Penalty helps Hibs beat Birkirkara
In a match that lacked in actions and spectacular play, controversy dominated as Hibernians won their sixth game of the season with a penalty that stirred arguments as replays showed that the referee made the wrong call.
This win meant that Hibernians are in second place, three points only behind Balzan.
Both teams started with shirts showing solidarity with Bjorn Formosa and his campaign in favour ALS.
Drazen Besek made only one change from the big win against Gżira as Andelkovic was missing, while Mark Miller had Joseph Mbong and Jonathan Pearson missing through suspension.
The first action came from Hibernians on the 8th minute as Birkirkara goalkeeper Kopric had to intervene to clear the ball before youngster Jurgen Degabriele.
Birkirkara had the best chance of the half on the 24th minute as from a corner by Dimitrov, the header by Bubalovic was cleared on the line by Jackson Lima. After the half hour mark, Kopric had to save a header by Jorginho.
The pace stayed the same in the second half, as Mark Miller included Andrew Cohen instead of Varea who had a negative game. On the other hand, Bezek included Shaun Bajada.
The action that decided the game came on the 78th minute.
A contact was made between Nikola Vukanac and Jorginho, and the referee Trustin Farrugia Cann ordered a penalty despite harsh protests by Birkirkara players that the presumed foul had occurred outside the box.
But Farrugia Cann stayed with his decision that replays showed that wasn’t correct. From the penalty spot, captain Clayton Failla fired past Kopric to decide the match as despite the last efforts of Birkirkara were in vain to suffer the third defeat of the league.
Andrei Agius of Hibernians (centre) clears his lines ahead of Vito Plut of Birkirkara (right) Photo: Domenic Aquilina