It looked as though the Spartans were set to suffer a damaging defeat when two goals from Bojan Kaljevic gave Balzan a two-goal lead. However, Balzan failed to control the two-goal lead, having to settle for a 2-2 draw with Hamrun Spartans
Hamrun did all the early running with Balzan goalkeeper Jake Galea kept on the alert with efforts from El Bakhtaoui and Luke Gambin.
In the 13th minute, Hamrun had the first chance when Augustine Loof almost deceived his own goalkeeper when trying to clear Luke Gambin’s cross but the Jake Galea was alert to push the ball to a corner.
Hamrun insisted and in the 21st minute, they had an even better chance when Faissal El Bakhtaoui picked up a rebound and rounded the goalkeeper but his shot was cleared off the line by Milos Zlatkovic. From the rebound, Matthew Guillaumier’s volley was deflected wide.
However, in the 29th minute, it was Balzan who took the lead. Aleksa Andrejic intercepted Karl Micallef’s pass and broke through from the right before serving BOJAN KALJEVIC who tapped the ball home.
Hamrun reacted and two minutes later Luke Gambin’s pass was deflected into the path of El Bakhtaoui who aimed high.
In the 36th minute, Ħamrun were forced to make their first substitution, as Arthur Oyama came in for injured Isaac Ntow.
In the 40th minute, Hamrun were punished again when Uros Ljubomirac intercepted a pass by Claude Dielna and made his way into the box serving BOJAN KALJEVIC placed the ball at the back of the net from close range for the second time.
After the break, Uros Ljubomirac should have done better after another powerful run.
Balzan were happily administering their lead while Hamrun tried to take over but they were lacking any sort of fluency in their play.
In the 63rd minute, Ħamrun were relieved when a cross by El Bakhtaoui was handled inside the area by defender Gary Camilleri. From the resultant penalty FAISSAL El BAKTAOUI made no mistake.
In the 70th minute, Hamrun replaced Gorjkovic and Emerson Marcelina with Steve Borg and Jorge Soares to add more power to his team.
In the 73rd minute, goalkeeper Jake Galea was alert to push away a shot by Matthew Guillaumier.
In the 75th minute, Steve Borg, after only a few minutes on the pitch, was red-carded for reacting and hitting an Aleksa Andrejic.
Hamrun insisted and launched a late assault which saw them win a second penalty in the stoppage time when Jorge Soares was adjudged to have been pushed inside the area, amongst protests by the Balzan players.
FAISSAL El BAKTAOUI stepped up and sent jake Galea the wrong way.
Balzan : Jake Galea, Augustine Loof, Marcus Grima, Paul Fenech, Uros Ljubomirac, Milos Zlatkovic, Gary Camilleri, Milos Mijic, Aleksa Andrejic, Bojan Kaljevic (Suleiman Jalu 66), Sean Cipriott.
Ħamrun Spartans: Henry Bonello, Darko Gojkovic (Jorge Soares 70’), Matthew Guillaumier, Joseph Mbong, F.ranklin Sasere, Luke Gambin (Predrag Djordjevic 76’), Karl Micallef (Juan Carlos Corbalan 46’), Isaac Ntow (Arthur Oyama 36’), Claude Dielna, Emerson Marcelina (Steve Borg 71’), Faissal El Bakhtaoui.
Referee: Ishmael Barbara.
BOV Player of the match: Bojan Kaljevic (Balzan)