11/07/19 : Balzan lost 3-4 to FK Domžale in their home match of the UEFA Europa League QR 1.

It was a dramatic encounter which saw Domžale take an early lead through a soft penalty and later Balzan turning the score 2-1 in their favour and regaining the lead 3-2 after Domžale had equalised. However the Slovenians scored twice to win the game 4-3 in their favour. Balzan goalkeeper Kristijan Naumovski was outstanding with some great saves that kept his side in the picture.

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Posted by NK Domžale on Friday, July 12, 2019

Balzan’s started the game with the majority of the players that won the Domestic FA Trophy, together with the inclusion of new signings goalkeeper Kristijan Naumovski and Stefan Dimic, while Arthur Faria Machado was included as a substitute and with the other new signing Augustine Loof not utilized on the bench.

Domžale took the lead after only just three minutes. Following a corner taken by Senijad Ibricic, Slobodan Vuk was brought down inside the area by Ivan Bozovic and from the penalty spot, SENIJAD IBRICIC made no mistake.

In the 10th minute, Domžale threatened again when Josip Corluka who picked Adam Cerin inside the area but the latter’s header finished just wide.

Domžale remained the better side and in the 26th minute Kristijan Naumovski came out of his place to intercept Senijad Ibricic’s cross.

On the half hour Balzan’s had their first attempt on target and they should have restored parity. A free-kick taken by Ricardo Correa, found Uros Ljubomirac unmarked at the far post but his shot finished out.

Balzan equalised on the 34th minute, following a good run and an assist by Alfred Effiong, RICARDO CALIXTO CORREA found the target with a rising shot.

Four minutes later, Balzan went 2-1 ahead when off another assist by Alfred Effiong, UROS LJUBOMIRAC entered the area before beating goalkeeper Grega Sorcan.

On the stroke of half-time Domžale had a good chance when Senijad Ibricic dribbled past the Balzan defence before setting up Matej Podlogar but he was denied by an alert Naumovski.

On restart, Domžale came out looking for an early goal, as they did at the beginning of the match.

In fact they managed to levelled matters three minutes into the second half thanks to a header by SLOBODAN VUK, when served by Tonci Mujan.

Chances kept flowing and Balzan were almost given a present with a third goal when keeper Sorcan passed the ball straight to Stefan Dimic, but the goalkeeper made up for his mistake by saving Dimic’s attempt.

However in the 56th minute, Balzan took the lead again. Stefan Dimic made up for his previous miss by sending a fine pass to ALFRED EFFIONG who managed to find the net making it 3-2 for Balzan.

Just past the hour, Domžale restored equilibrium. Ivan Bozovic failed to clear the ball well, after blocking Slobodan Vuk’s shot, with the ball falling to GREGOR SIKOSEK who in turn slammed the ball home from close range.

Four minutes later for Kristijan Naumovski pushed away a Gregor Skosek’s shot.

In the 75th minute, Domžale sealed the issue 4-3 when MATEJ PODLOGAR placed the ball at the back of the net following a cross from the right.

In the second leg, which will be played at the Sportni Park in Domžale, Balzan need to win by at least a two-goal difference to reach the next round where they would face Malmo.

 

BALZAN : Kristian Naumovski, Aleksandar Kosoric, Nenad Sljivic, Steve Pisani, Steve Bezzina, Paul Fenech, Alfred Effiong (Arthur Faria Machado 69’), Uros Ljubomirac (Andrija Majdevac 82’), Ivan Bozovic, Stefan Dimic, Ricardo Calixto Correa Duarte (Lydon Micallef 86’).

DOMZALE: Grega Sorcan, Amedej Vetrih, Tilen Klemencic, Senijad Ibricic, Tonci Mujan (Mattias Kait 64’), Gregor Sikosek, Josip Corluka, Matej Podlogar (Zika Repas 77’), Gaber Dobrovoljc, Adam Gnezda Cerin, Slobodan Vuk (Dario Kolobaric 83’).

Referee: Aleksei Matyunin (RUS)