It was a much-needed victory for Balzan who, before this match, were on level points of four with Lija Athletic.

Balzan were superior to their opponents but Lija A kept fighting on till the end in search of a point which never materialized.

During the early stages of the first half the match was fairly balanced with both teams studying each other, with neither team creating any particular danger.

As time passed, Balzan made their way up the field with the excellent ball progression of midfield duo Paul Fenech and Steve Pisani.

In the 23rd minute, Balzan took the lead with a goal, that proved to be the winning goal, when Uros Ljubomirac set MOUSSA KAMARA inside the box who in turn slotted the ball past the helpless goalkeeper Luke Bonnici.

Lija tried to react but they did not manage create any sort of threat. They found it difficult to break an organized Balzan rear-guard.

It was Balzan who almost found another goal through Suleiman Jalu who dribbled his way towards goal but his effort from a tight angle failed to hit the target.

Balzan had another attempt through Eric McWoods who let fly a shot from the edge of the area but did not trouble enough goalkeeper Bonnici.

Lija’s only effort on goal in the first half came through Fernando Brandan who tried his luck from long-range, only to see goalkeeper Sean Mintoff save his shot.

On resumption, Neil Micallef, after a solo run, tried his luck for Lija when he shot from a long distance effort but his effort finished wide.

In another episode, Erjon Beu tried an effort on goal from a free-kick only to see the ball sail over the bar.

Twenty minutes from time, Neil Micallef came close to level matters when his header was cleared by a defender with the rebound finishing wide.

Balzan came close to seal matters when Suleiman Jalu saw his curling effort, hit the side of the net.

At the other end, Javier Brandan dribbled past his opponent before hitting a long-range shot which finished inches wide.

In the last minutes of the game, Eric McWoods had a good chance to double the lead when his point-blank range effort was spectacularly blocked by goalkeeper Luke Bonnici to keep Lija’s hopes of a positive result alive.

Nonetheless, Balzan maintained their one-goal lead till the end to earn all three points.

BALZAN : Sean Mintoff, Augustine Loof, Samir Arab, Paul Fenech, Eric Lemond Mc Woods, Steve Pisani, Steve Bezzina (Michael Johnson 79′), Uros Ljubomirac, Suleiman Jalu (Alfred Effiong 79′) , Weverton Gomez Souza, Moussa Kamara.

LIJA A :  Luke Bonnici, Carl Joseph Cassar, Daniel Scerri (Ryan Dalli 71′), Erjon Beu, Neil Micallef, Fernando Javier Brandan, Ryan Darmanin, Juan Cruz Gill, Clayton Giordmaina, André White, Valdo Goncalves Alhinho.

Referee: Glen Tonna

BOV Player of the MatchMoussa Kamara