Floriana defeated Balzan in a difficult match by a solitary goal scored seven minutes from the end. Balzan were reduced to ten man nearing the end of the first half and though in inferiority they never threw in the towel. A penalty miss seven minutes in added time cost Balzan the possibility of denying Floriana from their second successive win.
Għaxar karti sofor, iżda l-agħar mumenti matul l-logħba kienu l-karta ħamra u l-penalty mitluf. Tlifna l-punti, iżda mhux qlubna. Ejjew nużaw il-waqfa internazzjonali biex noħorġu kontra B'kara bħal ljuni!
Posted by Balzan FC Supporters Club on Friday, August 30, 2019
Both sides came into this match looking to register their second win. The Greens were coming from a 1-0 win over Birkirkara. On the other hand, Balzan registered a 2-1 win over Sliema Wanderers in their previous match.
Balzan had two changes from the team which defeated Sliema as Augustine Loof, Steve Pisani and Arthur Faria Machado replaced Nenad Sljivic, Ryan Scicluna and Stefan Dimic. On the other hand, Brandon Paiber and Augusto Caseres made way for Terence Vella and Tiago Adan Fonseca.
During the first half, it turned out to be a balanced affair with both sides having their fair share of opportunities. However, towards the end of the first half, Balzan had a player sent off.
Balzan had the first shot at goal when in the 3rd minute a shot by Paul Fenech was saved by Ini Etim Akpan.
In the 13th minute, off a clearance by Enzo Ruiz, the ball bounced off Arthur Faria Machado to end just wide.
On the other end in the 14th minute Floriana replied when Kristian Keqi released Ryan Camenzuli on the left and off the latter’s cross, Tiago Adan Fonseca served Matias Nicolas Garcia whose close range effort was blocked by goalkeeper Kristijan Naumovski.
Balzan replied with a fine curling free-kick by Ricardo Correa from the right which scraped past the upright.
On the 25th minute, a good move between Arthur Faria Machado and Alfred Effiong ended with an assist for Ricardo Correa who failed to connect.
Otherwise play was restricted to the midfield sector for long stretches but in the 38th Balzan minute suffered a severe setback when Augustine Loof was sent off after flooring Matias Nicolas Garcia on the edge of the area. However from the resulting free-kick, Diego Venancio hit high.
Though playing with ten man Balzan where the team that went near when in the 43rd minute off a Ricardo Correa free kick, a header by Aleksandar Kosoric was blocked by Ini Etim Akpan and from the rebound Ivan Bozovic shot high.
And deep into first half added time Alfred Effiong was unlucky when, after dribbling past Enzo Ruiz, his shot from just outside the area hit the foot of the upright.
On resumption Floriana thought that they had taken the lead when in the 47th minute off a cross by substitute Brandon Diego Paiber, Kristian Keqi found the net but the goal was disallowed for a handling infringement.
In the 64th minute Balzan went near when a powerful shot by Ricardo Correa was blocked by goalkeeper Etim Akpan.
Four minutes later a Paiber shot from inside the area was saved by Kristijan Naumovski with Balzan counter attacking through Effiong whose final shot was saved by Akpan .
Floriana managed to break the deadlock seven minutes from time. Diego Venancio released Brandon Paiber on the right and off the latter’s cross, Kristian Keqi slotted the ball past Naumovski.
On the stroke of time Ryan Camenzuli could have sealed the issue but his shot from the left flank ended wide.
In the added time Balzan were awarded a penalty after Matias Nicolas Garcia brought down Uros Ljubomirac. However Lydon Micallef, from the eleven metres mark, failed to hit the target, to the joy of the Floriana players and supporters.