Balzan beat Sliema Wanderers 2 – 1, a repeat result of the first round with Balzan making a double over Sliema W. A win which puts Balzan alone in sixth place, two ahead of Mosta and Birkirkara and three ahead of Hamrun S
Balzan deserved their victory as they were the better team for long stretches of the game, created the best chances, even missing a glorious opportunity from the penalty spot.
Balzan deservedly built a two-goal cushion at the start of the second half and looked set for a more comfortable victory. However the Blues had other ideas and after pulling one back half way through the second half, the game was a completely different affair.
For this game Balzan lacked suspended Aleksandar Kosoric. While on the other side Arthur Henrique Oyama and Federico Vasilchik made their debut for Sliema.
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Posted by Balzan FC Supporters Club on Sunday, January 12, 2020
Balzan came looking for an early goal and forced Sliema to defend. Balzan took the lead in the 9th minute when Luke Montebello served UROS LJUBOMIRAC who controlled the ball well before hitting past goalkeeper Entonjo Elezaj from close range.
Two minutes later the same Uros Ljubomirac was again on the mark when his range effort was blocked Entonjo Elezaj, Steve Pisani took the rebound and served Luke Montebello who placed the ball at the back of the net but the goal was disallowed for an offside position.
In the 19th minute, Sliema’s had their first attempt at goal with a Federico Vasilchik’s effort but Kristijan Naumovski came to the rescue as he palmed out his attempt before the ball was cleared into safety.
Three minutes later John Mintoff opened up towards Juri Cisotti, whose strong shot was well saved by goalkeeper Kristijan Naumovski.
In the 28th minute Balzan had a golden opportunity to increase their lead when Arthur Faria Machado was floored by Kurt Shaw in the box, but Andrija Majdevac’s shot from the penalty spot was brilliantly saved by Entonjo Elezaj.
Seven minutes later Entonjo Elezaj again came to Sliema’s rescue saving off Uros Ljubomirac who was served by Augustine Loof.
Four minutes into the second half Balzan doubled the score when Luke Montebello, well served by Arthur Faria Machado, neatly rounded a defender before beating Elezaj Elezaj with a precise grounder.
In the 52nd minute, Uros Ljubomirac tried his luck, from the right, hitting the side netting and six minutes later, a Steven Pisani effort from the edge of the area ended just wide.
In the 67th minute, against the run of play, Sliema pulled one back. It was a powerful drive by substitute Claudio Zappa from outside the area which gave goalkeeper Kristijan Naumovski no chance.
In the 74th minute, Andrija Majdevac threatened with a fine shot which ended just over the bar.
From then onwards, Sliema tried hard to notch the equaliser. Balzan struggled with Kristijan Naumovski making a great save off Juri Cisotti in the 78th minute.
In the 83rd minute Jean Paul Farrugia headed home but the goal was disallowed for an offside position. and three minutes later Arthur Oyama tested Kristijan Naumovski with a freekick from the right.
Sliema maintained the pressure till the final whistle but Balzan held on to take home the three points.
SLIEMA : Entenjo Elezaj, Michele Sansone (Jean Paul Farrugia 79’), Alex Satariano (Claudio Zappa 46’), Kurt Shaw, John Mintoff, Mark Scerri, Federico Vasilchik, Juri Cisotti, Arthur Henrique Oyama, Claudio Pani (Edmond Agius 56’), Goran Adamovic
BALZAN : Kristijan Naumovski, Augustine Loof, Nenad Sljivic, Steve Pisani, Steve Bezzina, Paul Fenech, Uros Ljubomirac, Ivan Bozovic, Arthur Faria Machado (Dale Camilleri 81’), Andrija Majdevac (Samir Arab 87’ Luke Montebello (Alfred Effiong 72’).
Referee: Emanuel Grech
BOV Player of the Match: Luke Montebello