Balzan defeat Tarxien in five-goal thriller

Balzan left it late to defeat Tarxien Rainbows 3-2, Saturday afternoon at the National Stadium.

A late penalty handed Balzan victory over Tarxien. Photo by Ray Attard
A late penalty handed Balzan victory over Tarxien. Photo by Ray Attard

But they are back to winning ways after their defeat to Mosta last week while Tarxien suffered their first defeat after four draws and a victory.

Tarxien almost took the lead right from the start when a shot by Firas Aboulezz was partially saved by goalkeeper Steve Sultana to then have Jorge Santos Silva hit the woodwork off the rebound.

Balzan managed to take the lead in the fourth minute when, off a cross by Luke Sciberras, Elkin Serrano served Gianmarco Piccioni who then beat goalkeeper Sean Cini with his header.

Tarxien managed to get back in the play when they scored the equaliser in the 69th minute. Off a shot by Wesley Pipico, Carlos Menendez Hevia headed the ball past goalkeeper Steve Sultana to make the score 1-1.

Tarxien took the lead for the first time in the match in the 76th minute when Alvaro Andre Rodrigues Silva had his low shot beat goalkeeper Steve Sultana.

The advantage did not last long for Tarxien, however, as just three minutes later Balzan equalised. Edison David Bilbao Zarate scored thanks to his header, to make the score 2-2.

As the match was looking to end with the teams sharing the spoils, Balzan scored the winner thanks to a penalty late into stoppage time. Mifsud Triganza was brought down inside the area by Ryan Sammut to have the referee immediately indicate the penalty spot. Gianmarco Piccioni converted to make the final score 3-2 in Balzan’s favour.

BALZAN Steve Sultana, Justin Grioli, Steve Bezzina, Elkin Serrano, Edison Bilbao Zarate, Osa Ice-Cream Guobadia (82′ Michael Borg), Clive Brincat (83′ Fredrick Nonso Odebe), Lydon Micallef (59′ Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza), Oscar Guerrero, Luke Sciberras, Gianmarco Piccioni.

Subs not used: Mikhail Sciberras, Juan Corbalan, Samir Arab, Gianfranco Micallef.

Coach: Oliver Spiteri

TARXIEN RAINBOWS Sean Cini, Kane Paul Farrugia, Manuel Caruana (56′ Matthew Tabone), Owen Bugeja (41′ Ryan Sammut), Triston Caruana, Firas Aboulezz (50′ Alvaro Andre Rodrigues Silva), Wesley Lima Silva, Carlos Menedez Hevia, Alex Cini, Alessandro Lopes Pereira, Jorge Santos Silva.

Subs not used: Sean Mintoff, Steve Sadowski, Cleber Barbosa Viana, Manuel Xerri.

Coach: Clive Mizzi

Referee: Fyodor Zammit

Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Edward Spiteri

Fourth Official: Chris Lautier

Yellow Cards: Brincat, Bugeja, Hevia, S. Cini, K. Farrugia

Red Cards: 90+5′ Menendez Hevia

Scorers: 4′ Gianmarco Piccioni (B); 69′ Carlos Menendez Hevia (T); 76′ Alvaro Silva (T); 79′ Edison Bilbao Zarate (B); 90+5′

BOV Player of the Match: Edison Bilbao Zarate

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