Balzan prevail over Pieta Hotspurs in five-goal thriller
These three points enable Balzan side to move fifth, two points behind third-placed, Gudja United and Gżira United.
Pieta’ Hotspurs, on the other hand, remain anchored at the bottom of the table without any points after six matches.
For this game Balzan made four changes from the game against Hibernians as Samir Arab, Suleiman Jalu, Nikola Braunovic and Bojan Kaljevic were all named in the starting line-up.On the other hand Pieta had two changes from their last outing as they welcomed back Clinton Bangura after serving a one-match ban while Temitope Abraham Ojo was handed his debut.
Balzan took the initiative throughout the first half, taking the lead in their first serious attempt at goal in the 22nd minute. Suleiman Jalu delivered a corner from the left and defender MOMCILO RASO headed home past goalkeeper Sunday Dele Alampasu.
On the half hour, Balzan had an opportunity to goal when Uros Ljubomirac set Bojan Kaljevic whose central shot finished into the goalkeeper’s hand
Balzan insisted and in the 37th minute, Suleiman Jalu’s effort finished just high.
A minute later, Pietà replied with a powerful drive by Takuma Yamaguchi which was turned into a corner by goalkeeper Rudy Briffa.
In the 42nd minute, Uros Ljubomirac served Alexander Satariano who shot finshed wide.
Three minutes later Uros Ljubomirac set Bojan Kaljevic but the goalkeeper anticipated him
In the second half Balzan came out in search for another goal but failed to find the net.
Balzan paid for all the missed chances as, in the 50th minute, Pieta managed to level matters. Jake Ghio delivered a cross from the left, goalkeeper Rudy Briffa failed to hold the ball and TAKUMA YAMAGUCHI took the opportunity to place the ball at the back of the net from a close angle.
However, their joy was short-lived as Balzan regained the lead four minutes later. Suleiman Jalu received an erratic clearance by Latif Lamadu Abedel and passed the ball to Bojan Kaljevic who sent unmarked ALEXANDER SATARIANO through to slot the ball past goalkeeper Sunday Alampasu.
In the 56th minute, Balzan increased the lead. Milos Zlatkovic delivered a cross from the left and BOJAN KALJEVIC flicked the ball past the Pietà goalkeeper.
Pieta did not to give up and reduced the gap on the hour. Following a long-distance freekick, Ganiu Atanda Ogunugbe headed the ball down for YUTO MORITA to hit home from close range.
In the 68th minute, Bojan Kaljevic was unlucky to hit the crossbar for Balzan with a direct freekick from the left.
In the remaining minutes Pieta decided to put everything on the attack but Balzan were careful not to allow them to penetrate their rear guard, taking home the three points.
PIETA’ H: Dele Sunday Alampasu, Samuel Okoh, Clinton Bangura (Ange Aboa Belibi 87’), Ojo Abraham Temitope (Paul Lapira 87’), Jake Ghio (Kurt Briffa 76’), Latif Amadu Abedel, Alan David Schembri Wismayer ( SheldonMizzi 87’), Zean Leonardi, Atanda Ogungbe Ganiu, Amadou Camara Sekou (Yuto Morita 52’), Takuma Yamaguchi.
BALZAN: Rudy Briffa, Ivan Bozovic, Samir Arab, Paul Fenech, Uros Ljubomirac ( Adam Bradshaw 89’), Milos Zlatkovic, Suleiman Jalu (Marcus Grima 58’), Alexander Satariano, Nikola Braunovic (Bogdan Mladenovic 58’), Momcilo Raso, Bojan Kaljevic ( Matheus Nogureira Albuguerqe de Sousa 76’).
Referee: Daniel Casha.
BOV Player of the Match: Bojan Kaljevic (Balzan).