Orlandic 10, Grech 64
Birkirkara chalked up their third consecutive win after being let off the hook by their opponents who missed an 80th minute penalty as they managed to keep their noses in front in their clash with Qormi.
Qormi’s evening began on a dismal note as Birkirkara broke the stalemate early on when Jamie Azzopardi handed Petar Orlandic the lead, when making a mess of a backpass by Davide Mansi, he kicked it straight to the striker’s feet. Orlandic gratefully swept the ball into the gaping net from a metre out.
Birkirkara defender Danilo Chapoval denied Qormi an equaliser on the quarter of hour mark when repelling Alexsandro Ferreira’s close-range effort after the Stripes had been carved open by the Brazilian’s surging run into the box.
This opportunity had followed the first cohesive move by Mario Muscat’s troops during which Qormi levelled.
Freud Gnindokponou advanced unimpeded on the right before squaring for Ferreira whose shot was repelled by Kristijan Naumovski into the direction of Tensior Gusman who blasted home from close in.
Soon after the restart, it was Davide Mansi who denied the Stripes when fending off Matthew Guillaumier’s header on the line with Azzopardi beaten.
Kurt Zammit almost committed on own goal as he flicked the ball backwards but Naumovski performed a salvaging act scooping the ball off the line.
That proved costly for Qormi as Birkirkara scored. Grech, who had been working unobtrusively in midfield, hit grandly from the edge of the box behind the hapless Azzopardi.
Qormi were still up against it and on 80 minutes Qormi’s hopes of grabbing a late equaliser received a fillip as they were awarded a penalty.
Substitute Mario Arrieta made an immediate impact on the match when challenged by Eduardo Ferreira, ended on the ground.
Michael Camilleri assumed responsibility for the penalty but his low strike was blocked by Naumovski, the Qormi striker followed up the rebound but skied his effort.
Birkirkara's Grech was named BOV Player of the match.
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