Balzan dropped another two points, as this time they were held in a goalless draw by Sliema Wanderers at the National Stadium.

In the absence of Ryan Fenech, Carlos Eduardo de Fiori Mendes, better known as Cadu’, made his debut start for Balzan while Milos Lepovic played in front of the defence replacing defender Jacob Borg. On the other hand, Sliema had Brazilian striker Jefferson de Assis making his debut playing in attack in place of Frank Temile while newly registered Edmond Agius was included as a substitute and Matias Muchardi was given the nod ahead of John Mintoff.

In an entertaining game both teams lost good chances to win the game. While Sliema lost a very good opportunity missing a penalty in the first half, in the second half Balzan were denied by the posts on three occasions and Sliema goalkeeper saved his team from an own goal.

Balzan came out on the attack using their flanks while Sliema were having difficulties dealing with high balls raking inside the area.

On the 15th minute, the Sliema defence failed to clear an Alfred Effiong’s cross from the left, finding unmarked Cadu’ whose shot finished narrowly wide after being slightly deflected by Stefano Bianchardi.

5 minutes later, Jefferson De Assis made his way inside the Balzan area from the left but his effort missed the target.

On the 24th minute, Sliema were close to break the deadlock. Jefferson De Assis won a penalty, as while he chased a long Peter Xuereb’s clearance he was brought down by Elkin Serrano’s late tackle inside the area. From the penalty spot Alex Muscat failed to put his side ahead, as his feeble shot was paired into a corner by goalkeeper Ivan Janjusevic.

On the 39th minute, Sliema created another chance on goal. Ricardo Calisto Correa fired a shot from the edge of the penalty area that ended up over.

Balzan responded two minutes later when Uros Ljubomirac sent a shot from the right side of the penalty area that was well saved by goalkeeper Giuseppe Sarao.

For the remainder of the first half neither side created any goal scoring opportunities.

After the interval, Balzan came out threatening and on the 52nd minute, Sliema goalkeeper Guiseppe Sarao partially saved with difficulty a direct free-kick, from the edge of the area, taken by Cadu’ and Alfred Effiong headed the rebound but Stefano Bianchardi cleared into safety.

On the other side on the 59th minute, Alex Muscat put through Jefferson De Assis who made his way inside the area but his shot was blocked into a corner by goalkeeper Ivan Janjusevic.

Ahead of the hour both coaches effected changes. Sliema put in Frank Temile for Ryan Spiteri as Balzan made a double substitution, introducing Ryan Fenech and Alex Da Paixao Alves for Milos Lepovic and Alfred Effiong.

After making these substitutions Balzan increased the pressure and created some good opportunities to break the deadlock.

On the 70th minute, goalkeeper Guiseppe Sarao evaded a sure own-goal streching to his left to save with difficulty a mis-kicked clearance by Alex Muscat, following a Ryan Fenech shot.

A minute later, a Cadu’s corner from the left rebounded off the innerside of the far post with the ball hitting the leg of goalkeeper Guiseppe Sarao and finishing hitting again the post and finally from the rebound Bojan Kaljevic hit the ball dreadfully over from close range.

Balzan insisted and forced Sliema to defend for long stretches. On the 76th minute, an effort by Alex Da Paixao Alves was deflected into a corner.

Five minutes from time, Bojan Kaljevic made his way into the box and had his cross shot hitting the foot of the post and from the rebound Uros Ljubomirac shot against the side netting.

Balzan : Ivan Janjusevic, Milos Lepovic (Ryan Fenech – 65’), Steven Bezzina, Paul Fenech, Bojan Kaljevic, Uros Ljubomirac, Alfred Effiong (Alex Da Paixao Alves – 65’), Justin Grioli, Michael Johnson, Elkin Serrano Valero, Carlos Eduardo De Fiori Mendes

Sliema Wanderers : Giuseppe Sarao, Stefano Bianciardi, Matias Muchardi (Jonathan Pearson – 84), Gabriel Aquilina (Edmond Agius – 46’), Peter Xuereb, Jefferson De Assis, Ricardo Calisto Correa, Mark Scerri, Ryan Spiteri (Frank Temille – 64’), Alex Muscat, Nikola Gavric

Referee: Steven Gregg