Sliema Wanderers vs Birkirkara FC 0-3 (HT 0-3)
Birkirkara returned to winning ways as they scored three goals in three minutes mid-way through the first half to beat Sliema Wanderers 3-0 and move on level points with Valletta and Hibernians in second place.
For the Wanderers, this was the fourth defeat in seven matches, leaving them in sixth place, seven points behind leaders Qormi.
Sliema lacked John Mintoff and Miguel Ciantar and welcomed back Alex Muscat as a substitute following a long-term injury. Missing for Birkirkara was Karl Pulo.
On 15 minutes, Mark Scerri released Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza who tried to lob the ball over goalkeeper Jorge Mora but his attempt missed the target. Two minutes later, a first-time effort by Mark Scerri from the right ended wide. Birkirkara replied with a cross by Joseph Zerafa for Michael Galea whose fine effort was neutralised by Simon Agius.
Birkirkara forged ahead on 23 minutes when off an intelligent pass by Shaun Bajada from the right, Trevor Cilia beat Simon Agius with a diagonal shot.
A minute later, the Stripes doubled the score when off a cross by Trevor Cilia, Michael Galea headed home from close range.
On 26 minutes, Sylvano Comvalius made it 3-0 for Birkirkara flicked the ball home in style following a cross from the right by George Mallia.
The Blues’ reaction consisted of a fierce long-distance shot by Clayton Failla ending high on 33 minutes.
Despite some tactical changes, the Wanderers still failed to threaten the Stripes’ rear-guard and on 73 minutes, substitute Alan Tabone went close to increasing the lead for Birkirkara with a shot from the edge of the area when served by Michael Galea but his attempt scraped past the post.
SLIEMA Simon Agius, Ian Azzopardi, Josef Mifsud, Ryan Fenech, Mark Scerri, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino (46′ Henry Isaac), Ivan Woods (67′ Matthew Bartolo), Lucian Dronca (36′ Alex Muscat), Ian Ciantar, Clayton Failla.
Subs not used: Jeremy Alden, Michael Gustavo Siscoutto Lima, Luca Martinelli, Noel Turner.
Coach: Stephen Azzopardi
Team Manager: Rupert Perry
B’KARA Jorge Mora, Branko Nisevic, Paul Fenech, Trevor Cilia, Michael Galea, Nikola Vukanac, Shaun Bajada (87′ Thomas Paris), Joseph Zerafa, Sylvano Comvalius (51′ Rowen Muscat), Angus Buhagiar, George Mallia (69′ Alan Tabone).
Subs not used: Omar Borg, Andreas Galea, Lee Borg, Andrew Scicluna.
Coach: Paul Zammit
Team Manager: Mario Gatt
Referee: Adrian Casha
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Fyodor Zammit
Fourth Official: Marco Borg
Yellow Cards: Mifsud Triganza, Scerri, Fenech
BOV Player of the Match: Trevor Cilia
Scorers: 23′ Trevor Cilia
24′ Michael Galea
26′ Sylvano Comvalius