The appointment of Nikola Jaros as new coach failed to change the fortunes of Birkirkara FC as they suffered a third consecutive defeat, losing 1-2 to Sliema Wanderers.
In fact, after being eliminated by St. Andrews in the FA Trophy, the Stripes have now suffered back-to-back defeats to Hamrun and Sliema and won just one out of the last six league matches. The Wanderers, who had also defeated Birkirkara in the first round,
Jaros, who replaced Drazen Besek earlier this week, named Predrag Jovic and James Brincat in the starting line-up to replace Shaun Bajada and the suspended Nikola Vukanac. Srdjan Dimitrov was also unavailable as he serves the second of a two-match ban. Gabriel Aquilina, Peter Xuereb and Gary Muir replaced Mandinho, John Mintoff and the suspended Mark Scerri.
The Wanderers took the lead on the 35th minute when off a cross from the right by Ryan Spiteri, Jean Paul Farrugia headed the ball home past goalkeeper Miroslav Kopric.
Six minutes later, Sliema doubled the score when Jean Paul Farrugia rounded a defender and beat Kopric with a low shot from a close angle from the left.
Predrag Jovic was unlucky not to reduce the gap on the 75th but his header hit the woodwork but seven minutes later, Christian Bubalovic pulled one back for the Stripes after Frank Temile had a shot blocked following a corner by Shaun Bajada.
B’KARA Miroslav Kopri, Christian Bubalovic, Matthew Guillaumier, Mislav Andjelkovic, Matteo Desira Buttigieg (46′ Ryan Scicluna), Vito Plut, Frank Temile, Joseph Zerafa, Cain Attard, Predrag Jovic, James Brincat (46′ Shaun Pierre Bajada).
Subs not used: Ini Etim Akpan, Gareth Sciberras, Zachary Cassar, Rowen Muscat, Steve Bonnici.
Coach: Nikola Jaros
SLIEMA Glenn Zammit, Peter Xuereb, Alex Muscat, Roger De Souza Villas Boas, Stefano Bianciardi, Gabriel Aquilina (71′ Armando Vieira dos Santos), Matias Muchardi (80′ Michele Sansone), Gary Muir, Ryan Spiteri, Jean Paul Farrugia, Denni Rocha dos Santos (89′ Wisdom Salomon).
Subs not used: Timothy Aquilina, Beppe Muscat, John Mintoff, Kurt Shaw.
Coach: John Buttigieg
Referee: Mario Apap
Assistant Referee: Duncan Sultana, Chris Francalanza
Fourth Official: Sandro Spiteri
Yellow Cards: Zerafa, Bianciardi, Farrugia
Scorers: 35′ Jean Paul Farrugia, 42′ Jean Paul Farrugia, 82′ Christian Bubalovic
BOV Player of the Match: Jean Paul Farrugia