Balzan and Birkirkara shared the spoils in a goalless draw as both sets of defenders were on the alert denying both sets of forwards to advance.
Both sides were looking for a win in order to keep their hopes of securing a post to play in European football during the coming season, but they both finished disappointed taking only one point each from this balanced encounter.
For this game Balzan could not count on defender Augustine Loof and lacked suspended midfielders Paul Fenech and Steven Pisani. On the other hand Birkirkara had Claudio Bonanni and Diego Angel Capel Trinidad making their debut with the latter being included as a substitute, while Cain Attard was ruled out through suspension.
Balzan F.C. vs Birkirkara F.C. 0-0 Kampjonat Premier | is-16-il ġurnata (it-Tnejn 3 ta' Frar 2020)
Posted by Replay (Net Television) on Wednesday, February 5, 2020
As expected, the match was quite close with both teams having their chances to score. However, the defenders on both sides were on the alert as neither team managed to find a way past the other.
In the 6th minute, in the first attempt of the match, Stefan Dimic’s cross from the right wing was met by Luke Montebello but his header was blocked by goalkeeper Andrew Hogg.
A minute later on the other side, Balzan goalkeeper Kristijan Naumovski was tested by Federico Falcone from long range but the Balzan goalkeeper was there to block.
In the 19th minute, Roderick Briffa sent a insidious cross which Federico Falcone connected but his header finished just over.
In the 35th minute, Balzan replied with a direct free-kick by Ricardo Correa Duarte which scraped past the post and hit the side netting.
Balzan continued to dictate matters as in the 41st minute it was Ricardo Correa that went near when he dribbled inside the box and shot from an acute angle which was well saved by Andrew Hogg.
The second half continued on the same lines and the first action to note was in the 66th minute when Yannick Yankam, who substituted Johann Bezzina, drove straight at goalkeeper Kristijan Naumovski.
A minute later Birkirkara supporters were delighted with the substitution of Paul Mbong with the much expected new comer Diego Angel Capel Trinidad.
In the 68th minute, Stefan Dimic sent a cross towards substitute Alfred Effiong but his conclusion finished off target.
In the 75th minute, Oscar Matias Carniello connected a free-kick taken Diego Capel but he headed feebly into the hands of goalkeeper Naumovski.
Balzan went near when in the 79th minute when a fine effort by Ivan Bozovic was turned into a corner with difficulty by goalkeeper Andrew Hogg.
However, two minutes later, in a swift counter attack, Birkirkara almost managed to break the deadlock but Federico Falcone’s conclusion ended just wide.
In the dying minutes, a freekick taken by Arthur Faria Machado for Balzan ended slightly over the post.
BALZAN :Kristijan Naumovski, Dale Camilleri, Nenad Sljivic, Steve Bezzina, Michael Johnson, Uros Ljubomirac, Ivan Bozovic, Stefan Dimic (Samir Arab 81’), Ricardo Correa Duarte, Arthur Faria Machado, Luke Montebello (Alfred Effiong 67’).
BIRKIRKARA: Andrew Hogg, Enrico Pepe, Matthew Guillaumier, Paul Mbong (Diego Angel Capel Trinidad 67’), Johann Bezzina (Yannick Yankam 57’), Roderick Briffa, Federico Falcone, Claudio Bonanni, Oscar Matias Carniello, Ryan Fenech, Isaac Toah Ntow.
Referee: Stefan Pace
BOV Player of the Match: Stefan Dimic