Balzan and Hamrun Spartans shared the spoils in an entertaining 2 – 2 draw, at the National Stadium.
For this game both sides had three changes from their last outing. Balzan replaced suspended Michael Johnson, Dale Camilleri and Ivan Bozovic with Steve Bezzina, Harry Ascroft and Milos Lepovic. On the other hand Hamrun had Sebastian Ricardo Nayar, Carlos Hernan Henneberg and Karl Micallef replacing Wilfried Domoraud, Marco Criaco and Jeremy Busuttil.
Kampjonat Premier: Hamrun Spartans Football Club 2-2 Balzan F.C.
Posted by L-ARGUMENT on Sunday, November 25, 2018
In the first half, Hamrun were definitely the better team, but Balzan showed character as they fought back twice to level matters. Ricardo Sebastian Nayar gave the Hamrun an early lead, but Alfred Effiong equalised. Late in the half, Kevin Tulimieri pushed Hamrun ahead once again, but immediately after, Uros Ljubomirac obtained the second equaliser for Balzan.
In the 5th minute, Hamrun opened the score when Harry Ascroft came to the rescue blocking into a corner a Matthew Gauci effort following an inviting pass from the right. However from the resulting corner taken by Triston Caruana, SEBASTIAN RICARDO NAYAR headed home from close range.
It was Ħamrun who threatened again in the 26th minute when Caetano Calil latched on a long pass and fed Kevin Tulimieri but the latter’s effort finished wide.
On the half hour, Uros Ljubomirac had his first timer blocked by a Hamrun defender while soon after Hamrun goalkeeper Emmanuel Bartolo was called into action saving a grounder by Justin Grioli.
In the 38th minute, Balzan goalkeeper Steven Sultana had to dive full length to turn to corner a grounder by Caetano Calil.
In the 40th minute, on the other side, Emmanuel Bartolo had to extend himself to turn into corner a fierce shot by Carlos Eduardo De Fiori Mendes (Kadu).
A few moments later, Balzan equalised when, off a cross from the left by Alex da Paixao Alves (Lecao), Uros Ljubomirac served ALFRED EFFIONG who hit home from close range.
But Balzan’s joy was shortlived as a minute from the break, Hamrun were back in the lead when from a corner-kick by Triston Caruana, KEVIN TULIMIERI was left unmarked by the Balzan defence to head home past goalkeeper Steven Sultana.
But the first half was not over yet as Balzan equalised for the second time, when off a cross by Kadu from the left, UROS LJUBOMIRAC’s fierce shot from the right was deflected by Orestis Nikolopoulos, in attempt to clear from over the line, with the ball ending at the back of the net.
In the second half, Balzan improved considerably and took over the initiative keeping Hamrun in their own half for most of the time.
In the 53rd minute, from a cross by Justin Grioli, Milos Lepovic missed a good chance as he headed straight into Emmanuel Bartolo’s hands.
Balzan tried to push for the winner in the final ten minutes. In the 81st and 86th minutes, Emmanuel Bartolo performed good saves on Lecao’s and Dale Camilleri’s efforts respectively.
From then on stalemate prevailed and the match turned out into a rather scrappy affair as both sides were erratic with neither goalkeeper tested.
BALZAN FC : Steven Sultana, Justin Grioli, Nenad Sljivic (Siraj Arab Eddin 88’), Alex da Paixao Alves, Steve Bezzina, Harry Ascroft, Alfred Effiong, Uros Ljubomirac, Elkin Orlando Serrano Valero, Carlos Eduardo de Fiori Mendes, Milos Lepovic (Dale Camilleri 69’).
HAMRUN FC :Emmanuel Bartolo, Antonio Monticelli, Enrico Pepe, Triston Caruana, Sebastian Nayar, Carlos Hernan Henneberg, Matthew Robert Gauci, Karl Micallef, Orestes Nikolopoulos, Caetano Calil, Kevin Tulimieri.
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann
BOV Player of the match : Triston Caruana (Hamrun).