Saturday 15th April 2017: Balzan kept their slim hopes alive for the League title as they managed to win against resilient St Andrews with a dramatic goal deep into stoppage time, despite ending with nine men on the pitch.

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Balzan made five changes from the team which lost against Birkirkara as Ivan Janjusevic, Dylan Grima, Anderson de Barros, Alfred Effiong and Matteo Piciollo where replaced with Christian Cassar, Clive Brincat, Terence Agius, Milos Lepovic and Lydon Micallef. On the other hand St. Andrews where in full strength, with Jake Galea returning back in goal.

During the first minutes of the game Balzan forced a series of corners and had a Lydon Micallef disallowed for an offside.

As St Andrews settled more into the game, on the 18th minute, they nearly took an early lead when a Enmy Pena Beltre free kick was headed by Bong Won Che towards the far post but keeper Cassar recovered in time to turn the ball into a corner.

In the 25th minute, Balzan went close to opening the scoring when Alan Da Silva Souza played a through ball that beat the offside trap, But bojan Kaljevic, with only the goalkeeper to beat, completely missed the target.

St. Andrews responded on the 39th minute with Aidan Friggieri firing a shot that ended up high over the crossbar.

 

St Andrews defended well restricting Balzan attackers to only half chances.

Balzan came out better in the second half and took control of the game. They had a couple of chances missing the target from Bruno Gilio De Oliveira and Alan Da Silva Souza and Ryan Fenech.

In the 57th minute, Matteo Piciollo replaced Milos Lepovic in attack.

On the 62nd minute Balzan took the lead when following a free-kick taken by Terence Agius, BOJAN KALJEVIC hit home past goalkeeper Jake Galea.

St Andrews lost a good opportunity in 78th minute. On a Ivan Paz cross from the right, Kyran Nwoko’s firm header was tipped over the bar into a corner by keeper Christian Cassar.

On the 85th minute, St. Andrews were awarded a penalty after goalkeeper Christian Cassar fouled Dale Camilleri inside the penalty area. However, from the penalty spot, Ivan Paz shot the ball over the crossbar.

In the 93rd minute, St Andrews were awarded a second penalty and Balzan were reduced to ten men when Bruno Gilio De Oliveira was sent off after flooring Kyrian Nwoko in the box and from the resultant penalty, captain Joseph Farrugia levelled matters.

Even with a man down and a couple of added minutes remaining, Balzan summoned enough energy to win the game. Abdelkarim Nafti went on the right flank and sent the ball towards Elkin Serrano Valero who finished behind Jake Galea.

In the 95th minute, Ryan Fenech of Balzan was sent off for using abusive language towards the referee.

 

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