A goal two minutes from time by Trevor Cilia enabled Sliema Wanderers to earn a point in a 1-1 draw with Birkirkara.
The Stripes held the initiative for most of the ninety minutes and hit the posts twice but the Wanderers left it till late to notch the equaliser. Birkirkara stay third, fifteen points behind leaders Hibernians with the Wanderers staying in the seventh place.
Birkirkara lacked the suspended Zach Muscat but had Argentine defender Mauricio Mazzetti making his debut. Sliema, on the other hand, lacked Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Aidan Friggieri, Michael Mifsud and the suspended Mark Scerri and Pedrinho.
The Stripes missed an excellent opportunity to take the lead on the 11th minute but Rafael Ledesma’s conclusion was cleared off the goal line by Bianciardi after a first attempt by Eliandro was blocked.
Birkirkara, however, managed to take the lead on the 19th minute thanks to Rafael Ledesma who headed the ball past Glenn Zammit following a cross by Gareth Sciberras.
Substitute Edmond Agius was unlucky to hit the crossbar with a shot from the right on the 73rd minute.
Ten minutes from time, Edmond Agius, served by Ledesma, hit the upright with an angled from the right.
Two minutes from time, Sliema notched the equaliser as Trevor Cilia anticipated Justin Haber with a fine shot from outside the area.
SLIEMA Glenn Zammit, Alex Muscat, Filippo Andrea Scozzese, Joseph Borg, John Mintoff (62′ Peter Xuereb), Filippo Talato (69′ Andrea Pisanu), Marko Potezica, Trevor Cilia, Bocar Djumo, Beppe Muscat (79′ Axl Xuereb), Stefano Bianciardi.
Subs not used: Timothy Aquilina, Luca Martinelli, Michele Sansone, Carl Cassar.
Coach: Stephen Azzopardi
B’KARA Justin Haber, Eliandro dos Santos Gonzaga (76′ Kurt Zammit), Nikola Vukanac, Mauricio Matias Mazzetti Latini, Haruna Shola Shodiya, Rafael Pompeo Rodrigues Ledesma, Gareth Sciberras (87′ Matheus Bissi da Silva), Edward Herrera, Paul Fenech, Ryan Camenzuli, Ryan Scicluna (65′ Edmond Agius).
Subs not used: Ini Etim Akpan, Andrea Curmi, Beppe Jaccarini, Antoine Borg.
Coach: Paul Zammit
Referee: Laurent Kopriwa (LUX)
Assistant Referees: Ricardo Morais, Joaquim Da Silva (LUX)
Fourth Official: Alan Mario Sant
Yellow Cards: Vukanac, Cilia, Scicluna, J. Borg, Bocar, Haber, Herrera, Fenech
Scorers: 19′ Rafael Ledesma, 88′ Trevor Cilia
BOV Player of the Match: Rafael Ledesma