Youth FA: Cottonera maintain unbeaten run

Wednesday, January 14, 2015, 6:30
APS Bank Under 17 Section B
Birkirkara       1
Cottonera      1
After four games Cottonera are unbeaten and lead the standings on 10 points from 4 games while Birkirkara are on 5 points from 3 games. As in the previous game the strong wind rendered ball control very difficult.
Birkirkara had the wind behind their backs in the first period and they created most of the actions and even in the second period despite playing against the wind they mounted most of the actions.
After only two minutes the Stripes went very close to open the score when Neil Micallef was fouled outside the area and from the free kick by the same player Cottonera keeper Liam Scicluna saved the ball in two attempts.
Birkirkara resumed with their pressing. Fabien Lufi released Ryan Muscat on the right flank and Scicluna neutralized the ball from his cross-shot. Gianluca Zammit served Muscat with a square pass outside the area but he drove out from the distance and Nigel Borg set Muscat free on the right flank and from his perfect cross the ball caressed the goalmouth but found no takers to apply the killer touch.
In the first action by Cottonera after 22 minutes Gildave Brignone released Gabriel Calleja in the area but he drove out from a very ideal position.
The last two actions before the break were created by Birkirkara. Micallef was fouled outside the area and the ball missed the upright from the free kick by Maximillan Borg Bartolo and Micallef dribbled past an opponent outside the area and the ball missed the upright by inches from his hard drive.
Four minutes after the restart Cottonera forged ahead as Glen Balzan was fouled close to the left edge of the area and Irvin Abela scored with a hard low drive leaving Birkirkara keeper Fabian Aquilina stranded.
Three actions were then created by Birkirkara. Nigel Bugeja dribbled past an opponent on the left flank who then set Micallef free in the area and a defender cleared the ball away to safety and in a similar action between the same two players the ball was again cleared away and Shaun Xuereb released Lufi on the right flank and from his dangerous cross the ball was cleared to a corner.
The Stripes equalized in the 61st minute as Lufi served Jordan Sciberras with a cross in the area from the right flank and he scored with a header as the Cottonera defenders dallied to clear the ball away.
In another action by Cottonera they were awarded an indirect free kick in the area. Aquilina fielded the ball from a drop-kick, the ball came out of the area and the strong wind turned it back in the area and as Aquilina grasped the ball the referee rightly so whistled for an indirect free kick as Aquiina played the ball twice before it has been touched or played by another player. The free kick was taken by Calleja and the ball was cleared to a corner and from Calleja’s flag kick Abela headed slightly over the bar.
The last action before the end was created by Birkirkara. Jacob Magri served Bugeja with a through ball who then released Muscat in the area and a defender cleared the ball away.
Birkirkara: F.Aquilina, M.Borg Bartolo, N.Borg, N.Bugeja, Z.Cassar, F.Lufi, J.Magri, N.Micallef, R.Muscat, S.Xuereb, G.Zammit
Cottonera: L.Scicluna, C.Calleja, <.Attard, C.Buttigieg, I.Abela, A.Brignone, G.Brignone, C.Mizzi, G,Cassar, G.Balzan, S.Cauchi.
Referee: Chris Azzopardi
Player of the match: Ryan Muscat (Birkirkara)

Leave a comment