Hibernians miss out on top spot after defeat to Birkirkara

Birkirkara came from behind to beat Hibernians 2-1 at the National Stadium on Sunday to return to winning ways and move fourth in the BOV Premier League table.

Hibernians therefore missed an excellent opportunity to take the top spot and stay two points behind leaders Balzan and three ahead of third-placed Valletta.

For Birkirkara, Joseph Zerafa, Predrag Jovic and new signing Miguel Angel Alba replaced Matthew Guillaumier, Gonzalo Malan and the suspended Gary Muir from the team which lost to Valletta. Hibs welcomed back in the starting line-up Rodolfo Soares, Jurgen Degabriele and Marcelo Dias with Joseph Mbong and Andrew Cohen starting on the bench. Montenegrin defender Dejan Boljevic was included as a substitute.

Following a goalless first half, Hibernians managed to take the lead ten minutes in the second half when off a cross from the right, Jurgen Degabriele hit the crossbar and off the rebound, the same player placed the ball at the back of the net.

Birkirkara however leveled matters on the 61st minute thanks to Vito Plut who slotted the ball past Hogg from the edge of the area after receiving a through-pass.

Ten minutes from time, the Stripes notched the winner when off a corner by Srdjan Dimitrov from the right, Nikola Vukanac rose high to head home past goalkeeper Andrew Hogg.

Jorginho almost restored equilibrium three minutes from time but his goal-bound shot was cleared into safety by a defender.

HIBS Andrew Hogg, Rodolfo Soares, Marcelo Dias, Jackson di Lima Siqueira (82′ Joseph Mbong), Bjorn Kristensen, Jorge da Silva Pereira, Clayton Failla (71′ Dejan Boljevic), Johann Bezzina (76′ Dunstan Vella), Jurgen Degabriele, Momodou Jallow, Andrei Agius.
Subs not used: Rudy Briffa, Andrew Cohen, Timothy Tabone Desira, Montell Moore.
Coach: Mark Miller

B’KARA Henry Bonello, Christian Bubalovic, Gareth Sciberras, Joseph Zerafa, Mislav Andjelkovic, Srdjan Dimitrov, Vito Plut (92′ Edmond Agius), Nikola Vukanac, Miguel Angel Alba (66′ Ryan Scicluna), Cain Attard, Predrag Jovic (64′ Edward Herrera).
Subs not used: Ini Etim Akpan, Matthew Guillaumier, James Brincat, Steve Bonnici.

Referee: Mario Apap
Assistant Referees: Duncan Sultana, William Debattista
Fourth Official: Etienne Mangion
Yellow Cards: Agius, Bubalovic, Dias, Vukanac
BOV Player of the Match: Gareth Sciberras
Attendance: 1,095

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