Leaders Balzan registered their eighth win in nine matches and extended their positive run to fourteen matches.

Balzan had had to do without Injured Ivan Janjusevic, Ryan Fenech and Carlos de Fiori Mendes while Serbian defender Ivan Bozovic made his first appearance along with Siraj Arab Eddin who was included as a substitute. On the other hand Sliema had Mark Scerri and Ricardo Calixto Correa Duarte both suspended while Ghanian defender Nii Nortey Ashong made his debut and was included as a substitute.

Balzan came out in search of an early goal and on the 11th minute they nearly took the lead. Following a cross by debutant Ivan Bozovic, Bojan Kaljevic headed the ball slightly over.

On the 15th minute Kaljevic went close again when he headed off target once more, after receiving the ball from Uros Ljubomirac.

Kaljevic kept on insisting. On the 22nd minute he received the ball inside the penalty area and hit a shot that was saved to corner with difficulty by Glenn Zammit.

Sliema were forced to make an early substitution on the half hour mark as Jonathan Pearson suffered an injury. Debutant Ashong Ni Nortey took his his place.

Balzan went close again on the 35th minute. Alfred Effiong went inside the penalty area but could not conclude as he was pressed by a number of Sliema defenders. The ball fell for Uros Ljubomirac whose powerful shot finished over.

Two minutes later, Alfred Effiong penetrated inside the area and fired a shot, with the ball hitting the side netting, giving the impression as a goal.

On the 40th minute, Balzan lost a golden opportunity to go ahead. Following a cross from the right, Alfred Effiong’s header was cleared off the line by Stefano Bianchardi.

In the second half, Balzan continued pressing and on the 51st minute had another good chance. Uros Ljubomirac served Ales Da Paixao Alves inside the penalty area and the latter hit a low shot that finished centimetres off target.

On the 64th minute, Kaljevic received the ball inside the penalty area and fired a powerful drive that finished over.

On the 66th minute, Sliema’s had their first chance of the match when Matias Muchardi sent a shot from distance that finished just over.

Balzan insisted and on the 67th minute their broke the deadlock. Alex Da Paixao Alves passed the ball towards UROS LJUBOMIRAC whose shot from inside the penalty area gave Glenn Zammit no chance.

Sliema nearly equalised on the 81st minute when Michele Sansone’s shot from the left flank went slightly wide.

On the 86th minute, Michele Sansone had a similar attempt but his effort was saved with ease by goalkeeper Sean Mintoff.

Three minutes later, Balzan made sure of the three points. Kaljevic sent an excellent through ball towards UROS JUUBOMIRAC who finished ball for the second time past Glenn Zammit.

In the added time, Sliema pulled one back thanks to a perfect direct free-kick taken by MATIAS MUCHARDI.

SLIEMA : Glenn Zammit, Stefano Bianciardi, Matias Muchardi, Frank Temile, Nicolae Milincenau, Gabriel Aquilina (Frenci Qeros 71′), Michele Sansone, Peter Xuereb (Kurt Shaw 90′), Jonathan Pearson (Nii Nortey Ashong 30′), John Mintoff, Goran Adamovic.

BALZAN : Sean Mintoff, Steve Bezzina, Alfred Effiong (Siraj Eddin Arab 88′), Elkin Orlando Serrano Valero, Uros Ljubomirac, Ivan Bozovic (Justin Grioli 70′), Bojan Kaljevic, Paul Fenech, Milos Lepovic, Bruno Giglio de Oliveira, Alex Da Paixao Alves (Michael Johnson 89′).

Referee: Alan Mario Sant

BOV Player of the Match: Bojan Kaljevic

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