Birkirkara needed a late goal from Matija Smrekar to overcome Sliema Wanderers 2-1 at the Hibs Stadium.

It was Sliema who struck with their first real foray.

The clock marked 24 minutes when Mandinho’s throughball sent Marko Potezica clear on the right and the Serbian sent a low cross into the path of Njongo Priso who stabbed the ball into the net.

But the Wanderers’ joy was shortlived as thre e minutes later Birkirkara levelled.

Ryan Camenzuli produced a burst of pace on the left before teeing up Frank Temile on the edge of the area and the Nigerian forward hit a thumping drive that gave no chance to Glenn Zammit.

The goal spurred Birkirkara to life and on 37 minutes, Temile showed great footwork to move past Muir and picked Seydi L’Imam but the Senegalese forward fired wide.

On the restart, Sliema seized the initiative and on 47 minutes Jean Paul Farrugia burst into the area and his low drive came off the upright.

At the other end, Temile won a free-kick on the edge of the area and Ryan Camenzuli’s inswinger was tipped over by the alert Glenn Zammit.

Fourteen minutes from time, Sliema missed a glorious chance when Priso retrieve d possession in midfield and quickly played in Farrugia who was cleanthrough but he incredibly fired wide with only Kopric to beat.

It was all Sliema now and nine minute s from time Bezzina picked Priso whose downward header flashed just wide.

But it was Birkirkara who struck the winner four minutes from time when they were awarded a central free-kick and Smrekar hit a curling drive that flew into the top corner of the net.

Sliema’s Njongo Priso was voted as the BOV Player of the match.

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