Balzan and Hamrun lost precious points once more as both sides drew 1-1 draw – a result which keeps both teams in the hunt for 4th place.
For this game, Balzan had to do without their play-maker Carlos Eduardo de Fiori Mendes (Kadu) and on the other side Hamrun lacked their midfielder Triston Caruana, who was ruled out through suspension.
Kampjonat Premier: Hamrun Spartans Football Club 1-1 Balzan F.C.
Posted by L-ARGUMENT on Sunday, April 14, 2019
This game never really lifted off in terms of creative and goalmouth action. In the first half both sides found difficulty to penetrate the two strong defences but somehow, in the first 15 minutes of the second half, the game came to life when the two goals were scored.
In the first half Balzan enjoyed territorial superiority but they were only allowed to have some shots from a distance which, after all, were quite ineffective. Hamrun disappointed as they failed to create anything that could worry the Balzan rear-guard, except perhaps on one occasion when the ball was cleared by Steven Pisani from near the goal line.
In the 18th minute, Balzan had their first attempt, when Steven Bezzina sent a low shot from a distance which finished wide.
In the 29th minute, a long distance effort from Alfred Effiong was saved without any difficulty by Hamrun goalkeeper Emmanuel Bartolo.
Balzan insisted and in the 34th minute, Alfred Effiong set Ricardo Correa on the left flank of the Hamrun area, but the latter’s effort was blocked to a corner by Orestis Nikolopoulos.
Three minutes later, Hamrun had their first attempt. From a corner kick taken by Caetano Calil, Orestis Nikolopoulos saw his header cleared by a Balzan defender near the goal line.
In the second half, play improved but it was still scrappy with both sides committing errors as passes went astray on both sides.
Early in the second half, from a corner kick by Caetano Calil, Orestis Nikolopoulos headed well over the bar.
Soon after, at the other end, an effort by Nenad Sljivic from outside the area finished wide.
In the 51st minute, Balzan created a good opportunity. From a free-kick by Ricardo Correa, unmarked Uros Ljubomirac shot the ball well over the bar, from three metres.
But, against the way of play, Hamrun who took the lead on the 54th minute when, from a cross by Kevin Tulimieri cross, WILFRIED DOMORAUD rose above defender Aleksandar Kosoric to head home.
However, their joy was short-lived as Balzan equalised on the half hour. From a Ricardo Correa corner-kick, ELKIN SERRANO VALERO managed to beat goalkeeper Emmanuel Bartolo with a glancing header.
In the 65th minute, from a Steven Pisani corner-kick, Uros Ljubomirac headed the ball which was destined to finish home but Orestis Nikolopoulos was on the fatal line to clear in extremis to a corner.
In the 76th minute, Hamrun missed a good opportunity when Caetano Calil set Marco Criaco on the edge of the Balzan area, but the latter hit high over the bar.
In the 80th minute, Balzan threatened through a Paul Fenech close range effort which was blocked by a Hamrun defender.
Hamrun tried their last effort on the 89th minute. A Wilfried Domoraud shot was partially saved by goalkeeper Sean Mintoff with the rebound falling to Caetano Calil. However his shot finished well over the bar.
HAMRUN : Emmanuel Bartolo, Enrico Pepe, Sebastian Nayar, Wilfried Domoraud, Andre Scicluna, Conor Borg (Ryan Darmanin 79′), Marco Criaco, Karl Micallef, Orestis Nikolopoulos, Caetano Calil, Kevin Tulimieri.
BALZAN: Sean Mintoff, Aleksandar Kosoric (Sean Cipriott 82′), Nenad Sljivic, Steve Pisani, Steve Bezzina (Andrija Majdevac 72′), Paul Fenech, Alfred Effiong, Uros Ljubomirac, Ivan Bozovic (Justin Grioli 77′), Elkin Serrano Valero, Ricardo Calixto Correa Duarte.
Referee: Alan Mario Sant
BOV Player of the Match: Ricardo Calixto Correa