Birkirkara came from behind to beat Hamrun Spartans 2-1 at the National Stadium on Saturday.
This was therefore the second win for Birkirkara and the second defeat for Hamrun. Although Hamrun created more chances throughout the first half, the Stripes were a better side and deserved to take home the three points.
Birkirkara had one change from the team which defeated Mosta as Paul Mbong replaced Claudio Bonanni while for Hamrun, Faissal El Bakhtaoui replaced Soufiane Lagzir from the team which lost to Valletta.
The Spartans were unlucky to hit the crossbar on the 19th minute with a Faissal El Bakhtaoui effort from outside the area, deflected by the goalkeeper.
However Hamrun took the lead on the 32nd minute when off an assist by Joseph Mbong, Ailton Jorge Soares anticipated Daniel Fernandes with a low shot from the left which ended at the back of the net.
But eight minutes later, Birkirkara levelled matters thanks to a fine header by Luke Montebello off an inviting cross by Yannick Yankam from the left.
Birkirkara took the lead on the 58th minute when Diego Venancio’s powerful freekick was partially saved by Bonello and Federico Falcone hit low past the Hamrun custodian.
Two minutes in stoppage time, Birkirkara had substitute Claudio Bonanni sent off.
BIRKIRKARA Daniel Fernandes, Enrico Pepe, Yannick Yankam (70′ Leandro Aguirre), Luke Montebello (86′ Kilian Bevis), Paul Mbong (57′ Claudio Bonanni), Kurt Zammit, Federico Falcone (86′ Enzo Ruiz), Cain Attard, Oscar Carniello, Jeferson Macedo (69′ Ryan Scicluna), Diego Venancio.
Coach: Andre Paus
HAMRUN Henry Bonello, Darko Gojkovic, Joseph Mbong, Ailton Jorge Soares, Franklin Sasere, Juan Carlos Corbalan, Predrag Djordjevic (80′ Arthur Oyama), Karl Micallef (74′ Christian Mercieca), Claude Dielna, Emerson Marcelina (86′ Soufiane Lagzir), Faissal El Bakhtaoui.
Coach: Mark Buttigieg
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Assistant Referees: Luke Portelli, Roberto Vella
Fourth Official: Ishmael Barbara
Yellow Cards: Pepe, Micallef, Scicluna, Gojkovic
Red Cards: 90+2′ Claudio Bonanni
BOV Player of the Match: Luke Montebello