Balzan goalkeeper Kristijan Naumovski after making a slip-up to gift the Birkirkara the lead grabbed an equaliser with a header, in the added time, denying Birkirkara their first win of the season.

It was a match which could have gone either way, as both sides created good chances.



In the opening stages of the first half, Balzan seemed to be well in control of the proceedings in fact they took an early lead when after only six minutes, former Birkirkara striker LUKE MONTEBELLO managed to beat goalkeeper Andrew Hogg with a splendid shot from the edge of the area.

In the 14th minute, Birkirkara replied with a shot by Michael Mifsud which was palmed out by Naumovski; the ball returned to Michael Mifsud, but his second shot finshed just wide.

In the 19th minute, at the other end, Ricardo Calixto Correa Duarte saw his direct free-kick finishing just over the bar.

Seconds later, Luke Montebello sent a volley that nearly stunned goalkeeper Hogg, but the ball stamped off the post.

Balzan threatened again in the 35th minute, when from a cross by Ivan Bozovic, it was Luke Montebello again who tried his luck from inside the area, but his shot sailed over the bar.

Birkirkara managed to equalise in the 37th minute, when Miguel Angel Alba who sent a good pass towards FEDERICO MATIAS FALCONE who controlled the ball well before beating Kristijan Naumovski.

Balzan hit back immediately and had a goal disallowed as Aleksandar Kosoric was judged to be in an offside position.

Birkirkara also managed to take the lead just before the interval when, following a low harmless shot by Miguel Alba, Kristijan Naumovski failed to hold the ball which hit his legs and finished at the back of the net.

Balzan started the second half on the offensive in their attempts to equalise. Luke Montebello was again prominent with a good volley, but the effort finished over the post.

Balzan levelled matters in the 57th minute with a powerful long-distance shot by RICARDO CALIXTO CORREA DUARTE which gave goalkeeper Andrew Hogg no chance.

In the 76th minute, goalkeeper Kristijan Naumovski blocked an effort by Michael Mifsud effort with his feet.

In the 80th minute, Kristijan Naumovski denied again Birkirkara, this time saving over an effort, from an acute angle, by Caio Henrique Prado.

In the 85th minute, Birkirkara regained their lead. Balzan substitute Ryan Scicluna floored Caio Henrique Prado inside the area and the referee awarded a penalty. MIGUEL ANGEL ALBA took charge of the spot kick and did not fail to convert, putting his team 3-2 ahead.

However when Birkirkara were preparing to celebrate their first win, they had a big shock as Balzan managed to equalise deep into stoppage time. From a corner, from the left taken by Ricardo Correa Duarte, it was goalkeeper KRISTIJAN NAUMOVSKI, who came up in the area to help his team-mates, who headed into the net for a deserved equaliser.

BIRKIRKARA : Andrew Hogg, Enrico Pepe, Maurizio Vella, Michael Mifsud, Federico Falcone, Cain Attard, Caio Henrique Prado, Oscar Matias Carniello (Gianluca Bugeja 79′), Miguel Angel Alba (Kurt Zammit 90′), Ryan Fenech, Isaac Toah Ntow.

BALZAN : Kristijan Naumovski, Aleksandar Kosoric, Steve Bezzina, Michael Johnson, Paul Fenech (Lydon Micallef 92’), Alfred Effiong (Andrija Majdevac 67′), Uros Ljubomirac, Ivan Bozovic, Ricardo Calixto Correa (Ryan Scicluna 78′), Arthur Faria Machado, Luke Montebello.

Referee: Philip Farrugia