Birkirkara moved to just three points behind leaders Valletta and two behind Hibernians as they registered a fifth consecutive win, defeating wooden-spoonists St. Andrews 3-1 in one of two matches at the National Stadium which were originally scheduled for January 16 at the Hibernians Stadium but which were called off.
For St. Andrews, this was the nineteenth defeat in as many matches and therefore they continue to chase their first points despite their recent revamp of the squad.
Birkirkara managed to take the lead on the 17th minute thanks to a fine effort by Goran Mujanovic following a cross by Ryan Camenzuli which beat goalkeeper Jake Galea.
The Saints levelled matters just before half-time when Enmy Manuel Pena Beltre was brought down inside the penalty area by Joseph Zerafa; referee Stefan Pace ordered a penalty and captain Joseph Farrugia made no mistake from the penalty spot.
The Stripes regained the lead on the 58th minute thanks to a Vito Plut header from close range.
Birkirkara sealed the issue in added time when substitute Frank Temile concluded a solo effort with a low shot which ended at the back of the net.
ST. ANDREWS Jake Galea, Enmy Manuel Pena Beltre, Dale Camilleri, Bong Won Che, Jonatan Perez Cuestra (87′ Ryan Sammut), Sorin Oproiescu, Matteo Desira Buttigieg (80′ Jacob Walker), Joseph Farrugia, Chinatu Francis Onwudinjo, Kyrian Nwoko (64′ Michel Widom Salomon), Eloy Edu Nkene.
Subs not used: Dorian Bugeja, Michael Johnson, Clyde Cumbo, Marcus Grima.
Coach: Josè Borg
B’KARA Miroslav Kopric, Cain Attard, Nikola Vukanac, Christian Bubalovic, Joseph Zerafa, Gareth Sciberras, Edmond Agius (57′ Frank Temile), Edison David Bilbao Zarate (90′ Kurt Zammit), Goran Mujanovic, Ryan Camenzuli, Vito Plut (72′ Matthew Guillaumier).
Subs not used: Ini Etim Akpan, Ryan Darmanin, Clint Zammit, Andrea Curmi
Coach: Drazen Besek
Referee: Stefan Pace
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Thomas Debono
Fourth Official: Alan Mario Sant
Yellow Cards: Zerafa, Bubalovic, Oproiescu
Scorers: 17′ Goran Mujanovic, 45′ Joseph Farrugia pen, 57′ Vito Plut, 90+3′ Frank Temile
BOV Player of the Match: Ryan Camenzuli