BOV Premier League | Balzan 0 – Sliema Wanderers 0

In a balanced match, Balzan and Sliema Wanderers shared the spoils in a goalless draw.

Warren Zammit
9 September 2017, 7:57pm
Jefferson De Assis (Sliema) trying to hold on to possession while being challenged by Elkin Serrano Valero (Balzan). Photo: Dominic Borg
Jefferson De Assis (Sliema) trying to hold on to possession while being challenged by Elkin Serrano Valero (Balzan). Photo: Dominic Borg
Balzan were looking to pick themselves up after suffering a 3-2 defeat in their previous fixture against St Andrews. On the other hand, Sliema were on a high following a 5-1 win over Naxxar Lions.

Marko Micovic’s side created the first opportunity of the match after two minutes. Alfred Effiong served Bojan Kaljevic on the left side of the penalty area and the latter hit a shot that sailed slightly wide.

Two minutes later, Effiong received the ball inside the penalty area and fired a shot that went over.

Balzan kept putting pressure and lost a great opportunity on the 15th minute. Effiong’s cross was met by the unmarked Carlos Eduardo De Fiori Mendes who finished wide from close range.

Sliema hit back on the 18th minute. Matias Muchardi sent a volley from distance that went over.

The Wanderers went close again on the 20th minute. Jefferson De Assis went on a good run inside the penalty area before hitting an angled shot that failed to hit the target.

John Buttigieg’s side lost a great opportunity on the 26th minute. Peter Xuereb sent a long ball forward towards De Assis who went inside the penalty area and was brought down by Elkin Serrano Valero. The referee ordered a penalty which Alex Muscat took charge off. However, from the eleven metres mark, the Sliema captain saw his shot being parried by Ivan Janjusevic.

On the 39th minute, Sliema created another chance on goal. Ricardo Calisto Correa fired a shot from the edge of the penalty area that ended up over.

Balzan responded two minutes later through Uros Ljubomirac. The Serbian player sent a shot from the right side of the penalty area that was neutralised by Giuseppe Sarao.

On the 51st minute, Sarao had to be alert to deny Balzan. From a free-kick, Mendes fired a shot that was well saved by the Sliema goalkeeper. Effiong’s header from the rebound was blocked by Stefano Bianciardi.

On the 58th minute, Sliema created another good chance. Muscat passed the ball towards De Assis on the right and the Sliema forward went through inside the penalty area before hitting a shot that was blocked by Janjusevic.

Muscat of Sliema nearly committed an own goal on the 70th minute. Ryan Fenech sent a cross inside the penalty area which the veteran player attempted to clear; however, he completely mistimed his clearance as Sarao had to stretch to his left to save the Wanderers.

Three minutes later, Balzan were denied by the post. From a direct corner, De Fiori Mendes hit the post and the goalkeeper. The ball fell for Kaljevic who fired high from close range.

A minute later, substitute Alex Da Paixao Alves of Balzan hit a powerful drive from distance that took a deflection and ended up centimetres off target.

Five minutes from time, Balzan were denied by the post once more. Kaljevic went past a defender and sent a shot that hit the woodwork. From the rebound, Mendes saw his shot hitting the side netting.

Balzan starting line-up: Ivan Janjusevic, Milos Lepovic (Ryan Fenech – 65), Steven Bezzina, Paul Fenech, Bojan Kaljevic, Uros Ljubomirac, Alfred Effiong (Alex Da Paixao Alves – 65), Justin Grioli, Michael Johnson, Elkin Serrano Valero, Carlos Eduardo De Fiori Mendes

Sliema Wanderers starting line-up: Giuseppe Sarao, Stefano Bianciardi, Matias Muchardi (Jonathan Pearson – 84), Gabriel Aquilina (Edmond Agius – 46), Peter Xuereb, Jefferson De Assis, Ricardo Calisto Correa, Mark Scerri, Ryan Spiteri (Frank Temille – 64), Alex Muscat, Nikola Gavric

Referee: Steven Gregg

Assistant Referees: Kristen Hanna, Gavin Andrews

Fourth Official: Tony Clarke

Yellow Cards: Elkin Serrano Valero (Balzan), Milos Lepovic (Balzan), Carlos Eduardo De Fiori Mendes (Balzan), Alex Muscat (Sliema)

BOV Player of the Match: Jefferson De Assis (Sliema)