Friday 17th March 2017: Valletta are back in full contention to retain the title as they beat league leaders Balzan 0 – 1. Valletta are now just one point behind Balzan and three points behind the new leaders Hibernians.
Kampjonat Premier: Valletta FC 1-0 Balzan F.C.
Posted by L-ARGUMENT on Sunday, March 19, 2017
In the first opportunity on goal after twenty minutes, Valletta managed to take the lead. Umeh Uchenna Calistus sent a long pass from the left side across the field towards ROMEU PERCILES ROMAU who in turn fired a stunning shot from a very acute angle that gave goalkeeper Ivan Janjusevic no chance.
In the 30th minute Balzan hit back when Alan Da Silva Souza served Abdelkarim Nafti and the latter fired a shot that forced a good save from Dziugas Bartkus.
Five minutes later, Valletta went close to double the score. Luke Montebello won possession and delivered the ball inside the penalty area towards Steve Borg whose shot ended wide.
On the 42nd minute, Valdo Claudio Pani of Valletta hit a shot from distance that found goalkeeper Ivan Janjusevic on the alert as he tipped the ball for a corner.
In the second half, especially with the inclusion of Alfred Effiong, Balzan had more punch up front, and Valletta had to defend for long stretches. However although under pressure Valletta’s defender defenders, Steve Borg, Jonathan Caruana and Ryan Camilleri played a great match, well aided on the flanks by Calistus and Aguirre.
In the 48th minute Alan da Silva Souza drove high and wide from just outside the box, after receiving a low cross from Kaljevic.
On the 57th minute, a free kick taken by Leandro Aguirre finished in Jonathan Caruana’s path whose header was saved by Janjusevic.
Balzan replied on the 61st minute when from a corner taken by Abdelkarim Nafti, Bojan Kaljevic headed high.
Balzan insisted and on the 68th minute they had another chance. Ryan Fenech passed the ball towards Alan Da Silva Souza who forced a difficult save from Dziugas Bartkus.
In the 85th minute, Balzan’s hopes suffered a blow when they were reduced to ten men after Anderson de Barros was shown a second yellow card for stretching his elbow to hit Valdo Congalves Ahlinho in the stomach.
During the added time, in a swift counter-attack Michael Mifsud was brought down by Lydon Micellef. From the ensuing free-kick, Leandro Aguirre saw his direct shot well saved by the Ivan Janusevic.