This match failed to live to its expectations, as Tarxien, after two consecutive wins, were expected to give at least a fight, which was not the case.

As from the beginning it was evident that Tarxien’s destiny was set as Balzan took full control of the game, playing with relative ease. Though it was not easy to express good football in unpleasant weather conditions, Balzan were dominant, with good work from Alex da Piaxao Alves (Lecao) on the right flank and Uros Ljubomirac on the left.

From their last match, Balzan made some changes with Ricardo Correa, Milos Lepovic, and Harry Ascroft being replaced by Ivan Bozovic, Nenad Sljivic, returning from suspension and Carlos Eduardo De Fiori Mendes (Kadu), missing for a long time.

Balzan came out looking for an early goal. On the 5th minute Justin Grioli sent rising cross which slightly missed the target.

Two minutes later, Jes Alexander Wemmer almost committed an own goal, in an attempt to clear to safety.

In the 9th minute, Alfred Effiong missed a good chance, following a personal initiative by Lecao, but from an ideal position his header left much to be desired.

Three minutes later Alfred Effiong was unlucky when his header finished stamping the crossbar.

In the 23rd minute Balzan broke the deadlock when a corner taken by Kadu was partially cleared by the Tarxien defence and MICHAEL JOHNSON took the rebound to fire low past goalkeeper Andrea Cassar.

Fur minutes later Balzan doubled the score. Lecao, again outstanding on the right flank, passed the ball to Kadu, who in turn passed it to Uros Ljubomirac. The latter nodded the ball to ALFRED EFFIONG who simply could not miss the target from close range.

On the half hour, Balzan made another good move when Kadu exchanged the ball with Uros Ljubomirac who’s final shot blasted over the bar.

In the last fifteen minutes of the first half Tarxien made their first move when Gabriel Aquilina served Michele Paolucci, but his effort was denied by Steve Sultana’s only save of the first half.

Six minutes from the break Tarxien had another chance when Stefan Radovanovic made a good run on the left but his inviting cross was not connected by Darren Falzon.

Two minutes after resumption, Balzan increased the lead when UROS LJUBOMIRAC dribbled his way past a couple of defenders before firing a powerful shot, from the edge of the area, which gave goalkeeper Andrea Cassar no chance.

Balzan eased their possession and Tarxien took the opportunity. On the 65th minute a Gabriel Aquilina’s shot was blocked by Steven Sultana and Michele Paolucci took the rebound but his effort was blocked by Elkin Orlando Serrano Valero.

In the 69th minute, following a direct free-kick by Kadu, goalkeeper Andrea Cassar denied his effort, making a very good save.

On the 82nd minute, Tarxien pulled one back when a shot by Anderson De Barros was blocked by a defender and from the rebound MICHELE PAOLUCCI fired a first timer into the back of the net.

However, the game was beyond reach for Tarxien R as Balzan held firm to take home the three points.

Tarxien R : Andrea Cassar, Marco Botta, Jens Wemmer, Matthew Brincat (Miguel Ciantar 68’), Michele Paolucci, Gabriel Aquilina, Daren Falzon (Owen Francalanza 78’), Andrew Agius (Matthew Spiteri 63’), Andre Scicluna, Stefan Radovanovic, Anderson De Barros.

Balzan : Steve Sultana, Justin Grioli, Dale Camilleri (Siraj Arab Eddin 68′), Nenad Sljivic, Alex de Paixao Alves (Gary Camilleri 78’), Michael Johnson, Alfred Effiong (Andrija Majdevac 61’), Uros Ljubomirac, Ivan Bozovic, Elkin Serrano, Carlos Eduardo de Fiori Mendes.

Referee: Ishmael Barbara

BOV Player of the Match: Alex da Paixao Alves

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