Valletta and Birkirkara will both start the third round on the 22-point mark, eight behind leaders Hibernians as the direct clash for second place ended in a 1-1 draw.
Thanks to this draw, the Citizens end the second round in the second place and will therefore face Hibernians in the final league game.
Birkirkara had four changes from the team which drew with Sliema as Matheus Bissi da Silva, Edmond Agius, Zach Muscat and new signing Rowen Muscat – who returns with the club after a short spell in Hungary – replaced Gareth Sciberras, Rafael Ledesma, Eliandro and the suspended Ryan Scicluna. On the other hand, Pietro Marino started in goal with Steve Borg replacing the injured Djamel Leeflang.
The two teams shared the exchanges during the first half with the best goal scoring opportunity going Valletta’s way when off a cross by Hamza Barry from the right, the ball was partially saved by the goalkeeper and off the rebound, Llywelyn Cremona’s conclusion was blocked by Haber onto the crossbar with the ball being cleared into safety.
Birkirkara held the upper hand after the break and managed to break the deadlock thirteen minutes from time when in a counter-attack, Shola Shodiya headed the ball in the direction of the unmarked Nikola Vukanac who slammed the ball past goalkeeper Pietro Marino.
However on the 90th minute, Valletta levelled matters when off a cross from the right by Steve Borg, there was a short clearance and Roderick Briffa’s header hit the crossbar before ending at the back of the net.
B’KARA Justin Haber, Edward Herrera (85′ Antoine Borg), Nikola Vukanac, Mauricio Matias Mazzetti Latini (90′ Kurt Zammit), Haruna Shola Shodiya, Matheus Bissi da Silva, Paul Fenech, Zach Muscat, Rowen Muscat (76′ Nassir Ahmed Maachi), Ryan Camenzuli, Edmond Agius.
Subs not used: Ini Etim Akpan, Russell Gatt de Raffaele, Andrea Curmi, Beppe Jaccarini.
Coach: Paul Zammit
VALLETTA Pietro Demetrio Marino, Jonathan Caruana (51′ Lateef Elford-Alliyu), Ian Azzopardi, Steve Borg, Ryan Camilleri, Ryan Fenech, Hamza Barry, Roderick Briffa, Llywelyn Cremona (64′ Shaun Bajada), Abdelkarim Nafti, Luke Dimech (85′ Vladimir Savicevic).
Subs not used: Nicky Vella, Jean Borg, Ikenna Paul Hilary, Kurt Borg.
Coach: Gilbert Agius
Referee: Esther Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Duncan Sultana, Luke Portelli
Additional Assistant Referees: Alan Mario Sant, Philip Farrugia
Fourth Official: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Yellow Cards: Mazzetti, Borg, Briffa
Scorers: 77′ Nikola Vukanac, 90′ Roderick Briffa
BOV Player of the Match: Mauricio Mazzetti