BOV Premier League | Birkirkara 3 – Balzan 1

Balzan’s ambitions took another major blow as they suffered a 3-1 defeat against Birkirkara.

Joseph Zerafa of Birkirkara in action. Photo: Dominic Borg
Joseph Zerafa of Birkirkara in action. Photo: Dominic Borg

Knowing that Valletta were held by Gżira, Balzan started the game conscious that a win could put them momentarily ahead of Hibernians who will play Floriana tomorrow. However, they were up against a Birkirkara side who improved a lot lately.

The first chance of the match was created by Birkirkara on the 15th minute. Cain Attard went on the right flank and sent a cross towards Gonzalo Malan who headed high.

Balzan responded on the 24th minute. From a free kick, Ryan Fenech saw his shot going slightly wide.

On the 29th minute, Birkirkara were denied by Ivan Janjusevic. From another free kick, Srdan Dimitrov hit a low shot that was parried by the Balzan goalkeeper.

Birkirkara broke the deadlock on the 36th minute. Dimitrov received the ball inside the penalty area and hit a wonderful volley that gave Janjusevic no chance.

Balzan hit back on the 43rd minute and had an excellent chance to score the equalising goal. Bojan Kaljevic went inside the penalty area and passed the ball towards Alfred Effiong who finished off target.

Five minutes into the second half, Joseph Zerafa of Birkirkara went on a good run and sent a shot that missed the target.

Balzan responded on the 53rd minute. Fenech hit a low shot that ended up centimetres wide.

 Birkirkara nearly increased the margin of the score on the 55th minute. Malan fired a strong shot from distance that produced a spectacular save from Janjusevic.

A minute later, Balzan scored the equalising goal. Anderson De Barros sent a cross that found Kaljevic unmarked and the latter finished inside the net from close range.

However, Birkirkara regained the lead on the 64th minute. Elkin Serrano Valero fouled Dimitrov inside the penalty area and the referee pointed towards the spot. From the elven metres mark, Malan made no mistake and converted past Janjusevic.

Balzan lost a golden opportunity to equalise on the 69th minute. Substitute Lydon Micallef sent a through ball towards Kaljevic who finished wide from an ideal position.

Henry Bonello was on the alert to deny Balzan the equaliser on the 82nd minute. From a free kick, Kaljevic hit a powerful drive that forced an excellent save from the Birkirkara goalkeeper.

The stripes responded immediately and sealed the issue with a third goal on the 83rd minute. Edward Herrera sent Vito Plut through inside the penalty area and the Slovenian player finished past Janjusevic.

Birkirkara starting line-up: Henry Bonello, Edward Herrera, Christian Bubalovic, Gareth Sciberras, Mislav Andelkovic, Matthew Guillaumier, Nikola Vukanac, Joseph Zerafa, Gonzalo Malan, Cain Attard, Srdan Dimitrov

Balzan starting line-up: Ivan Janjusevic, Anderson De Barros, Dylan Grima, Bruno Giglio De Oliveira, Alan Da Silva Souza, Ryan Fenech, Steve Bezzina, Bojan Kaljevic, Alfred Effiong, Elkin Serrano Valero, Matteo Piciollo

Referee: Glen Tonna

Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Peter Abela

Additional Assistant Referees: Sandro Spiteri, Eman Grech

Fourth Official: Ryan Aquilina

BOV Player of the Match: Srdan Dimitrov (Birkirkara)

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