Malta Football Association
Birkirkara, Floriana share points in entertaining opener
Aug 19, 2017
Posted in:
BOV Premier League
Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

  • Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
  • Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
  • Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
  • Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

Bruno Andrade 23


Fontanella 18


Birkirkara and Floriana shared the spoils in an entertaining opener on the brand new artificial turf pitch at the Centenary Stadium.

The Stripes, now under the charge of Peter Pullicino, have brought in several new players in the close season while Floriana have retained the core of players who led the team to success in the FA Trophy last season.


On 18 minutes, Mario Fontanella opened the scoring for Floriana after the Birkirkara defence failed to clear the ball in their own box, the first goal of the 2017/18 domestic season. It was also 35th goal in the Premier League.


A minute later, Juninho Cabral could have doubled Floriana’s lead his angled shot was stopped by Birkirkara goalkeeper Philip Schranz.


Birkirkara equalised midway into the first half. Ryan Camenzuli crossed from the left towards new recruit Bruno Andrade whose shot from 10 metres out beat goalkeeper Ini Etim Akpan, who was making his debut for Floriana against his former club.


In the second half, Floriana, with Maurizio Vella and Juninho Cabral in excellent form, took control of the match.


After eight minutes, centre-back Enzo Ruiz’ header from a corner was saved by Schranz. Juninho had a good opportunity

on the hour but Schranz saved in style and on 68 minutes Fontanella hit the post with a low shot.


Two minutes later, Birkirkara substitute Edmond Agius was sent off for a second yellow card after stopping a promising Floriana attack.


With four minutes on the clock, Juninho missed a golden opportunity to win the three points for Floriana as his weak header, after a cross from Fontanella, was easily saved by Schranz.


Referee: Malcolm Spiteri


Ryan Darmanin 45+3

Spiteri 18 og; Chico 42; Faria 80; Pedro Henrique 90

Ħamrun Spartans had the better of Tarxien Rainbows by four goals to one in the second match of the evening at the Centenary Stadium.


The Red-Blacks paraded no fewer than 10 new signings, including six Brazilian players.


They took the lead on 18 minutes. It was defender Daniel Zerafa, facing his former team, who headed goalwards after meeting a cross from the left and Tarxien defender Matthew Spiteri somehow headed the ball behind young goalkeeper Antonio Chetcuti in an attempt to clear. 


Three minutes before half-time, midfielder Chico made it 2-0 for the Spartans with a 30-metre free-kick. Just before half-time, captain Ryan Darmanin gave the Rainbows some hope with a well-placed header.


Tarxien started the second half well but without creating any big chances. After 15 minutes, Ħamrun took over and won a penalty on 64 minutes but Leo Gomes’s shot was stopped by Chetcuti.


Tarxien’s comeback hopes all but vanished when Darmanin marred his positive display with a straight red card on 68 minutes for a bad foul.


Two minutes later, Ħamrun centre-back Tiago missed a great opportunity, sending the ball incredibly high from close in.


Against 10 men, Ħamrun continued to create some good opportunities and it was Faria Machado who restored their two-goal lead on 80 minutes.


On the stroke of time, Ħamrun substitute Pedro Henrique made it 4-1.


Referee: Mario Apap

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