Balzan prepared for this encounter against Sirens knowing that only a victory would keep their hopes alive to evade relegation. On the other hand, Sirens came into the match knowing that they do not depend on the result of this match as they had already secured their place in the Premier League.
When just before the half-hour mark, Sirens came from behind to score two goals in four minutes, the hopes for Balzan seemed to be fading away. However, Balzan fought to live another day with a second-half showing.
They now join Santa Lucia on 27 points but Santa Lucia has a game in hand, which they will play tomorrow against Sliema. The relegation issue will surely go down to the wire irrespective of Santa Lucia’s result against Sliema Wanderers.
Next week, Balzan will be facing Sliema in their last game of the season while Santa Lucia takes on Valletta.
In the first half, Balzan struggled to keep the pace set with their opponents as Sirens showed more commitment and determination.
In the opening minutes, goalkeeper Sean Mintoff was on spot to parry the ball on Milan Duric’s header.
In the 21st minute, Balzan opened the score. Following a corner kick taken by Milan Duric, MARCUS GRIMA managed to beat goalkeeper Sean Mintoff with a fine shot from outside the area.
Two minutes later Sirens managed to draw level when VITOR VIEIRA managed to beat goalkeeper Rudy Briffa with a low shot from the edge of the area.
Sirens insisted and in the 27th minute, they shocked Balzan with another goal. Vitor Vieira found space on the edge of the box to serve MARIOS LOMIS who rushed in from the blind side to shoot into the net.
Balzan struggled to find their posture against a relaxed team with nothing at stake.
Just before halftime, goalkeeper Sean Mintoff came to the rescue when he performed a splendid double save to deny Jalu Suleiman and Aleksa Andrejic.
In the second half Balzan came out more determined with Uros Ljubomirac and Marcus Grima bossing the midfield
In the 50th minute, Balzan equalise when MILAN DURIC took a direct free-kick and exploited his dead ball skills to lift the ball over the defensive wall and beyond the reach of goalkeeper Sean Mintoff and into the net.
As Balzan insisted, Sirens were forced to defend but in the 58th minute, they could do nothing to prevent ALEKSA ANDREJIC from putting his team ahead when he ran inside the area to meet a perfect cross from the right by Uros Ljubomirac before heading the ball into the net.
In the 78th minute, to increase the power up front, Sirens made a treble change replacing Bogdan Garvilla, Jacob Walker, and Timothy Tabone with Alfred Effiong, Henrique Marcelina Motta, and Alexander Cini,
In the dying minutes of the game, Bojan Kalejvic was denied of the 4th goal by the referee, after tapping the ball home following a cross from Uros Ljubomirac.
SIRENS : Sean Mintoff, Conor Borg, Marios Lomis, Bogdan Gavrila (Henrique Macelino Motta 78’), Adrian Borg, Timothy Tabone (Alexander Cini 78’), Jacob Walker (Alfred Effiong 78’), Carlo Zammit Lonardelli, Carlos Riascos Castillo (Degran Jackson 62’), Vitor Vieira, Renato Cardoso Porto Neto.
BALZAN : Rudy Briffa, Augustine Loof, Marcus Grima, Milan Duric, Paul Fenech, Nikola Gulan, Uros Ljubomirac, Milos Zlatkovic Suleiman Jalu (Bojan Kaljevic 72’), Neil Frendo (46 Gary Camilleri 46’), Aleksa Andrejic (Adam Bradshaw 78’).
Referee: Glen Tonna.
BOV player of the match: Aleksa Andrejic (Balzan).