This entertaining match went to Hibernians’ way, with both teams living to expectations and giving a good account of themselves.
Balzan feel that the result flattered Hibernians with the biggest sense of injustice as, when the score was still 0-0, as an effort by Alex Da Paixao Alves was adjudged cleared off the line, but television replays showed that the ball had crossed the goal-line
The only change made by Balzan, from their last game won against Sirens, was that injured midfielder Marcus Grima was replaced Paul Fenech.
On the other hand, Hibernians had to do without the suspended Leandro Almeida, and injured Raphael Dos Anjos was replaced with Matthew Ellul.
Balzan came out offensive and in the 10th minute, they were the first to threaten with a Paul Fenech’s grounder which was saved with some difficulty by goalkeeper Ibrahim Kone.
Following the ensuing corner, Balzan were denied a legitimate goal when, following a goalmouth scramble, Alex Da Paixao Alves’s conclusion was cleared off the line by Andrei Agius with the Balzan players protesting that the ball have crossed the line.
In the 21st minute, Hibernians went near when Thaylos Aldama exchanged the ball with Jake Grech with his cross cleared by Augustine Loof before Wilfred Domoraud could connect.
On the other end, Alex Da Da Paixao saw his shot from the edge of the area sailing just over the crossbar.
Just past the hour, Hibernians took the lead. Gabriel Artiles sent a long ball into the path of WILFRED DOMORAUD, who in a bid to anticipate Milos Zlatkovic accidentally hit the defender in the face before reacting quickly to fire home from close range.
Balzan reacted immediately and in the 36th minute, they leveled the score. A long ball from Milos Zlatkovic found Uros Ljubomirac on the right flank whose cross was perfectly met by captain PAUL FENECH and immediately fired the ball into the roof of the net.
And on the stroke of halftime Balzan could have taken the lead when Uros Ljubomirac found Alex Da Paixao Alves but his shot was saved by Ibrahim Kone.
Hibernians came out aggressive and in the 46th minute, they regained the lead. Thaylor Aldama’s cross from the right found unmarked JAKE GRECH who volleyed home past goalkeeper Jake Galea.
In the 68th minute, Paul Fenech set Milan Duric whose diagonal shot ended just over the bar.
Balzan insisted, forcing a number of flag-kicks but Hibernians controlled the situation well till the end.
Balzan: Jake Galea, Augustine Loof, Milan Duric (Pedro Mota De Lima 82’ ), Paul Fenech, Alex Da Paixao Alex(Bojan Kaljevic 69’), Uros Ljubomirac, Milos Zlatkovic, Gary Camilleri, Milos Mijic, Aleksa Andrejic, Sean Cipriott.
Hibernians: Ibrahim Kone, Ferdinando Apap, Matthew Ellul (Zachary Grech 73’), Jake Grech, Jurgen Degabriele (Aryton Attard 88’), Bjorn Kristensen, Dunstan Vella, Thaylor Aldama (Erjon Beu 63’), Andrei Agius, Gabriel Artiles, Wilfred Domoraud.
BOV best player of the match : Jake Grech