Following last week’s disappointing elimination from the FA Trophy by Pieta`Hotspurs, Balzan bounced back to winning ways beating Tarxien Rainbows and picking up three points that lifted them to a safer position in the table. On the other hand with this defeat Tarxien Rainbows became the first team to be relegated to the First Division for next season.
Following the resignation of head coach Jacques Scerri, the Balzan team was led by the tandem consisting of the club’s academy head coach Ludvic Bartolo and assistant coach Alejandro Pantoja.
For this game, Balzan had to do without suspended Nenad Sljivic and Uros Ljubomirac and injured Arthur Faria and Michael Johnson.
Kampjonat Premier: Balzan F.C. 3-0 Tarxien Rainbows FC
Posted by L-ARGUMENT on Sunday, March 8, 2020
Balzan took less than two minutes to take the lead. Ricardo Correa made his way left from the left side crossing the ball into the path of the sprinting STEVEN PISANI whose first time effort gave Tarxien goalkeeper Rudy Briffa no chance.
In the 11th minute Tarxien suffered a setback when Aleksa Andreijic was injured and had to be replaced by Luca Brincat.
Two minutes later, Balzan almost doubled their lead when Steven Pisani picked Alfred Effiong inside the area but the latter’s effort was partially saved by the onrushing goalkeeper Rudy Briffa. The rebound fell to Stefan Dimic but Briffa was there again to deny him turning his effort into a corner.
For the remainder of the first half, the scoring opportunities were rare, as following that early goal Balzan were happy to administer their advantage.
Three minutes into the second half, Alfred Effiong saw his long-range effort flying just over the upright.
In the 58th minute Balzan doubled the score when Alfred Effiong released ADESEYI ADEKOYA who slotted the ball past goalkeeper Rudy Briffa.
In the 61st, off a cross by Ivan Bozovic from the right, Alfred Effiong managed to beat the goalkeeper but Matthew Tabone cleared the ball into safety off the goal line.
Seven minutes later, Adeseyi Adekoya almost grabbed a second when he was set up by Ricardo Correa but his volley came off the bar.
In the 73rd minute Tarxien finally threatened when off a free-kick taken by Thomas Veronese, Destine Mambouana headed the ball just past the upright.
However in 76th minute, it was Balzan sealed matters when Paul Fenech fed RICCARDO CORREA who saw his shot finishing past the goal line despite Rudy Briffa’s best efforts to parry.
In the dying minutes of the game, Balzan had the last chance of the game when in a fast break, Ricardo Correa served substitute Luke Montebello who, with only the goalkeeper to beat, saw his shot finishing just wide.
BALZAN : Kristian Naumovski, Augustine Loof, Dale Camilleri, Adeseyi Adekoya, Steve Pisani, Steve Bezzina, Paul Fenech (Marcus Grima 78’), Alfred Effiong (Luke Montebello 72’), Ivan Bozovic, Stefan Dimic (Samir Arab 56’), Ricardo Correa Duarte.
TARXIEN R. : Rudy Briffa, Marco Botta (Dale Tabone 79’), Thomas Veronese, Destin Mambouana, Gary Camilleri, Aleksa Andrejic (Luca Brincat 12’), Stiv Shaba, Dhonatan Santos da Hora (Brandon Muscat 68’), Matthew Tabone, Miguel Ciantar, Misael Miranda Gomez.
Referee: Daniel Portelli
BOV Player of the Match: Ricardo Calixto Correa Duarte