saved a point in a direct clash against Birkirkara. All in all it was a balanced game with Birkirkara having the initiative in the first hour, but they weren’t superior.
With this result, both teams failed to return to winning ways as Birkirkara lost to Pembroke in their previous game while Valletta lost to Hibernians, as league leaders Balzan now are in a more comfortable spot on top.
Both teams studied each other in the first half an hour of the game as both goalkeepers had a quiet first half. The first threat came after 33 minutes from a good run by Jonathan Caruana who crossed to Falcone. The striker controlled the ball and tried with a shot from distance but his effort finished well over the bar.
Two minutes later, Birkirkara thought that have opened the score from Frank Temile after scoring from close range but the flag had risen for offside. Temile tried again on the 39th minute but his volley finished off target.
Birkirkara conscious of the fact that they were slightly better, started the second half searching for the goal and three minutes into the second half Gareth Sciberras laid Srdan Dimitrov who tried with a powerful shot but Bonello blocked the shot.
The Stripes took the lead on the 50th minute when from a corner by Dimitrov, Cain Attard beat Henry Bonello with a firsttime shot that hit the upright before entering the net.
Romeu Romao tried with a shot five minutes later that was deflected to a corner and four minutes later Dimitrov wasted a good opportunity after receiving a good pass behind the defence. A minute later on the other end, Jhonnattann tried with an acrobatic shot that finished over the bar.
The Citizens equalised on the 66th minute when Jhonnattann Benites beat Kopric with a tricky free-kick. Birkirkara were surprised by this goal and two minutes later they had to continue with a 10 men as Predrag Jovic was shown marching orders.
Valletta increased their efforts and on the 73rd minute Falcone tried with a low shot that was saved by Kopric. Three minutes later Kopric denied Falcone again this time with a brilliant header after a cross by Mifsud. Jhonnattann Benites had two actions on the 79th with a shot on target that Kopric saved and three minutes later an effort hit the crossbar as Birkirkara held on in the final minutes.
Nikola Vukanac of Birkirkara (left) clears his lines ahead of Federico Falcone of Valletta (right) Photo: Domenic Aquilina