A solitary goal by Johann Bezzina extended Gudja’s unbeaten run with a second win in three matches as they beat Balzan at the Tony Bezzina Stadium.
While this result gave Gudja their best opening in the Premier League, it ended Balzan’s pristine start to the season.
Balzan named an unchanged side but had Diver Duvan Torres Quinone and Alex Satariano making their debut as they were included as substitutes.
On the other hand, Gudja had one change from the team which drew with Gzira as Johann Bezzina replaced Matias Muchardi while Karl Micallef, who joined the club earlier this week, was included as a substitute.
Balzan were made to pay for a desperately slow start to the match while Gudja made most of the running in the first half.
Inside the first 15 minutes, Gudja had a good chance to score when Vito Plut decided to pass the ball instead of going for goal. In fact, the Gudja fans almost had a goal to cheer when the Vito Pluts looping cross went over goalkeeper Debono but it was cleared over from close to the line.
In the 33rd minute, JOHANN BEZZINA exchanged the ball with Samuel Gomes da Mata on the left with the latter serving him in an ideal position inside the area to hit home past goalkeeper Jonathan Debono and putting Gudja in front.
Balzan’s best hope came barely a minute before the interval when Angel Torres’s free-kick was tipped over the bar by Glenn Zammit.
Balzan fought back strongly in the second half but goalkeeper Glenn Zammit made a string of smart saves to deny them.
At the start of the second half, Johann Bezzina was replaced by Karl Micallef on his debut with Gudja as he went on to defend the right flank.
On the other side, in a bid to add more weight to their attack, Alex Satariano was given his debut with Balzan, replacing Matheus Nogureira Alburuergue de Sousa.
After the restart, Gudja continued to look for more goals and were close to a second one when Vito Plut met a long ball with a glancing header that went out.
In the 67th minute, Balzan replaced midfielder Milan Duric with striker Bojan Kaljevic and there was a definite change in the tempo of the game.
Gudja were forced to defend for long stretches but a succession of corners could not result in clear-cut chances for Balzan.
In the 82nd minute, Bojan Kaljevic headed goalward a teasing cross from Angel Torres that eluded Gudja’s defence, forcing a point-blank save from Glenn Zammit.
Three minutes later, Juan Bolanes Ramiers failed to judge another cross from Angel Torres and saw it ricochet off his back. But the rebound was not strong enough and landed straight in Zammit’s grasp.
At death, Gudja caught out Balzan’s flat-out approach when Bienvenu Selemani Ahingu flicked the ball on for substitute Tatsuro Nagamatsu to race in on jonathan Debono, but the Balzan goalkeeper denied him.
Trying to force their way onto level terms, Balzan transferred the ball quickly upfront and Glenn Zammit was there to palm away a rising shot by angel Torres.
BALZAN: Jonathan Debono, Ivan Bozovic, Marcus Grima, Milan Duric (Bojan Kaljevic 67’), Paul Fenech, Angel Yesid Torres Quinone, Benjamin Hili (Diver Duvan Torres Quinone 67’), Uros Ljubomirac, Milos Zlatkovic, Momcilo Raso, Matheus Nogureira Alburuergue de Sousa (Alexander Satariano 46’).
GUDJA UNITED: Glenn Zammit, Juan Bolanos Ramires, Andre Prates, Vito Plut (Tartuso Nagamatsu 87’), James Arthur, Neil Anthony Micallef, Johann Bezzina (Karl Micallef 46’), Hubert Vella, Neil Tabone (Farid Romero Zuniga 73’), Samuel Gomes da Mata, Nicolas Navarrete (Ahinga Bienvenu Selemani 63’).
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann
BOV player of the match: Samuel da Mata Gomes (Gudja)