Birkirkara scored twice late in the game as they came back from one goal down to beat Tarxien Rainbows 2-1 to return to winning ways.
After dropping two points in a draw with Balzan on Tuesday, conceding a goal late in stoppage-time, the Rainbows should consider themselves unlucky to leave the pitch empty-handed after sharing the exchanges with their opponents for long stretches.
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Both sides were unable to field their best formation due to the absence of the injured Nikola Vukanac and Mauricio Mazzetti and the suspended Cain Attard and Edison Bilbao Zarate for Birkirkara and the suspended Alex da Paixao Alves for Tarxien.
Following a goalless first half, Tarxien managed to take the lead three minutes after the restart when Ayrton Azzopardi served Alex Nilsson who slotted the ball past goalkeeper Miroslav Kopric.
Birkirkara replied with a Ryan Camenzuli effort hitting the crossbar on 62 minutes.
The Stripes however equalised on the 78th when off a corner by Camenzuli from the right and an assist by Plut, a first attempt was blocked by a defender and off the rebound, Frank Temile
Two minutes later, Birkirkara forged ahead when Goran Mujanovic took a loose ball on the left and advanced before unleashing a powerful shot which beat goalkeeper Andrea Cassar.
One minute from time, Sergio Prendes was sent off for kicking Camenzuli.[gallery_bank type=”images” format=”masonry” title=”true” desc=”false” responsive=”true” display=”all” sort_by=”pic_id” animation_effect=”bounce” album_title=”false” album_id=”36″]
TARXIEN Andrea Cassar, Ebiabowei Baker, Bruno Giglio de Oliveira, Timothy Tabone Desira (84′ Luke Montebello), Triston Caruana (46′ Carlos Menendez Hevia), Brandon Muscat, Alex Nilsson, Ayrton Azzopardi, Sergio Fernandez Prendes, Daniel Zerafa, Joao Pedro Oliveira Santos (74′ John Mintoff).
Subs not used: Sean Mintoff, Roderick Bajada, Matthew Tabone, Claudio Frances.
Coach: Jacques Scerri
B’KARA Miroslav Kopric, Ryan Scicluna, Gareth Sciberras, Christian Bubalovic, Goran Mujanovic, Edmond Agius (61′ Joseph Zerafa), Matthew Guillaumier (61′ Vito Plut), Frank Temile, Ryan Camenzuli, Matija Smrekar (83′ Kurt Zammit), L’Imam Seydi.
Subs not used: Philip Schranz, Ryan Darmanin, Andrea Curmi, Fabien Lufi.
Coach: Drazen Besek
Referee: Glen Tonna
Assistant Referees: Chris Francalanza, Ryan Aquilina
Additional Assistant Referees: Alan Mario Sant, Marco Borg
Fourth Official: Alan Camilleri
Yellow Cards: J. Zerafa, D. Zerafa
Red Cards: 89′ Sergio Prendes
Scorers: 48′ Alex Nilsson, 78′ Frank Temile, 80′ Ayrton Azzopardi
BOV Player of the Match: Ayrton Azzopardi