After failing to win any of their last three matches, Birkirkara returned to winning ways as they scored three in the final seven minutes to beat Tarxien Rainbows 3-1 at the Victor Tedesco Stadium on Saturday.
The game seemed heading into another frustrating draw for the Stripes with less than ten minutes to go but a penalty seven minutes from time paved the way for victory.
The Stripes had one change from the team which drew with St. Andrews as Ryan Scicluna replaced Shaun Bajada. On the other hand, Alex Nilsson replaced Dylan Micallef for Tarxien. Yet to name a new coach, Tarxien were led by Brian Testaferrata.
Vito Plut went close to putting the Stripes ahead one minute from half-time but his low effort hit the foot of the post.
Birkirkara managed to break the deadlock seven minutes from time when substitute Matteo Desira Buttigieg was floored inside the area, referee Etienne Mangion ordered a penalty and from the penalty spot, Vito Plut converted
Four minutes later, the Stripes doubled the score thanks to Srdjan Dimitrov freekick which was deflected by a defender past goalkeeper Andrea Cassar.
But it was not over yet as on the 90th minute, following a pass from the right by Plut, Matthew Tabone deflected the ball past Cassar for an own goal.
Tarxien pulled one back one minute in added time thanks to Triston Caruana whose powerful drive gave goalkeeper Miroslav Kopric no chance.
B’KARA Miroslav Kopric, Christian Bubalovic, Gareth Sciberras (61′ Matteo Desira Buttigieg), Mislav Andjelkovic (80′ Rowen Muscat), Srdjan Dimitrov, Vito Plut, Nikola Vukanac, Frank Temile, Joseph Zerafa, Cain Attard, Ryan Scicluna (35′ Shaun Bajada).
Subs not used: Ini Etim Akpan, Matthew Guillaumier, Steve Bonnici, James Brincat.
Coach: Drazen Besek
TARXIEN Andrea Cassar, Julian Galea, Triston Caruana, Daniel Ponce de Leon Garcia, Alex Nilsson, Sergio Fernandez Prendes, Daniel Zerafa, Alex da Paixao Alves, Matthew Tabone, Sacha Borg, Claudio Daniel Frances (70′ Andrew Agius).
Subs not used: Philip Schranz, Luke Zahra, Eloy Edu Nkene, Dylan Micallef,
Assistant Coach: Brian Testaferrata
Referee: Etienne Mangion
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Thomas Debono
Fourth Official: Alan Mario Sant
Yellow Cards: Scicluna, Galea, J. Zerafa, Tabone, Caruana, D. Zerafa, Dimitrov
BOV Player of the Match: Triston Caruana
Attendance at the Victor Tedesco Stadium: 522
Meanwhile Hibernians extended their positive run with a fifth consecutive win as they beat Sliema Wanderers 3-1 despite playing for almost twenty-five minutes in ten men. A win which puts Mark Miller’s side on top the BOV Premier League table but Balzan have a game in hand.
Jorge Pereiera da Silva and Timothy Tabone Desira were named in the starting line-up for Hibernians, replacing Clayton Failla and Renan Pimenta Telles. On the other hand, for Sliema, coach John Buttigieg made only one change as he replaced Mandinho with Milos Galin.
Hibernians took the lead Jackson Lima for Cohen who released Degabriele on the right and the latter slotted past goalkeeper Glen Zammit
Sliema equalised on the 36th minute when they were awarded a penalty after Rodolfo Soares brought Matias Muchardi down inside the area and from the penalty spot, Denni Rocha dos Santos converted.
The Paolites were reduced to ten men on 68 minutes when Jackson Lima received a second yellow card for a foul on Denni.
However Hibs regained the lead on the 77th minute thanks to Jorge Pereira da Silva when he received a through pass by Bjorn Kristensen and ancitipated Glenn Zammit with a low shot from inside the area.
One minute from time, the Paolites made it 3-1 thanks to Johann Bezzina who received an assist by Bjorn Kristensen and with a low shot from the left, he slotted the ball past the Sliema custodian.
HIBS Andrew Hogg, Rodolfo Soares, Marcelo Dias, Jackson de Lima Siqueira, Bjorn Kristensen, Timothy Tabone Deira, Andrew Cohen (70′ Joseph Mbong), Johann Bezzina, Jurgen Degabriele (84′ Renan Telles Pimenta), Jorge da Silva Pereira (89′ Dunstan Vella), Andrei Agius.
Subs not used: Rudy Briffa, Conner Zammit, Juan Manuel Varea, Kyle O’Brien.
Coach: Mark Miller
SLIEMA Glenn Zammit, Denni Rocha dos Santos, Matias Muchardi, Roger de Souza Villas Boas, John Mintoff (88′ Ryan Spiteri), Mark Scerri, Milos Galin, Peter Xuereb, Gary Muir (85′ Armando dos Santos Vieira Tarlazis), Jean Paul Farrugia, Stefano Bianciardi.
Subs not used: Timothy Aquilina, Alex Msucat, Kurt Shaw, Gabriel Aquilina, Beppe Muscat.
Coach: John Buttigieg
Referee: Matthew De Gabriele
Assistant Referees: Duncan Sultana, Jurgen Spiteri
Fourth Official: Malcolm Spiteri
Yellow Cards: Lima, Soares, Deni, Scerri, Xuereb, Bianciardi
Red Cards: 67′ Jackson Lima
Scorers: 16′ Jurgen Degabriele, 36′ Denni Rocha dos Santos pen, 76′ Jorge Pereira da Silva, 89′ Johann Bezzina