Birkirkara scored twice early in the second half and added another in stoppage-time as they came back from one goal down to beat Balzan 3-1.
The Stripes disappointed during the first half as Balzan created the better chances but quick goals by Haruna Shola Shodiya and Paul Fenech soon turned the game in their favour.
Balzan went close to taking the lead on the 16th minute when off a Pedro Calcado freekick, there was a deflection and Ramon dos Santos’s fine header was tipped into a corner in style by Justin Haber.
On the 33rd, Balzan forged ahead when off a Fabio Vignaroli through pass, Jose Luis Armario Negrin advanced on the right before beating Haber with a fine shot from a close angle.
Birkirkara equalised five minutes in the second half thanks to a great goal by Haruna Shola Shodiya whose powerful drive from outside the area gave goalkeeper Manuel Bartolo no chance.
Four minutes later, the Stripes doubled the score when off an assist by Jhonnattann, Paul Fenech’s powerful shot from outside the area beat the Balzan custodian.
Deep into stoppage time, substituted Ryan Camenzuli sealed the issue with a third goal when he advanced on the left and beat Bartolo with a fine rising shot.
BALZAN Manuel Bartolo, Justin Grioli (46′ Kurt Magro), Steve Bezzina, Andrew Scicluna, Lucas Ramon dos Santos, Fabio Vignaroli, Edison Bilbao Zarate, Pedro dos Santos Calcado, Dylan Grima (75′ Mark Spiteri), Lydon Micallef (65′ Ryan Darmanin), Jose Luis Armario Negrin.
Subs not used: Jacob Cipriott, Firas Aboulezz, Luke Sciberras, Gianfranco Micallef.
Coach: Jesmond Zerafa
B’KARA Justin Haber, Edward Herrera (46′ Ronaille Calheira Seara), Zach Muscat, Nikola Vukanac, Joseph Zerafa, Alejandro Mendoza, Paul Fenech (60′ Daniel Zerafa), Gareth Sciberras, Haruna Shola Shodiya, Jhonnattann Benites da Conceicao (80′ Ryan Camenzuli), Ryan Scicluna.
Subs not used: Reuben Gauci, Matheus Bissi da Silva, Kurt Zammit, Terence Vella.
Coach: Paul Zammit
Referee: Sandro Spiteri
Assistant Referees: Roberto Vella, Peter Abela
Additional Assistant Referees: Adrian Azzopardi, Andre Arciola
Fourth Official: Alan Mario Sant
Yellow Cards: Sciberras, Zarate, Calcado, Negrin, Grima, Muscat, Calheira
Scorers: 33′ Jose Luis Armario Negrin (Bal); 50′ Haruna Shola Shodiya (Bkr); 54′ Paul Fenech (Bkr); 90+3′ Ryan Camenzuli (Bkr)
BOV Player of the Match: Haruna Shola Shodiya