Balzan and Naxxar share the spoils

Balzan and Naxxar earned a point each after they played to a 1-1 draw. With Balzan playing almost the entire match with ten-men, Naxxar failed to take advantage of the extra man on the pitch.

Balzan did not take long to go ahead as the first goal arrived after just eight minutes of play. Off a cross by Justin Grioli, Gianmarco Piccioni headed the ball past goalkeeper Julian Azzopardi to give his team the early lead.

The match turned for the worse for Balzan as they had a man sent off on the 27th minute. Goalkeeper Christian Cassar brought Daren Falzon down inside the area.

The referee sent the Balzan goalkeeper off and awarded a penalty to Naxxar. From the penalty spot Gilmar Cassar made no mistake to beat goalkeeper Steve Sultana to level matters.

Naxxar started to show their dominance with the extra player and with seven minutes remaining in the first half, Emenike Mbachu came close to giving Naxxar the lead; but goalkeeper Steve Sultana kept the ball out of the net.

Naxxar had another great chance to take the lead 11 minutes into the second half when another effort by Emenike Mbachu was deflected into a corner by goalkeeper Steve Sultana.

On the 20th minute, Mbachu was denied again from close range by Sultana.

Naxxar continued to control the match, but fantastic goalkeeping by Steve Sultana kept the ball out of the net to leave Naxxar regretting their missed opportunities.

NAXXAR LIONS:  Julian Azzopardi, Angus Buhagiar, Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro, Pablo Doffo (69′ Pape Gueye), Emmanuel Ibok Edet, Uchenna Mbachu Emenike, Daren Falzon, David Fenech, David Alejandro Reano, Andrew Scicluna, Terence Vella (70′ Victor Bellia).

Subs not used: Luke Pecorella, Duane Bonnici, Ryan Gilmour Cassar, Jurgen Debono, Mattia Del Negro.

Coach: Winston Muscat

BALZAN Christian Cassar, Justin Grioli, Steve Bezzina, Elkin Serrano, Edison Bilbao Zarate, Osa Ice-Cream Guobadia, Luke Sciberras, Lydon Micallef (28′ Steve Sultana gk), Oscar Dario Guerrero (90+3′ Michael Borg), Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza (85′ Mark Spiteri), Gianmarco Piccioni.

Subs not used: Shaun Bugeja, Juan Carlos Corbolan, Ryan Darmanin, Gianfranco Micallef.

Coach: Oliver Spiteri Referee: Sandro Spiteri

Assistant Referees: William Debattista, Paul Apap

Fourth Official: Alan Mario Sant

Yellow Cards: Piccioni, Doffo, Sciberras, Reano, Grioli, Fenech, Falzon

Red Cards: 26′ Christian Cassar

Scorers: 8′ Gianmarco Piccioni, 29′ Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro pen (N)

BOV Player of the Match: Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro

    BOV Player of the Match: Leighton Grech

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