Balzan and Birkirkara shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw in an entertaining clash at the National Stadium on Sunday.
This result therefore leaves Birkirkara in fifth place, seven points behind Balzan who have to wait for the match between Hibernians and Floriana to know whether they will stay on top.
Balzan had three changes from the team which defeated Gzira as goalkeeper Ivan Janjusevic was preferred to Christian Cassar while the returning Elkin Serrano and Bojan Kaljevic replaced Justin Grioli and Dylan Grima who were both included as substitutes. The Stripes, on the other hand, had Matthew Guillaumier replacing Edward Herrera.
Birkirkara had a goal disallowed on the 36th minute when a Matthew Guillaumier effort was not held by Janjusevic and off the rebound, Gonzalo Malan placed the ball at the back of the net; however the Uruguayan striker was adjudged to be in an offside position by referee Alan Mario Sant.
Balzan were awarded a penalty on the 65th minute after Matteo Piciollo was brought down inside the area and from the penalty spot, Bojan Kaljevic converted.
Two minutes later, Abdelkarim Nafti almost made it 2-0 for Balzan but the ball hit the crossbar.
However fifteen minutes from time, Birkirkara equalised when off a cross by Srdjan Dimitrov, Gonzalo Malan served Mislav Andjelkovic who hit low past Janjusevic.
BALZAN Ivan Janjusevic, Bruno Giglio de Oliveira, Bojan Kaljevic, Samir Arab, Clive Brincat (54′ Justin Grioli) (73′ Dylan Grima), Ryan Fenech, Alan da Silva Souza, Abdelkarim Nafti (80′ Lydon Micallef), Elkin Orlando Serrano Valero, Paul Fenech, Matteo Piciollo.
Subs not used: Christian Cassar, Gary Camilleri, Terence Agius, Sean Cipriott.
Coach: Oliver Spiteri
B’KARA Henry Bonello, Gareth Sciberras, Matthew Guillamier (81′ James Brincat), Mislav Andelkovic, Srdan Dimitrov (88′ Matteo Desira Buttigieg), Gonzalo Malan, Vito Plut, Nikola Vukanac, Joseph Zerafa (69′ Edward Herrera), Cain Attard, Predrag Jovic.
Subs not used: Ini Etim Akpan, Christian Bubalovic, Edmond Agius, Steve Bonnici.
Coach: Nikola Jaros
Referee: Alan Mario Sant
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Paul Apap
Fourth Official: Mario Apap
Yellow Cards: Zerafa, Arab
Scorers: 65′ Bojan Kaljevic pen, 75′ Mislav Andelkovic
BOV Player of Match: Alan Da Silva Souza