Saturday 14th December 2016 : Balzan registered a 3–1 win over First Division side Zebbug Rangers and advance to a fourth-round FA Trophy clash with Valletta.
Balzan played this game with some of its regular players missing. Missing from the line up were Bruno Gilio De Oliveira, Ryan Fenech and Steve Bezzina, while Paul Fenech, Matteo Piciollo, Abdelkarim Nafti and Samir Arab started on the bench and Christian Cassar replaced Ivan Janjusevic between the posts.
Although Balzan had most of the ball possession the first half was balanced with Zebbug defending well and operating with swift counterattacks. Balzan came out better in the second half and managed to score three goals in 10 minutes
The first attempt to goal came to Alan Da Silva Souza on the 6th minute, but his attempt was well saved by goalkeeper Julian Azzopardi.
On the other side, in the 11th minute, a fine through-pass from Kurt Zammit put Dario Tabone through but his grounder came off the base of the near post.
Two minutes later Balzan had another chance as Bojan Kaljevic served Alfred Effiong who ran into the box but the Malta striker’s finish was poor.
Balzan were finding it hard to penetrate the dense organized Zebbug defense.
In the 20th minute a direct free-kick taken by Tomislav Trebovac’s was saved by goalkeeper Christian Cassar.
On the other side Julian Azzopardi also showed quick reflexes as he was qicklt came out of his post to block a dangerous effort from Effiong who made his way past the defenders into the box.
On the 29th minute, Lydon Micallef had to leave the pitch with an injured ankle and was was replaced by Abdelkarim Nafti who, within a minute on the pitch, headed wide from Alan Da Silva Souza’s cross.
Late in the first half, Tomisalv Trebovac cut into the box from the left but his cross-shot was pawed away by Cassar.
Three minutes into the second half, Terence Agius, shot just over from outside the box but this was the prelude to the goal that gave Balzan the lead.
On the 49th minute, in a solo effort , ALAN DA SILVA SOUZA made his way into the box from the right past a couple of defenders and hit a low shot past Julian Azzopardi.
Balzan insisted and on the 51st minute they doubled their lead, as BOJAN KALJEVIC headed home following an Alfred Effiong’s cross.
Zebbug reacted and were unlucky not to reduce the score as on the 55th minute Tomislav Trebovac’s shot from a distance came off the the crossbar.
On the 58th minute, PAUL LAPIRA, who had just came in for Kaljevic, ended Zebbug’s hopes when his low shot finished at the back of the net past goalkeeper Julian Azzopardi ,after connecting an Alan Da Silva Souza’s through-ball.
On the hour Alan Da Silva Souza was denied by the crossbar as Balzan grew increasingly dominant.
On the 67th minute Paul Lapira had a shot saved well by Julian Azzopardi while two minutes later Alan Da Silva Souza saw his shot palmed away into a corner by the goalkeeper.
In the 71st minute, MAURICIO OSMAR RODRIGUES BRITTO pulled one back for Zebbug with a strong shot from inside the box.