Floriana and Balzan held each other in a goalless stalemate. A draw that failed to satisfy either side as both of them were seeking a win to lift them out of the relegation zone.

This result leaves the relegation battle wide open as Floriana joined Sirens in ninth place on 27 points, just two places away from the play-out spot whereas Balzan joined Gudja United to 11th place with 24 points. However, Balzan still has a game in hand.

Both Balzan and Floriana tried to take control of the game without any particular rush and they both seemed more interested in not losing rather than getting the three points. Most of the dangerous actions came from set-pieces.

In the first half, both teams were very cautious not to concede the first goal, even though Balzan had more of the ball but they never really threatened goalkeeper Ini Akpan.

In the 12th minute, Balzan had a couple of chances through Aleksa Andrejic, whose quick shots did not find the target.

At the other end, Floriana’s first chance came in the 15th minute when Matias Garcia tried a long-range effort that forced goalkeeper Vukasin Vranes into action.

In the 24th minute, Diego Venancio tried to break the deadlock but his shot was saved by Vukasin Vranes without difficulty.

Three minutes later the same player tried his luck again with a direct free-kick but his effort finished just wide.

Minutes later Aleks Andrejic also tried his luck but his effort was in vain.

In the 43rd minute, a freekick by Milan Duric finished just wide and the goalless stalemate prevailed till the halftime whistle.

In the second half, Balzan had the brightest start when Milan Duric had a good effort on goal blocked by Ini Akpan

In the 67th minute, Balzan reorganised the attack replacing Moussa Sanoh with Alfred Effiong. However, it was midfielder Milan Duric who threatened once again with a direct free-kick that Ini Akpan diverted into a corner.

Balzan insisted on various shots from outside the area but found Floriana’s defense compact denying Balzan of any clear-cut chances. On one occasion Uros Ljubomirac fired a first-timer from the edge of the area that sailed just over the bar.

Yet, against the run of play, Floriana almost forged ahead when a cross by Diego Venancio was connected by Jurgen Pisani only to see his effort finish just wide.

In the 79th minute, Balzan reshuffled the offensive line again by introducing Weverton Gomes Souza instead of Aleksa Andrejic however maintaining the same shape.

Floriana made their first change in the 83rd minute when Siraj Arab came on the pitch instead for Flavio Silva Cheveresan. And four minutes later Ulises Jose Arias was replaced with Alexander Cini.

In the closing minutes of the game, the teams put everything forward looking for that all-important goal, but in the end, the stalemate prevailed.


FLORIANA : Ini Etim Akpan; Enzo Ruiz; Diego Venancio; Kristian Keqi; Ulises Jose Arias (Alexander Cini 87’); Jurgen Pisani; Matias Nicolas Garcia; Flavio Sila Chevereasan (Siraj Arab 83’); Marcelo Mariano Dias; Jan Busuttil; Ryan Camenzuli.

BALZAN: Vukasin Vranes; Augustine Loof; Marcus Grima; Samir Arab; Milan Duric; Paul Fenech; Michael Johnson; Moussa Sanoh (Alfred Effiong 67’); Aleksa Andrejic (Weverton Gomes Souza 79’); Sean Cipriott.

Referee: Fyodor Zammit.

BOV Player of the Match : Milan Duric.