UEFA Europa League | Balzan 3 – Videoton FC 3

Balzan and Videoton shared the spoils in an entertaining 3-3 draw that wasn’t enough for the Maltese side as they were eliminated in the first round of the Europa League following a 5-3 aggregate score.

Warren Zammit
4 July 2017, 7:42pm
Steve Bezzina (Balzan) and Asmir Sulijic (Videoton) in action. Photo: Christine Borg
Steve Bezzina (Balzan) and Asmir Sulijic (Videoton) in action. Photo: Christine Borg
Balzan came into the match facing an uphill after suffering a 2-0 defeat in Hungary. As a matter of fact, Videoton started as favourites to make it through to the next round of the competition.

Marko Micovic who replaced Oliver Spiteri recently as Balzan’s coach showed complete faith in the eleven players that started the match in Hungary as no changes were made.

Balzan made an excellent start to the match and went ahead after just three minutes. Cadu served Uros Ljubomirac and the latter sent a cross that was met by Bojan Kaljevic. The Montenegrin striker had the easiest of chances and placed the ball inside the net.

Videoton replied on the 12th minute. Asmir Sulijic passed the ball towards Marco Scepovic inside the penalty area. The twenty-six year old fired a shot that was blocked by Ivan Janjusevic.

The Hungarian side restored the equilibrium on the 15th minute. Scepovic’s cross was blocked by Janjusevic with the ball falling for Krisztian Geresi who finished past the Balzan goalkeeper.

Balzan’s hopes of progressing faded away completely on the 23rd minute as Videoton scored again. Danko Lazovic sent Scepovic through and the Sebian striker finished inside the net.

Videoton nearly scored again on the 28th minute. Lazovic sent a shot from inside the penalty area that hit the post. From the rebound, the same player headed slightly over.

Balzan equalised the score on the 56th minute. Ryan Fenech delivered a great ball towards Alfred Effiong and the Maltese striker placed it behind Adam Kovacsik.

Three minutes later, Bruno of Balzan tried his luck from a free-kick but his shot sailed wide of the post.

Videoton hit back on the 75th minute. Lazovic went on a good run and hit a shot from the edge of the penalty area that forced a good save from Janjusevic.

From the resulting corner, Roland Juhasz saw his header being cleared off the line.

However, Juhasz managed to put his side ahead once more on the 80th minute. Lazovic’s free-kick was met by Videoton’s captain who directed a close range header inside the net.

Balzan equalised again six minutes later. Effiong was brought down inside the penalty area by Loic Nego and the referee pointed towards the spot. Kaljevic took charge of the penalty and converted past Videoton’s goalkeeper to score his second goal of the match.

Balzan starting line-up: Ivan Janjusevic, Ryan Fenech, Paul Fenech, Steve Bezzina, Alfred Effiong, Uros Ljubomirac, Elkin Serrano, Cadu, Milan Savic, Bruno, Bojan Kaljevic

Videoton FC starting line-up: Adam Kovacsik, Paulo Vinicius, Danko Lazovic, Anel Hadzic, Loic Nego, Mate Patkai, Stopira, Roland Juhasz, Marko Scepovic, Krisztian Geresi, Asmir Sulijic

Referee: Filip Glova (Slovakia)

Assistant Referees: Martin Balko, Peter Kovac

Fourth Official: Mario Vlk