This was the fourth consecutive win for Balzan, which extends their streak to nine league matches in a row and now jumped to the first place together with Valletta and Gzira United.

For this game, Balzan were forced to make some changes from their last game against Birkirkara. They had to do without injured Paul Fenech, Ryan Fenech and Steve Bezzina. Missing the match they had also goalkeeper Ivan Janjusevic and defender Elkin Serrano. These were replaced by midfielders Milos Lepovic, Alex da Paixao Alves, goalkeeper Sean Mintoff and defender Michael Johnson respectively.

On the other side, suspended Sean Cipriott together with Godwin McKay and Ayrton Azzopardi were missing from Tarxien’s line-up. These were replaced by Andrew Agius, Luke Grech and Matteo Desira Buttigieg.

Balzan came out in search for an early goal and they immediately took control. In the 1st minute, Tarxien goalkeeper Christian Cassar was forced to make a good save over Bojan Kaljevic’s close range header.

Seven minutes later, Balzan took the lead. Following a cross from the left by Samir Arab, BOJAN KALJEVIC connected and tapped the ball low past the Tarxien custodian.

Tarxien opted to defend for long stretches. They failed to react and offer no threat to Balzan’s goalkeeper.

During the remainder of the first half, Balzan, despite being in control for most of the time, relaxed and failed to create occasions that really threatened goalkeeper Christian Cassar.

In the 22nd minute, a cross shot by Justin Grioli was held with little difficulty by goalkeeper Cassar.

In the 34th minute, Milos Lepovic tried his luck but his shot finished wide.

After the interval, Balzan played with more confidence while on the other hand Tarxien could not get out of their snooze.

In the 69th minute, Balzan had a good chance to double their lead when, in a swift counterattack, goalkeeper Christian Cassar partially blocked Bojan Kaljevic’s shot from close range and from the rebound Alfred Effiong saw his shot finishing out, after hitting the foot of the post, with Cassar beaten.

In the last quarter of the hour, Tarxien put everything on the offense. Their only noteworthy opportunity came in the 73rd minute when Eduard Marian Calin’s direct free kick from outside the area hit the side netting.

During the added time and in the last action of the game, a corner kick taken by James Brincat was handled with ease by the goalkeeper Sean Mintoff.

BALZAN : Sean Mintoff, Justin Grioli (Jacob Borg 92′), Michael Johnson, Alfred Effiong (Jamie Zerafa 87′), Uros Ljubomirac, Milos Lepovic, Bojan Kaljevic, Bruno Giglio de Oliveira, Alex da Paixao Alves (Marko Platisa 92′), Carlos Eduardo de Fiori Mendes, Samir Arab.

TARXIEN Christian Cassar, Ebiabowei Baker, James Brincat, Eduard Calin (Matthew Brincat 90′), Andrew Agius (Mamadou Traore 87′), Luke Grech, Andre Scicluna, Artur Benes, Ryan Darmanin, Ricardo Silva Faria, Matteo Desira Buttigieg (Arsene Rye Cilia Mumford 74′).

Referee: Darryl Agius

BOV Player of the Match: Carlos Eduardo de Fiori Mendes

 

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