A goal two minutes in added time handed Birkirkara a narrow win over Sliema Wanderers at the National Stadium on Sunday in a clash between two teams who were eager for victory in their bid to secure a spot in the UEFA Europa League this summer.
With four rounds of matches to go, the Stripes leapfrog Sliema to move fifth, one point behind Hamrun Spartans and one ahead of the Blues.
The Stripes had Mark Buttigieg leading the team for the first time after assuming sole responsibility of the team as Head Coach following the departure of John Arne Riise.
Birkirkara scored the all-important goal two minutes in added time when off a cross by Cain Attard from the right, there was a slight deflection by a defender and Luke Montebello was at the right place at the right time to slot the ball past Aquilina.
SLIEMA Timothy Aquilina, Matias Muchardi, Kurt Shaw, John Mintoff (59’ Kilian Amehi), Ignacio Varela, Ryan Fenech (69’ Mark Scerri), Nii Nortey Ashong, Michele Sansone, Claudio Pani, Stefano Bianciardi, Younes Marzouk.
Subs not used: Miguel Bonnici, Alex Muscat, Jonathan Pearson, Peter Xuereb, Stefan Cassar.
Coach: Stefano Maccoppi
Asst. Coach: Ivan Woods
B’KARA Andrew Hogg, Danilo Chapoval, Mislav Andjelkovic, Maurizio Vella, Luke Montebello, Johann Bezzina, Kurt Zammit (72’ Clayton Failla), Eduardo Ferreira dos Santos, Nikola Vukanac, Marcelo de Siqueira (75’ Cain Attard), Jorge da Silva Pereira (64’ Michael Mifsud).
Subs not used: Amara Sylla, Alessio Azzopardi, Gianluca Bugeja, Paul Mbong.
Coach: Mark Buttigieg
Referee: Laurent Kopriwa (LUX)
Assistant Referees: Joaquim da Silva, Tom Hansen
Fourth Official: Ishmael Barbara
Yellow Cards: Fenech, Pani, Vella
BOV Player of the Match: