Saturday 17th December 2016: In a top-of-the table clash of the BOV Premier League, ten-man Balzan returned to winning ways as they managed to beat Hibernians 2-1. This win puts Balzan back at the top of the table, one point ahead of Hibernians.
For this game, Balzan had to do without the suspended Alan Da Silva Souza and Samir Arab while Lydon Micallef, Steve Bezzina and Justin Grioli were missing as they are injured. On the other hand, Hibernians replaced suspended Renan Pimenta Telles with Jorge Pereira da Silva.
Balzan could not have a better start as they forged ahead in the 5th minute when Bojan Kaljevic served MATTEO PICIOLLO inside the box who in turn managed to beat goalkeeper Andrew Hogg with a low shot.
Hibernians reacted immediately and equalised two minutes later. Johann Bezzina served JORGE DA SILVA PEREIRA who fired a shot from outside the penalty area which ended up in the corner of the net past goalkeeper Ivan Janjusevic.
On the 10th minute, Andrew Hogg made a good save off an attempt by Alfred Effiong from the left side.
In the 21st minute, Paul Fenech served well Alfred Effiong who penetrated the defence but his effort was well saved by goalkeeper Andrew Hogg.
On the other side, 2 minutes later Joseph Mbong connected a cross by Jurgen Degabriele, dribbled past his marker but saw his header finishing wide.
On the half hour Hibernians were very close when Jackson Lima saw his stunning direct free-kick hitting the post.
On the 37th minute Abdelkarim Nafti made his way through but failed to finfd the target as he shot wide.
Just before half time Abdelkarim Nafti set Matteo Piciollo but the latter’s volley finished high.
On the 65th minute, Balzan suffered a setback when Alfred Effiong was red carded for hitting Marcelo Dias during a corner action.
Despite being one man down Balzan changed the tactics and threatened to score. On the 76th minute, following a cross by Abdelkarim Nafti, Paul Fenech’s half volley was blocked by his team mate Bojan Kaljevic.
On the other side Marcelo Dias sent a cross to Andrew Cohen who headed the ball over the crossbar.
However two minutes from time Balzan sealed the issue when off a free-kick taken by Abdelkarim Nafti, Jackson Lima, in a bid to clear to safety, deflected Bojan Kaljevic’s header past goalkeeper Andrew Hogg.