Saturday 29th October 2016 – Balzan retained their position as Premier League leaders, three points ahead of now second placed Hibernians, after sharing the spoils with Tarxien R.

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From the last game against Hamrun, Balzan made three changes as Christian Cassar, Elkin Serrano and Matteo Piciollo replaced Ivan Janjusevic, Terence Agius and Lydon Micallef. On the other hand, Claudio Frances replaced Kurt Zammit for Tarxien

As from the initial stages of the game Tarxien pressed high and forced Balzan to defend. It was no surprise that they forged ahead on the 11th minute. Triston Caruana set ALEX NILSSON who controlled the ball well, surrounded by three defenders, and managed to beat Christian Cassar with a low drive.
During the remainder of first half, although they had most of the possession, Balzan took time to react and they failed to threaten goalkeeper Andrea Cassar.

In the 38th minute, Andrea Cassar was tested by  a free-kick shot taken by Bruno Gilio De Oliveira but he saved well.

Two minutes later, Cassar was once more on the alert to save Alfred Effiong’s low shot from the edge of the penalty area.

After the interval Tarxien grew up in posture and after six minutes they double the score. Following an assist by Daniel Ponce de Leon Garcia, ALEX NILSSON made his way into the box and managed to beat goalkeeper Cassar for the second time.

In the 55th minute, Balzan reduced the score when following a cross shot, which the Tarxien goalkeeper failed to clear, with the ball falling into ALAN DA SILVA SOUZA’s path who’s low shot managed to finish at the back of the net.

In a bid to get the equalizer Balzan introduced fresh players, replacing Matteo Piciollo with Abdelkarim Nafti while Lydon Micallef came in for Bojan Kaljevic and Terence Agius replaced Bruno Gilio de Oliveira

On the 75th minute, Balzan had another good opportunity when Alfred Effiong won the ball on the edge of the area and fired a low shot that finished slightly wide.

Eight minutes from time Balzan received a severe setback when they were reduced to ten men, as Elkin Serrano was shown a second yellow card for a foul he committed.

On the 90th minute, Paul Fenech was unlucky when his shot from the edge of the box, finished slightly over the crossbar.

However Balzan managed to find he equalizer four minutes into the added time with a powerful direct free-kick, taken from the left by ABDELKARIM NAFTI, which gave no chance to goalkeeeper Andrea Cassar.

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