Hibernians and Balzan took a point each following a disappointing goalless draw.

Both sides wanted to gain maximum points from this match with Balzan the most in need to avoid relegation.

In fact this was the second consecutive draw for Balzan after last week’s surprise draw against Floriana. This draw puts Balzan in the eight place, on the 21-point mark level with Naxxar Lions and Santa Lucia.

On the other hand, Hibernians moved to sixth place on 26 points.

In the first round match between the two sides Balzan had emerged winners by a 2-0 scoreline.

Although Hibernians enjoyed a slight edge throughout the match but for all their possession, they did not manage to break down a solid Balzan defence. Shots at goal were few and far in between.

The first half lacked action and it was only in added time that Hibernians went near when a shot by Jurgen Degabriele sailed over the bar.

The second half started on a better note though neither team was in command.

On the hour goalkeeper Ibrahim Kone saved over a cross shot by Ivan Bozovic.

Just past the hour Hibernians threatened when, off a cross by Rodney Akowuah Antwi, Mamadou Bagayoko’s header was blocked by a Balzan defender.

In the 66th minute, Hibernians had another good opportunity when Gabriel Artiles saw his shot from a distance blocked by the Balzan defence.

In the 79th minute, Hibernians has the only goal scoring opportunity. Giannis Bastianos sent a cross falling at the feet of Artim Radchenko, whose shot from the left hit the woodwork with goalkeeper Rudy Briffa beaten.

In the 84th minute, a free kick taken by Jan Busuttil finished just scaping the post.

Just before normal time, Balzan threatened with a shot by substitute Aleksandar Katanic which was turned into a corner with difficulty by goalkeeper Ibrahim Kone.

And in the added time another shot this time by another substitute Aleksa Andrejic was once again saved by the Hibernians goalkeeper.

Balzan: Rudy Briffa, Ivan Bozovic, Andre’ Prates, Samir Arab, Triston Caruana (Paul Fenech 82’), Jan Busuttil (Aleksandar Katanic 86’), Ryohei Michibuchi, Nikola Zerjal (Han Euigwon 68’), Nikola Braunovic, Olivier Rommens, Henry Blackwood (Aleksa Andrejic 82’)

Hibernians: Ibrahim Kone, Kurt Shaw, Lucas Caruana, Jurgen Degabriele (Isaiah Chukunyere 86’), Artem Radchenko (Robert Bairam 91′), Gabriel Artiles, Claudio Bonanni, Mamadou Bugayoko (Sime Zuzul 86’), Giannis Bastianos, Rodney Akowuah Antwi (Alex Bruno De Souza Silva 69′), Higor Gabriel Fernandes Alves

Referee: Glen Tonna

BOV Player of the game: Giannis Bastianos (Hibernians)