The Christmas bells are jingling for Birkirkara FC after the Maltese champions beat their main rivals Hibernians FC 2-1 on Sunday to move four points clear at the top of the table going into the winter break.
Two goals early in the second half propelled the Stripes toward a ninth successive victory. Man of the match Edward Herrera was the inspiration, scoring six minutes after the restart when he met Ryan Camenzuli's ball with a tremendous first-time volley which left Hibernians captain and custodian Mario Muscat snatching at thin air.
"That must be the best goal of my career," the lanky 27-year-old attacking midfielder told UEFA.com. "If I had 100 shots at that, 99 of them would sail straight over the bar. This goal was my Christmas present to the ever-faithful Birkirkara fans who are always behind the team."
Herrera has been in sparkling form out on the right flank with his runs tormenting opponents. Having won the title as a Hibernians player in 2008/09, the Maltese international switched to Birkirkara in August 2012, winning the title in his first season and becoming a firm favourite under coach Paul Zammit.
A keen motorcycle enthusiast in his spare time, Herrera is now revving up for a charge at a second successive championship winners' medal. "We have enough strength in depth to finish at the top of the Premier League come next May and claim the title for the second year running," he said. "But most of all we have got to keep our feet firmly on the ground. Hibernians were seven points clear of us just two months ago so anything can happen."
©UEFA.com 1998-2015. All rights reserved.