Balzan registered their fourth win in their last five matches as they defeated Hibernians 2-1. On the other hand, Hibernians registered their fourth defeat in five Premier League matches.
This win, Balzan’s hopes to play in the UEFA Conference League has been boosted, as they now join the Hibernians in fifth place on 30 points, two behind Mosta and five behind Birkirkara.
For this game Balzan included their new signing Delvin Chanel Ndinga as a substitute while Hibernians did the same with their new signing Joao Vitor de Oliveira Florencio.
At the beginning of the game Balzan had the first attempt to goal with Bojan Kaljevic shooting well over the crossbar from inside the box.
In the 13th minute, Hibernians had their first attempt to goal when after Samir Arab fouled Jurgen Degabriele. The same player took the direct free-kick hitting the ball beyond the wall with goalkeeper Rudy Briffa having to stretch to tip over the crossbar.
Although Hibernians were in control of the game they rarely put Balzan defence under pressure.
At the other end, Balzan forced a series of counter attacks which however failed to materialize.
in the 14th minute, Hibernians were forced to make their first substitution as Gabriel Mensah had to leave the pitch injured and was replaced by newly signed Joao Vitor de Oliveira Florencio.
In the 18th minute Balzan had a free-kick from the left which Angel Torres took but failed to conclude.
Two minutes later, Balzan had another occasion as Bojan Kaljevic dribbled his way into the box but a defender blocked his attempt.
In the 27th minute, Jake Grech sent an inviting cross for Owolabi Muritala who hit the ball well off target.
In the 40th minute, Paul Fenech tried his luck with a shot from a distance but the ball finished wide.
Hibernians had one final opportunity as the half-time break approached, but Jurgen Degabriele, shot well over the top.
Hibernians struggled to create clear-cut opportunities after the break. In the 54th minute, goalkeeper Justin Haber had to be alert when Angel Torres fired a loose ball over the bar.
On the hour mark, Balzan took the lead. when off a corner from the left, Matheus Souza hit the crossbar with a header but off the rebound, MOMCILO RASO did not fail to finish home.
A minute after Balzan substituted Bojan Kaljevic with Alexander Satariano.
In the 64th minute, Matheus de Sousa dribbled his way into the box but his attempt was cleared to safety by a defender.
In the 68th minute Hibernians made a tactical substitution when they replaced defender Zachary Grech with attacker Thaylor Aldama.
In the 71st minute, Hibernians levelled matters. Joao Vitor de Oliviera Florencio played the ball towards the YANUSA OWOLABI MURITALA who slotted the ball behind goalkeeper Rudy Briffa.
Hibernians joy was short-lived as in the 73rd minute, substitute Alexander Satariano cleverly flicked the ball with his outstep to set up MATHEUS NOGUREIRA ALBUGUERQUE DE SOUSA who drove the ball home.
A minute later, Balzan opted to defend the result and substituted attacker Matheus de Sousa with newly registered midfielder Delvin Chanel Ndinga. On the other end, Hibernians substituted Dunstan Vella with Bjorn Kristensen to straighten the attack.
In the 87th minute, Hibernians protested for a penalty over Thaylor Aldama but the referee noticed no infringement and showed the player a yellow card for protesting.
The result did not change until the final whistle and Balzan went home with the merited three points.
HIBERNIANS: Justin Haber, Kurt Shaw, Gonzalo Llerena Bravo, Jake Grech, Jurgen Degabriele, Dunstan Vella (Bjorn Kristensen 77’), Zachary Grech (Aldama Thaylor 68’), Gabriel Mensah (Joao Vitor de Oliviera Florencio), Gabriel Artiles, Yanusa Owolabi Muritala, Ali Diakite.
BALZAN: Rudy Briffa, Ivan Bozovic, Diver Duvan Torres Quinones, Samir Arab, Marcus Grima, Paul Fenech, Angel Yesid Torres Quinones (Bogdan Mladenovic 91), Momcilo Raso, Matheus Nogureira Albuguerque de Sousa (Delvin Chanel Ndinga 74’), Aleksa Andrejic, Bojan Kaljevic (Alexander Satariano 60’)
Referee: Fyodor Zammit.
BOV player of the match: Bojan Kaljevic (Balzan).