For this game, Balzan made two changes from their last outing as Nenad Sljvic and the suspended Milos Lepovic were replaced by Justin Grioli and Ricardo Calixto Correa, who was back after serving a three-match ban. On the other hand Pieta also made two changes where Dylan Agius and Nicholas Pisani replaced Neil Pace Cocks and Juan Manuel Artiaga Roa.
WATCH: Highlights of today’s hard fought 1-0 win vs Pieta thanks to Alfred Effiong’s brilliant goal and also thanks to Steve Sultana’s outstanding penalty save in injury time….#FORZABALZAN
Posted by Balzan F.C. on Saturday, September 29, 2018
Balzan continued their winning streak when a goal five minutes from time scored by Alfred Effiong gave them maximum points from a tricky encounter against Pieta. It was a rather balanced affair though Balzan were marginally superiority over their opponents. Pieta had a golden opportunity to gain a point from this match when in added time they failed to score a penalty.
Balzan made their intentions clear from the start and went close as on the 7th minute, Ricardo Calixto Correa Duarte fired a low shot but failed to find the target.
Four minutes later, Alfred Effiong saw his shot from inside the penalty area being neutralised by goalkeeper Nicolas Vella.
In the 20th minute Andrija Majdevac was unlucky not to put Balzan ahead. After dribbling past a couple of defenders, he fired a shot that stamped off the post.
Pieta` replied a minute later when Takaki Ose delivered an excellent ball towards Juan Manual Artiaga whose shot was neutralized by goalkeeper Steve Sultana.
Moments later, Jan Busuttil released Shunsuke Nakamura on the left and the latter hit a shot that was blocked by Sultana.
Balzan protested for a penalty on the 25th minute as Andrija Majdevac was put down inside the penalty area by Antonio Orlando Macedo. However, the referee waved to play on.
Balzan kept on insisting and threatened again in the 40th minute. Alex Da Paixao Alves sent a shot from distance that was parried for a corner by Vella.
In the second half, Balzan continued where they left. In the 54th minute, Ricardo Calixto Correa Duarte unleashed a powerful shot that forced an excellent save from Nicolas Vella.
As time went by, Balzan continued with their superiority and were unlucky not to score the opening gaol on the 62nd minute when a shot by Uros Ljubomirac was palmed by Vella, with the ball falling into the path of Alfred Effiong. After beating goalkeeper Vella he saw his final shot cleared off the line by Christian Grech,
This brought some relief for Pieta and in the 64th minute they went close through a Jan Busuttil acute shot but an alert Sultana palmed into a corner.
Balzan lost another opportunity on the 78th minute. From a free-kick taken by Sean Cipriott, the ball was delivered towards Michael Johnson whose header finished over the crossbar.
In the 80th minute, Pieta` had a rare opportunity when Paul Chimezie served Neil Pace Cocks but he completely miscued his final shot, when in a good position to score.
Three minutes later, Ivan Bozovic served Ricardo Calixto Correa Duarte whose fine shot from outside the area was neutralised by Nicky Vella.
Balzan finally broke the deadlock on the 85th minute. ALFRED EFFIONG received the ball deep inside the penalty area and slotted it past Vella.
Pieta lost a golden opportunity to equalise during the additional time given by the referee. Michael Johnson floored substitute Clyde Bouvet inside the penalty area and the referee signalled for a penalty. However, from the eleven metres mark, Christain Grech’s shot was blocked by Sultana, to the joy of the Balzan supporters.
BALZAN : Steven Sultana, Justin Grioli (Elkin Serrano Valero 46’), Dale Camilleri, Alex da Paixao Alves, Steven Bezzina (Yudai Miyamoto 82’), Michael Johnson, Alfred Effiong, Uros Ljubomirac, Ivan Bozovic, Ricardo Calixto Correa Duarte (Sean Cipriott 64’), Andrija Majdevac.
PIETÀ H : Nicky Vella, Ose Takaki, Travis Bartolo, Neil Pace Cocks (Clyde Bouvet 90+2’), Paul Chimezie, Jan Busuttil, Juan Manuel Artiaga Roa (Jake Ghio 86’), Christian Grech, Shunsuke Nakamura (Nicholas Pisani77’), Ishaya Irimiya Jalo, Antonio Orlando de Queiroz Macedo Neto.
Referee: Darryl Agius
BOV Player of the Match: Alex da Paixao Alves