Balzan suffered a second defeat a week to fall third with Birkirkara claiming a third consecutive win to move to just three points behind Oliver Spiteri’s side. A win which enables them to continue chasing a place in the UEFA Europa League this summer.
This was the third defeat in four matches for Balzan who continue to lose ground after enjoying the top spot for several weeks.
Balzan had four changes as Ivan Janjusevic, Anderson de Barros, Alan da Silva Souza and Bojan Kaljevic replaced Christian Cassar, Paul Fenech, Abdelkarim Nafti, Lydon Micallef from the team which defeated Gzira. Birkirkara, on the other hand, welcomed back Nikola Vukanac along with Edward Herrera and Joseph Zerafa who replaced Predrag Jovic, Miguel Angel Alba and James Brincat.
The Stripes took the lead eight minutes from the end of the first half thanks to Srdjan Dimitrov whose curling shot gave goalkeeper Janjusevic no chance.
Balzan equalised twelve minutes in the second half, thanks to Bojan Kaljevic who slotted the ball home from close range following a cross by Anderson De Barros.
Birkirkara regained the lead on the 64th minute when they were awarded a penalty after Srdjan Dimitrov was brought down inside the area by Elkin Serrano and from the penalty spot, Gonzalo Malan made no mistake.
Substitute Vito Plut made it 3-1 seven minutes from time to seal the issue as he latched on a perfect pass by Edward Herrera and slotted the ball past the Balzan custodian.
B’KARA Henry Bonello, Edward Herrera, Christian Bubalovic, Gareth Sciberras, Mislav Andjekovic, Matthew Guillaumier (77′ Edmond Agius), Nikola Vukanac, Joseph Zerafa, Gonzalo Malan (90+3′ James Brincat), Cain Attard, Srdjan Dimitrov (68′ Vito Plut).
Subs not used: Ini Etim Akpan, Predrag Jovic, Steve Bonnici, Matteo Desira Buttigieg.
Coach: Nikola Jaros
BALZAN Ivan Janjusevic, Anderson de Barros, Dylan Grima (82′ Paul Lapira), Bruno Giglio de Oliveira, Alan da Silva Souza, Ryan Fenech (68′ Lydon Micallef), Steve Bezzina, Bojan Kaljevic, Alfred Effiong, Elkin Serrano Valero, Matteo Piciollo (53′ Terence Agius).
Subs not used: Christian Cassar, Clive Brincat, Jamie Zerafa, Sean Cipriott.
Coach: Oliver Spiteri
Referee: Glen Tonna
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Peter Abela
Additional Assistant Referees: Sandro Spiteri, Eman Grech
Fourth Official: Ryan Aquilina
Yellow Cards: Fenech, Malan, Oliveira
BOV Player of the Match: Srdjan Dimitrov