Birżebbuga qualify for promotion play-offs

Tuesday, May 1, 2012, 13:20

courtesy of Victor Ciangura – The Malta Independent

APS Bank Under 15 Section C 1

Lija-Iklin  0     Birżebbuga   0


This deciding match was watched by a large crowd at Zebbug Ground. Birzebbuga needed only one point to be declared Section Winners, while Lija-Iklin needed to win the game in order to win the Section. The Southsea-siders won the Section on 29 points from 12 games and Lija-Iklin are the Runners-Up on 28 points from same number of games.

The match was characterised by many fouls, strict marking and first-time tackling, and both sets of forwards had a very arduous task to penetrate the opposing defences and had to resort to long passes on many occasions.

Birzebbuga created the first two actions. Chris Mangion was fouled on the left edge of the area and Jean C Cassar drove over the bar from the free kick and Andre Tabone was then fouled outside the area and the ball was cleared away from the free kick by Matthew Brincat.

In Lija-Iklin’s first action, Eric Pace was fouled on the left flank and after the free kick by Andrew Cauchi, Luke Camilleri headed slightly out from inside the area.

In a reaction by Birzebbuga they mounted two actions. Kyle Stivala was fouled outside the area and after the ball was partly cleared from Brincat’s free kick Joshua Farrugia drove out from the rebound and after the ball was partly cleared from a flag kick by Manuel Azzopardi, Jean C Cassar drove out from the rebound.

In another action by Lija-Iklin Pace served Luke Camilleri with a through ball but Farrugia foiled him from progression with a timely tackle and after Birzebbuga player Ayrton Ciappara handled the ball outside the area the ball missed the upright from the free kick by Cauchi with Birzebbuga keeper Karl Abela beaten.

Birzebbuga then created two other actions. Kyle Stivala served Chris Mangion with a through ball in the area and Lija-Iklin keeper Ian Mallia foiled with a timely sortie in two attempts and Tabone released Stivala on the left flank and the ball was headed away following his insiduous cross.

Lija-Iklin created the last action before the break as Gabriel Busuttil served Pace in the area and Abela denied his close-range effort with a diving save.

Two minutes after the restart Birzebbuga came very close to break the deadlock when Azzopardi dribbled past an opponent on the left flank and after entering the area the ball hit the base of the upright from his shot and it was cleared away with much difficulty, from the same action, Andrew Cauchi was fouled in midfield, Liam Mifsud took took charge of the free kick which created havoc in Birzebbuga’s area but the ball was somehow cleared.

In the 45th minute Birzebbuga were denied by the wood work when Tabone was fouled on the right flank and from his free kick the ball hit the near post and finished out.

Lija-Iklin had the same fate seven minutes later when Pace was fouled on the left flank and the ball thumped the bar from the free kick by Mifsud with Abela completely beaten, and in another action by Lija-Iklin Farrugia was fouled outside the area and the ball missed the upright from Mifsud’s well-taken free kick.

The last actions before the end were created by Birzebbuga. Cassar served Tabone with a perfect through ball and he missed the bar by inches after trying his luck from outside the area. Substitute Bjorn Piscopo was fouled on the left edge of the area  and Mallia saved in two attempts the free kick shot by Stivala and  Cassar served Stivala with a perfect through pass and Mallia denied him with a diving save to a corner.

Referee: Dorian Caruana                           Player of the match: Andre’ Tabone (Birzebbuga)



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