Champions Birkirkara bounced back from the defeat to Hibernians as an own goal just past the half-hour gave them a narrow win over rivals Valletta. The Stripes move third, one point behind Sliema Wanderers and five behind leaders Hibernians.
For Valletta, this was the second defeat against another challenger for the title. They are now fifth on 12 points, together with Mosta.
The Citizens lacked Ian Azzopardi while Matheus Bissi da Silva, Edward Herrera and Ryan Scicluna were missing for Birkirkara.
Valletta had the first attempt at goal on the 11th with an Abdelkarim Nafti effort ending high. Frank Temile with a shot from outside the area ending just wide on the 17th. Two minutes later, Justin Haber turned into a corner a freekick by Nafti. On the 23rd, Jhonnattann just failed to connect off a cross by Frank Temile.
The Stripes however managed to take the lead on the 32nd minute when off a cross by Haruna Shola Shodiya from the right, Jhonnattann Benites da Conceicao and Yessous Camilleri rose high for the ball with the Valletta defender deflecting the ball into the net for own goal.
On the 38th, Valletta went close to equalising when off a corner by Abdelkarim Nafti, Yessous Camilleri’s header was saved by Haber on the goal line, aided by the upright.
Three minutes in the second half, Jhonnattann sent Shodiya through but the latter hit high from the edge of the area. On the hour, Jhonnattann hit just wide off a cross from the left by Shodiya.
In stoppage time, with the Citizens all out in search of the equaliser, Luke Dimech had a good header parried by Haber on the goal-line.
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VALLETTA Pietro Demetrio Marino, Jonathan Caruana, Ryan Fenech, Roderick Briffa, Hamza Barry, Denni Rocha dos Santos, Dyson Falzon (58′ Edmond Agius), Jason Lee Vandelannoite (27′ Aziz Corr Nyang), Yessous Camilleri (58′ Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza), Abdelkarim Nafti, Luke Dimech.
Subs not used: Yenz Cini, Ian Zammit, Shaun Bajada, Llywelyn Cremona.
Coach: Mark Miller
B’KARA Justin Haber, Rowen Muscat, Alejandro Mendoza, Jhonnattann Benites da Conceicao (68′ Demba Toure), Paul Fenech, Joseph Zerafa, Gareth Sciberras, Zach Muscat, Haruna Shola Shodiya (85′ Terence Vella), Frank Temile (78′ Daniel Zerafa), Ryan Camenzuli.
Subs not used: Ini Etim Akpan, Leon Muscat, Kurt Zammit, Roderick Taliana.
Coach: Paul Zammit
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Assistant Referees: Thomas Debono, Jurgen Spiteri
Additional Assistant Referees: Glen Tonna, Malcolm Spiteri
Fourth Official: Roberto Vella
Yellow Cards: Jhonnattann, Barry, Dimech, Camenzuli, Caruana, R. Muscat
Scorers: 32′ own goal Yessous Camilleri
BOV Player of the Match: Jhonnattann Benites da Conceicao
Attendance at the National Stadium: 2,508