It was a rather balanced affair following a dull first half. But in the second half the Gzira were the superior outfit though Balzan resisted till the end.

For this game Balzan had to play without suspended Kristijan Naumovski and Uros Ljubomirac while Arthur Faria Machado and Michael Johnson were missing due to injury. On the other end, Gzira made one change as Juan Corbalan was preferred to Sasha Borg.

In the first round Gzira defeated Balzan by two goals to nil, sealing a double over their opponents.

Kampjonat Premier: Balzan F.C. 1-3 Gzira United F.C.

Kampjonat Premier: Balzan F.C. 1-3 Gzira United F.C.

Posted by L-ARGUMENT on Sunday, February 16, 2020

The first half produced just only two chances both coming from the Gzira.

In the 5th minute Martin Davis passed towards Marco Criaco only for his shot to finish wide.

In the 15th minute, Paul Fenech miss controlled a pass and slipped in the midfield area with Nikolai Muscat taking hold of the ball, setting Hamed Kone whose shot was blocked by goalkeeper Sean Mintoff.

Balzan did not react and in fact their only effort towards goal came from Adeseyi Adekoya whose shot missed the target.

The pattern at the beginning of the second half was in the same  as that of the first half. But in the 55th minute Gzira had a good attempt when a shot from the edge of the box by Hamed Kone was turned onto a corner by goalkeeper Sean Mintoff.

Two minutes later Gzira took the lead. Following a short corner, Hamed Kone exchanged the ball with Marco Criaco with Kone finally sending a cross towards RODOLFO SOARES who rose high and headed past helpless Mintoff.

In the 74th minute Gzira doubled the score when a cross by Juan Carlos Corbalan was deflected towards MARTIN DAVIS who had the easiest of tasks to head the ball into the net.

But Balzan had different ideas as three minutes later they pulled a goal back. Substitute Luke Montebello sent a cross which completely cut the Gzira defence with ALFRED EFFIONG being in the correct place to finish the ball into the net.

However, Gzira sealed matters with their third goal in the added time when Martin Davis, with only Sean Mintoff to beat, had his shot blocked by the Balzan goalkeeper but the rebound fell to AMADOU SAMB who, from metres away, hit the ball home into an empty net.

BALZAN :Sean Mintoff, Augustine Loof, Nenad Sljivic, Adeyesi Shinobu Adekoya, Steve Pisani, Steve Bezzina, Paul Fenech (Marcus Grima 77′), Alfred Effiong, Ivan Bozovic, Stefan Dimic (Luke Montebello 63′), Ricardo Correa Duarte (Pedro Augusto Mota 77′).

GZIRA : Justin Haber, Fernando Barbosa, Nikolai Muscat, Zachary Scerri, Rodolfo Soares, Juan Carlos Corbalan, Dexter Xuereb, Hamed Kone (Karl Pulo 84′), Marco Criaco, Wilfried Domoraud (Amadou Samb 71′), Martin Davis.

Referee: Alan Mario Sant

BOV Player of the Match: Martin Davis