Balzan extended their positive streak to eight matches as they came from behind to beat Birkirkara 2-1 with two late goals at the Centenary Stadium. A win which enabled them to join Gzira United in second place, one point behind leaders Valletta.
For the Stripes, this was a disappointing defeat after enjoying the lead for long stretches as they targeted a third consecutive win.
Matthew Guillaumier put Birkirkara ahead three minutes from the end of the first half. Bojan Kaljevic equalised six minutes from time with Carlos Eduardo de Fiori Mendes notching the winner three minutes later.
BALZAN Ivan Janjusevic, Justin Grioli (76’ Milos Lepovic), Elkin Serrano Valero, Alfred Effiong, Uros Ljubomirac, Ryan Fenech, Bojan Kaljevic, Bruno Giglio de Oliveira, Paul Fenech, Carlos Eduardo de Fiori Mendes, Samir Arab (46’ Steve Bezzina).
Subs not used: Sean Mintoff, Clive Brincat, Jamie Zerafa, Michael Johnson, Jacob Borg.
Coach: Marko Micovic
B’KARA David Cassar, Cain Attard, Kurt Zammit, Lucas Maia, Nicola Vukanac, Matthew Guillaumier (63’ Llywelyn Cremona), Mislav Andjelkovic, Ryan Scicluna, Jake Grech (66’ Ryan Camenzuli), Carlos Alberto da Silva, Fabiano Oliveira (80’ Luke Montebello).
Subs not used: Amara Sylla, Edward Herrera, Landry Mulemo, Bruno Andrade Fernandez de Brito.
Coach: Paul Zammit
Referee: Glen Tonna
Assistant Referees: Mitchell Scerri, Ryan Aquilina
Fourth Official: Ishmael Barbara
Yellow Cards: Zammit, Guillaumier, Carlos Alberto, Fabiano Oliveira, R. Fenech, Vukanac, Cassar, Cadu, Cremona
Meanwhile at the Centenary Stadium, Hamrun Spartans returned to winning ways as they defeated Naxxar Lions 2-0.
For Naxxar, this was the third defeat in four matches, leaving them joint-second from bottom.
Francisco Manoel Marino Clavero put the Spartans ahead six minutes from the end of the first half and Thiago Espindola de Paula doubled the score on the 65th.
HAMRUN Jake Galea, Jose Mauricio Marinho (74’ Philip Chircop), Daniel Zerafa, Terence Agius, Triston Caruana, Cristian Zaccardo, Lydon Micallef (21’ Karl Micallef), Thiago Espindola de Paula, Francisco Manoel Marino Clavero (68’ Luke Sciberras), Dale Camilleri, Pedro Henrique Oliveira.
Subs not used: Steve Sultana, Jeremy Busuttil, Arthur Faria Machado, Bradley Schembri.
Coach: Jacques Scerri
NAXXAR Christoph Nicht, Scott Fenwick, Ryan Grech (86’ Jurgen Debono), Duane Bonnici, Ryan Gilmour Cassar, Daniel Mateo Bustos, Mark Fenech (67’ Daren Falzon), Oussenye Elhadji Ndoye, Adrian Cascaval, Arnaud Mendy, Yuri de Jesus Messias.
Subs not used: Gianluca Grima, Tristan Nappa Licari, Manolito Micallef, Andre Fenech, Joel Ellul.
Coach: Stuart Watkiss
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Assistant Referees: Roberto Vella, Peter Abela
Fourth Official: Philip Farrugia
Yellow Cards: Cassar, Grech, Agius