Leaders Balzan moved three points clear as they extended their unbeaten run to fifteen matches, as they defeated Hamrun Spartans 2-0.
Balzan without their most in-form striker, Alex Alves, who was suspended, were dominant for long spells. However after scoring in the 16th minute they had to struggle to kill Hamrun off. In fact their second goal came only on the stroke of full time. The game failed to impress and for most of the time it was one way. The lack of excitement can be mainly attributed to Hamrun‘s failure to put more energy into the team.
Balzan took the lead past the quarter mark. Carlos Eduardo de Fiori Mendes (Cadu) fired a shot, from inside the box, that struck the upright. From the rebound UROS LJUBIMARAC, who anticipated a defender, quickly shot the ball inside an empty net.
In the first half, although Balzan forwards created more chances they failed to find the net.
In the 22nd minute, following a cross by Ivan Bozovic, Milos Lepovic headed narrowly off target.
Three minutes later, Alfred Effiong missed the target from an ideal position by inches.
In the 40th minute, Paul Fenech tried his luck but his effort finished over the crossbar.
For long streched in the second half, Balzan kept on attacking forcing Hamrun to defend in their half.
In the 50th minute a good shot by Cadu was repelled by goalkeeper Steve Sultana and in less than a miute later Sultana deflected into a corner another effort from the same player.
The first real threat from Hamrun came on the hour. Balzan’s goalkeeper Sean Mintoff came to Balzan’s rescue as he blocked an Alexander Nilsson’s shot into a corner.
Balzan sealed the issue on stroke of full time when goalkeeper Steve Sultana saved partially a cross shot by Alfred Effiong and off the rebound MILOS LEPOVIC’s effort ended at the back of the net despite Daniel Zerafa’s desperate effort to clear the ball into safety.
BALZAN : Sean Mintoff, Steve Bezzina (Jacob Borg 91’), Alfred Effiong, Michael Johnson, Uros Ljubomirac, Ivan Bozovic (Justin Grioli 83′), Bojan Kaljevic, Paul Fenech, Milos Lepovic, Bruno Giglio de Oliveira, Carlos Eduardo de Fiori Mendes (Siraj Arab Eddin 87′).
HAMRUN S : Steve Sultana, Marco Criaco (Arthur Faria Machado 54′), Daniel Zerafa, Cristian Zaccardo, Guilherme Felipe de Castro, Lydon Micallef, Triston Caruana (Dale Camilleri 42′), Thiago Espindola de Paula, Tiago Souza da Silveira, Luke Sciberras (Karl Micallef 71′), Alex Nilsson.
Referee: Philip Farrugia