Balzan started their Premier League Campaign with a convincing win of 3 – 1 over newly promoted Zebbug Rangers.
Balzan included newly registered goalkeeper Jonathan Debono and players Ivan Bozovic, Angel Torres, Benjamin Hili, Aidan Friggieri, Momcilo Raso and Matheus Souza in their starting line-up.
On the other hand, Zebbug R included new signings Leandro Almeida, Wilker Rocha Santos, Stefan Jankovic, Charles Lokoli Ngoy, Roberto Enrique Sanchez and Almir De Jesus Soto Maldonado in their starting eleven.
Balzan had too much attacking class over Żebbuġ as Columbian striker Angel Yesid Torres marked his Premier League debut with a hat-trick.
In the 2nd minute, Balzan were awarded a free-kick from a somewhat angled position. But that didn’t deter the Columbian striker ANGEL YESID TORRES QUINONE as he let fly a fine in-swinger that that beat goalkeeper Jamie Azzopardi, finishing into the top corner of the net.
In the 25th minute, the referee sent off Zebbuġ defender Leandro Almeida, ruling him denying Mattheus Albuguerque da Sousa from an obvious goal-scoring opportunity.
The resulting free-kick, from just outside the box, executed by the delightful left-foot strike of ANGEL YESID TORRES QUINONE, bent viciously away from Jamie Azzopardi’s despairing dive.
But 10-man Żebbuġ did not throw the towel. They regrouped and reacted well as in the 35th minute they pulled one back. Following a cross from the left by Stefan Jankovic, CHARLES LOKOLI NGOY slotted the ball past goalkeeper Jonathan Debono.
In the 37th minute, Angel Torres almost scored his third goal, but the he was denied by the crossbar with goalkeeper Jamie Azzopardi beaten.
The first half ended 2 – 1 with Balzan in front.
After the break, Balzan continued where they left, with Angel Torres running the show.
In the 53rd minute, Angel Torres livened up the proceedings when he picked up the ball on the right flank, dribbled his way through past a couple Żebbuġ defenders before squaring the ball for Matheus da Sousa, who in turn saw his shot saved by the goalkeeper. ANGEL YESID TORRES QUINONE was there first to take the rebound and managed to slot the ball past goalkeeper Azzopardi, gathering a hat-trick.
In the 77th minute, Angle Torres had to leave the pitch limping, giving Żebbuġ a sigh of relief.
However Balzan kept administering play mostly in midfield and the game never swung back into Żebbuġ’s favour.
In the 90th minute, Balzan had their last attempt at goal but the ball finished just wide
BALZAN: Johnathan Debono, Ivan Bozovic, Marcus Grima, Milan Duric, Angel Yesid Torres Quinone (Suleiman Jalu 77’), Benjamin Hili (Adam Bradshaw 84’), Uros Ljubomirac (Neil Frendo 84’), Milos Zlatkovic, Momcilo Raso, Matheus Noguiera Albuguerque de Souza (Bojan Kaljevic 62’), Aidan Jake Friggieri (Paul Fenech 62’).
ŻEBBUĠ RANGERS: Jamie Azzopardi, Leanardo Almeida, Rocha Santos Wilker, Yanis Tonna, Stefan Jankovic (Aryton Mizzi 68’), Charles Ngoy Lokali, Roberto Enrique Sanchez (Travis Bartolo 80’), Randall Vella, Aldmir de Jesus Soto Maldonado (Jimenez Miguel Perez 68’), Jordan Sciberras (Gaetano Joseph Gesualdi 68’), Kurt Bondin.
Referee: Fyodor Zammit
BOV Player of the Match: Angel Yesid Torres Quinone (Balzan)