Leaders Hibernians maintained their perfect record as they defeated champions Birkirkara 1-0 thanks to a goal by Jackson Lima.
The Paolites now lead the way with 15 points, followed by Valletta on 12, Sliema on 11 and Birkirkara on 10 points. The Stripes, who were suffering their first defeat this season, had to play for the whole of the second half after having Matheus Bissi da Silva sent off.
Hibs coach Branko Nisevic had the full squad at his disposal with the return of Bjorn Kristensen and Jonathan Pearson. Birkirkara, on the other hand, lacked the injured Ryan Scicluna.
The two goalkeepers were hardly tested during the first half-hour with the two teams sharing the exchanges.
Hibernians managed to take the lead on 31 minutes when off a cross from the right by Marcelo Dias, Andrew Cohen served Jackson di Lima Siqueira whose fine rising shot gave goalkeeper Justin Haber no chance.
Just before half-time, Matheus Bissi da Silva was sent off after picking a second yellow card in just one minute for attempting to hit an opponent.
Hibernians went close to doubling the score on 73 minutes when off a cross by Jackson Lima from the left, Alejandro Mendoza risked committing an own goal in an attempt to anticipate Cohen. Three minutes later, Mario Muscat blocked a long-distance effort by Paul Fenech.
Finally Justin Haber came to the rescue on the 80th turning into a corner a beautiful shot by Matthew Bartolo from outside the area.
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B’KARA Justin Haber, Edward Herrera (90′ Terence Vella), Alejandro Bissi da Silva, Joseph Zerafa, Gareth Sciberras, Zach Muscat, Paul Fenech, Rowen Muscat (46′ Jhonnattann Benites da Conceicao), Haruna Shola Shodiya, Frank Temile (73′ Demba Toure).
Subs not used: Ini Aktpan, Ryan Camenzuli, Kurt Zammit, Daniel Zerafa.
Coach: Paul Zammit
HIBS Mario Muscat, Ryan Camilleri, Jonathan Pearson, Jackson di Lima Siqueira (84′ Johann Bezzina), Rodolfo Soares, Marcelo Dias (71′ Matthew Bartolo), Andrew Cohen, Bjorn Kristensen (74′ Jean Paul Farrugia), Clayton Failla, Zoran Levnajic, Edison Luis dos Santos.
Subs not used: Jurgen Borg, Timothy Tabone Desira, Matthew Tabone, Obinna Obiefule.
Coach: Branko Nisevic
Referee: Huw Jones
Assistant Referees: Martin Roberts, Michael Gray
Fourth Official: Andrew Harms
Yellow Cards: Z. Muscat, Soares, Matheus, Shodiya, Tarabai, Bartolo
Red Cards: 45′ Matheus Bissi
Scorers: 31′ Jackson di Lima Siqueira
BOV Player of the Match: Rodolfo Soares