Hamrun Spartans failed to keep the pace with leaders Floriana as they could only managed to earn a draw in a goalless draw with Birkirkara at the Centenary Stadium on Sunday.
It was a result which satisfied neither side as the Spartans needed the three points to move back in second place while Birkirkara were hoping to register a second win to climb out of the lower part of the table.
Andrew Hogg performed a good save on Criaco on the 14th minute and then towards the end of a most quiet first half, Birkirkara had shots by Caio Henrique Prado and Federico Falcone ending off target with Matthew Guillaumier testing Bartolo in added time.
In the second half, the rhythm of the game remained the same and after Birkirkara had Matthew Guillaumier sent off on the 80th, ironically, they went close to taking the lead thanks to attempts by Cain Attard and Caio Henrique Prado but goalkeeper Manuel Bartolo performed great saves to keep them at bay.
HAMRUN Manuel Bartolo, Triston Caruana, Ailton Jorge dos Santos Soares, Wilfried Domoraud, Nicola Leone, Soufiane Lagzir, Darren Borg, Marco Criaco, Ryan Darmanin (58’ Clayton Failla), Orestis Nikolopoulos, Mattia Cinquini.
Subs not used: Jean Claude Debattista, Karl Luke Schembri, Christopher Galea, Cain Cutajar, Miguel Tabone, Bradley Schembri.
Coach: Manuele Blasi
B’KARA Andrew Hogg, Enrico Pepe, Matthew Guillaumier, Maurizio Vella, Roderick Briffa, Federico Falcone (83’ Kurt Zammit), Cain Attard, Caio Henrique Prado (87’ Michael Mifsud), Oscar Matias Carniello, Ryan Fenech, Isaac Ntow.
Subs not used: Nicky Vella, Johann Bezzina, Gianluca Bugeja, Miguel Angel Alba, Carlo Zammit Lonardelli.
Coach: Andre Paus
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Assistant Referees: Roberto Vella, Duncan Spencer
Fourth Official: Malcolm Spiteri
Yellow Cards: Domoraud, Guillaumier, Attard, Lagzir, Leone, Briffa
Red Cards: 80′ Matthew Guillaumier
BOV Player of the Match: Caio Henrique Prado