Alfred Effiong and Andrija Madjevac were Balzan’s heroes yesterday as their side beat bottom placed Tarxien 3-1 to keep the latter firmly anchored to the bottom of the standings without any points.

For this game, Balzan made quite a change from their last outing as injured Steven Bezzina, Nenad Sljivic and Ricardo Correa were left out while Alfred Effiong and Paul Fenech started on the bench. On the other hand they welcomed back iUros Ljubomirac and Andrija Majdevac as they recovered from injury and they gave debut to young Zachary Karl Grech.

Just before kick-off, Tarxien made a last-minute change as Gary Camilleri was replaced with Matthew Tabone

Kampjonat Premier: Tarxien Rainbows FC 1-3 Balzan F.C.

Kampjonat Premier: Tarxien Rainbows FC 1-3 Balzan F.C.

Posted by L-ARGUMENT on Sunday, October 20, 2019



Balzan were perhaps the better side, but they could only find the net through a penalty midway through the first half. However in the second half Balzan improved quite a bit when they made their substitutions, including Alfred Effiong, Paul Fenech and Michael David Johnson.

On the other hand Tarxien were faster on the ball, but their strikers rarely found their way past an organized Balzan defence which proved to be a good shield in front of their goalkeeper Sean Mintoff. Although in the second half they improved and appeared to be more determined taking the initiative right from the start. They certainly deserved to equalise, but after they conceded the second goal they seemed to be tired and never reacted seriously to try and save a point.

The first action arrived in the 14th minute when Uros Ljubomirac advanced into the Tarxien area, but his shot from the angle was well saved by goalie Rudy Briffa.

In the 21st minute, Balzan were awarded a penalty when Matthew Tabone floored Andrija Majdevac in the area. The referee did not hesitate to point to the spot. ANRIJA MAJDEVAC himself stepped up for the kick and sent Rudy Briffa the wrong way.

Two minutes later, Tarxien responded when Aleksa Andrejic sent a good cross but Stiv Shaba headed wide from good position.

Soon after at the other end, a shot by Arthur Faria finished wide.

Just before the interval, in a fast breakaway, Uros Ljubomirac advanced on the right flank and crossed perfectly for Majdevac to control the ball well only to see his effort being blocked by goalie Rudy Briffa.

In the 48th minute, Aleksa Andrejic saw his attempt finishing well over the bar.

Two miniutes later, Brooke Farrugia went even closer as his cross-shot was saved by goalie Sean Mintoff with the help of the crossbar.

However in the 53rd minute. Tarxien were rewarded for their efforts when from a free-kick taken Thomas Veronese, DESTIN MAMBOUANE rose above all to connect and head past goalkeeper Sean Mintoff.

Tarxien insisted on attack and on 62 minutes, from a corner taken by Murillo Torres, Matthew Tabone saw his header finishing just wide.

A minute later, a free-kick taken by Steve Pisani created havoc inside the area with the ball reaching Aleksandar Kosoric who hit the foot of the upright.

In the 66th minute, Balzan made a double change replacing Arthur Faria Machado and Ryan Scicluna with Paul Fenech and Alfred Effiong. This move proved the right one as less than a minute later, ALFRED EFFIONG received an assist by Stefan Dimic from the left, rounded Brooke Farrugia and beating Rudy Briffa with a diagonal shot from the left.

In the 71st minute, Tarxien went close to equalize again, when goalkeeper Sean Mintoff charged out of his goal to anticipate Stiv Shaba, with the ball finishing into the path of Nevin Portelli, but his lob was easily cleared from over the line by Aleksandar Kosoric.

Balzan replied, Alfred Effiong set Stefan Dimic in the Tarxien area, but his shot was parried by Rudy Briffa.

In the 81st minute, Andrija Majdevac missed a good chance to assure his side of the three points, but after going round the onrushing Rudy Briffa, he hit the ball wide of an empty goal.

In the 86th minute, Balzan made sealed the issue with a third goal. It was Uros Ljubormirac who crossed perfectly for the unmarked ANDRIJA MAJDEVAC to finish the ball into the net.

TARXIEN : Rudy Briffa, Marco Botta, Thomas Veronese, Destin Mambouana, Manuel Murillo Torres, Aleksa Andrejic, Matthew Tabone (Cedric Zahra 75’), Stiv Shaba, Nevin Portelli (Dale Tabone 89’), Brooke Farrugia, Misael Miranda Gomez.

BALZAN Sean Mintoff, Augustine Loof, Aleksandar Kosoric, Steve Pisani, Zachary Karl Grech, Uros Ljubomirac, Ivan Bozovic, Ryan Scicluna (Alfred Effiong 65’), Stefan Dimic (Michael Johnson 78’), Arthur Faria Machado (Paul Fenech 65’), Andrija Majdevac.

Referee: Mario Apap

BOV Player of the Match: Uros Ljubomirac