Michael Mifsud scored twice as Birkirkara returned to winning ways defeating Sliema Wanderers 2-0 at the National Stadium on Friday.
A win which puts the Stripes on level points with Balzan, one point behind Sliema who suffer a second consecutive defeat.
For the Stripes, who were coming from a 1-2 defeat to Hamrun, Jake Grech and Petar Orlandic were preferred to Paul Fenech and Carlos Chavarria while for Sliema, Ryan Fenech, Stefan Cassar, Goran Adamovic and Younes Marzouk made way Kurt Shaw, Jonathan Pearson, Frank Temile and Kilian Amehi.
Birkirkara took the lead seven minutes from the end of the first half when off a Jake Grech corner, Michael Mifsud headed home from close range.
Danilo Chapoval was sent off for Birkirkara on the 62nd minute after receiving a second yellow card. Kilian Amehi was then sent off for Sliema one minute from time.
Three minutes in added time, Michael Mifsud, served by Marcelinho, sealed the issue with a second goal, beating goalkeeper Jake Galea with a powerful strike.
B’KARA Kristijan Naumovski, Danilo Augusto Chapoval, Matthew Guillaumier (90+1′ Myles Beerman) Mislav Andjelkovic, Petar Orlandic (90+3′ Edward Herrera), Jake Grech (76′ Paul Fenech), Kurt Zammit, Eduardo Ferreira dos Santos, Michael Mifsud, Cain Attard, Marcelo Franca de Siqueira.
Subs not used: Amara Sylla, Terence Agius, Gianluca Zammit, Carlos Alberto Chavarria Rodriguez.
Coach: Paul Zammit
Asst. Coach: Mark Buttigieg
SLIEMA Jake Galea, Matias Muchardi (70′ Ryan Fenech), Kurt Shaw, Jonathan Pearson (83′ Stefan Cassar), Mark Scerri (68′ Younes Marzouk), Jefferson de Assis, Frank Temile, Michele Sansone, Kilian Amehi, Claudio Pani, Stefano Bianciardi.
Subs not used: Timothy Aquilina, Alex Muscat, John Mintoff, Ryan Fenech, Peter Xuereb, Stefan Cassar, Younes Marzouk.
Asst. Coach: Ivan Woods
Referee: Glen Tonna
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Duncan Spencer
Fourth Official: Philip Farrugia
Yellow Cards: Chapoval, Amehi
Red Cards: 62′ Danilo Chapoval, 89′ Kilian Amehi
BOV Player of the Match: Michael Mifsud