Balzan are back on track after securing a 2-0 win over Floriana.
The victory lifts Balzan to third place on the fifteen points mark joining Valletta and Hibernians, behind league leaders Gzira U and second placed Sliema W.
Following the heavy defeat to Valletta, Balzan made three changes as Michael Johnson, Ivan Bozovic and the injured Steve Bezzina were replaced Justin Grioli, Dale Camilleri and Ricardo Calixto Correa. On the other hand, Floriana welcomed back Mohammed Saleh and Clyde Borg in the starting line-up, replacing Alex Cini and Maurizio Vella.
Balzan vs Floriana, final scorre 2 – 0 for Balzan. Video credit Peter Paul Borg
Posted by Balzan FC Supporters Club on Monday, October 22, 2018
At the beginning of the match Floriana came out better but Balzan gradually took the upper hand. In the second half, after taking the lead, Balzan controlled the match with Floriana only coming close just before Balzan’s second goal, with Balzan goalkeeper Steven Sultana outstanding with a brilliant save off Enzo Ruiz.
In the 7th minute, Floriana almost took the lead when Clayton Failla sent an in swinging cross with the ball being accidentally deflected by Andrija Majdevac and hitting the foot of the post when Enzo Ruiz trying to connect from close range with goalkeeper Steve Sultana beaten.
In 21st minute Balzan had their first attempt at goal when a cross by Alex Da Paixao Alves (Lecao) from the right was missed by Emerson Marcelina, but goalkeeper Ini Etim Akpan saved well over a grounder by Alfred Effiong.
Four minutes later a Clayton Failla free-kick was brilliantly saved by Steven Sultana.
Minutes later Cabral failed to connect in front of goal and on the other end a Correa attempt was easy prey for Ini Etim Akpan.
In the 35th minutes a free-kick by Ricardo Correa was met by Elkin Serrano Valero, but his downward header finished just wide.
Balzan completely took the upper hand in the last phase of the first half and in the 37th minute an effort by Lecao sailed over the bar.
Just before the break a shot by Lucas Conceicao Cabral finished well over the bar.
Three minutes into the second half, following a cross by Uros Ljubomirac, Milos Lepovic failed to connect in front of goal.
On the 52nd minute Balzan broke the deadlock when following a series of rebounds inside the Floriana area, the ball came to ALFRED EFFIONG who made no mistake with a low shot from an ideal position.
Two minutes later Floriana almost drew level as Steven Sultana missed the flight of the ball, but Ignazio Lucas Varela failed to capitalise.
On the hour Ignazio Lucas Varela injured himself and had to be substituted by Patrick Ronaldinho Wleh.
Balzan opted to wait for their opponents in their own half and ready to attack with fast breaks. In fact Balzan had some good opportunities finding the Floriana defense caught on the wrong foot, but failed to take advantage.
In the 76th minute Balzan missed a great opportunity when, following a good run by Leacao, Uros Ljubomirac hit wide from an ideal position.
Two minutes from time Steven Sultana made an outstanding save off a point blank effort from Enzo Ruiz, following a Clayton Failla free-kick.
In stoppage time Balzan sealed the issue. Following an Alfred Effiong pass, ALEX DA PAIXAO ALVES (Lecao) advanced and fired past goalkeeper Ini Etim Akpan, crowing a good performance throughout the match.
BALZAN : Steve Sultana, Justin Grioli, Dale Camilleri, Nenad Sljivic, Alex da Paixao Alves (Neil Frendo 94’), Alfred Effiong, Uros Ljubomirac, Elkin Serrano Valero, Ricardo Calixto Correa Duarte (Gary Camilleri 95’), Andrija Majdevac (Siraj Arab Eddin 84′), Milos Lepovic.
FLORIANA : Ini Etim Akpan, Mohammed Saleh, Enzo Ruiz, Steve Pisani, Clyde Borg (Daniel Agius 69′), Ignacio Varela (Patrick Wleh 60’), Juninho Cabral, Clayton Failla, Jurgen Pisani, Arthur Henrique Oyama (Alex Cini 85′), Emerson Marcelina.
Referee: Glen Tonna
BOV Player of the Match: Alex da Paixao Alves