BOV Premier League | Birkirkara 1 – Balzan 2

Balzan scored two late goals that saw them beating Birkirkara 2-1.

Alfred Effiong of Balzan in action. Photo: Dominic Borg
Alfred Effiong of Balzan in action. Photo: Dominic Borg

Balzan started well and were denied by David Cassar after five minutes. Alfred Effiong went past two defenders and hit a powerful drive that was tipped behind by Birkirkara’s shot stopper.

Cassar was on the alert once more on the 8th minute. Justin Grioli sent a stunning shot from distance that forced another great save from the twenty-nine year old goalkeeper.

Birkirkara responded on the 21st minute and this time it was Ivan Janjusevic who showed good reflexes to deny Jake Grech.

On the half hour mark, Carlos Eduardo De Fiori Mendes of Balzan sent a shot from outside the penalty area that sailed wide.

The stripes threatened again on the 35th minute. Grech received the ball on the right side of the penalty area and hit a low shot that was parried by Janjusevic.

Birkirkara broke the deadlock on the 42nd minute. Following a cross by Carlos Alberto Da Silva Concalves, Grech served Matthew Guillaumier and the latter placed the ball inside the net from close range.

In the additional time given by the referee prior to half time, Griolo delivered a cross in the direction of De Fiori Mendes whose header went centimetres off target.

A minute later, De Fiori Mendes received the ball inside the goal area and sent another header that was neutralised by Cassar.

A confusion took place three minutes into the second half when Bojan kaljevic was brought down by kurt Zammit and the referee signalled a penalty. However, after harsh protests from Birkirkara players, the referee discussed with his assistant and changed the decision for a free-kick as it seemed that the foul took place outside of the penalty area.

The next chance goal was created by Balzan on the 74th minute. Grioli’s cross was met by Kaljevic whose header was saved by Cassar.

On the 81st minute, Bruno Gilio de Oliveira of Balzan fired a shot from a free-kick that ended up wide.

Balzan equalised two minutes later. Following a long ball inside the penalty area, Kaljevic anticipated Cassar and headed inside the net.

The drama continued as Balzan forged ahead on the 87th minute. De Fiori Mendes hit a strong shot from a free-kick that went behind Cassar.

Birkirkara replied a minute later. Carlos Alberto Da Silva Concalves saw his shot from a free-kick going high.

Paul Zammit’s side created their last opportunity in the additional time. Llyelwlyn Cremona’s effort from inside the penalty area ended up over.

Birkirkara starting line-up: David Cassar, Cain Attard, Kurt Zammit, Lucas Verone Maia, Nikola Vukanac, Matthew Guillaumier (Llyewlyn Cremona -63), Mislav Andelkovic, Ryan Scicluna, Jake Grech (Ryan Camenzuli -65), Carlos Allberto Da Silva Concalves Alves, Fabiano  Montero De Oliveira (Luke Montebello – 80)

Balzan starting line-up: Ivan Janjusevic, Justin Grioli (Milos Lepovic – 75), Elkin Orlando Serrano Valero, Alfred Effiong, Uros Ljubomirac, Ryan Fenech (Michael Johnson – 90), Bojan Kaljevic, Bruno Gilio de Oliveira, Paul Fenech, Carlos Eduardo De Fiori Mendes, Samir Arab (Steven Bezzina – 44)

Referee: Glen Tonna

Assistant Referees: Mitchell Scerri, Ryan Aquilina

Fourth Official: Ishmael Barbara

Yellow Cards: Kurt Zammit (Birkirkara), Matthew Gaillaumier (Birkirkara), Lucas Verone Maia (Birkirkara), Carlos Alberto Da Silva Concalves (Birkirkara), Fabiano Montero De Oliveira (Birkirkara), Ryan Fenech (Balzan), Nikola Vukanac (Balzan), Carlos Eduardo De Fiori Mendes (Balzan), lywelyn Cremona (Birkirkara)

BOV Player of the Match: Ryan Scicluna (Birkirkara)