BOV Premier League | Sliema Wanderers 1 – Balzan 2

Balzan’s good run of results continued with a 2-1 win over Sliema Wanderers.

Ivan Bozovic of Balzan challenging Gabriel Aquilina for the ball. Photo: Christine Borg
Ivan Bozovic of Balzan challenging Gabriel Aquilina for the ball. Photo: Christine Borg

Balzan nearly went ahead after eleven minutes. Debutant Ivan Bozovic sent a cross in the direction of Bojan Kaljevic who headed the ball slightly over.

Kaljevic went close again on the 15th minute. The Montenegrin striker received the ball from Uros Ljubomirac and headed off target once more.

Kaljevic kept on insisting and was denied from scoring by Glenn Zammit on the 22nd minute. The Balzan player received the ball inside the penalty area and hit a shot that was parried by Sliema’s shot stopper.

Sliema were forced to make an early substitution on the half hour mark as Jonathan Pearson suffered an injury. Debutant Ashong Ni Nortey took his his place.

Balzan went close again on the 35th minute. Alfred Effiong went inside the penalty area but could not conclude as he was pressed by a number of Sliema defenders. The ball fell for Ljubomirac whose powerful shot went over.

Two minutes later, Effiong went inside the penalty area down the left flank and fired a shot that hit the side netting.

Balzan lost a golden opportunity to go ahead on the 41st minute. Following a cross from the right flank, Effiong’s header was cleared off the line to the disbelief of Balzan’s supporters who were already celebrating.

Marco Micovic’s side started the second half where they left off the first one and had a good chance on the 51st minute. Ljubomirac served Da Paixao Alves inside the penalty area and the latter hit a low shot that went centimetres off target.

On the 63rd minute, Kaljevic received the ball inside the penalty area and fired a powerful drive that went over.

Sliema’s first chance of the match was created on the 66th minute. Matias Muchardi sent a shot from distance that ended up marginally over.

However, Balzan’s efforts paid up a minute later. Da Paixao Alves passed the ball towards Ljubomirac whose shot from inside the penalty area gave Zammit no chance.

Sliema nearly equalised on the 81st minute. Michele Sansone ran down the left flank and hit a shot that went slightly wide.

Sansone had a similar attempt on the 86th minute, but his effort was neutralised by Sean Mintoff.

Balzan made sure of the three points on the 89th minute. Kaljevic sent an excellent through ball towards Ljubomirac who finished past Zammit.

The Wanderers pulled one back in the additional time given by the referee. Muchardi hit a stunning shot from a free-kick that went behind Mintoff.

Following this result, Balzan will remain first with thirty seven points.

Sliema Wanderers starting line-up: Glenn Zammit, Stefano Bianchardi, Matias Muchardi, Frank Temile, Nikolae Milincenau, Gabriel Aquilina (Frenci Qeros – 71), Michele Sansone, Peter Xuereb (Kurt Shaw – 90), Jonathan Pearson (Ashong Ni Nortey – 30), John Mintoff, Goran Adamovic

Balzan starting line-up: Sean Mintoff, Steve Bezzina, Alfred Effiong (Siraj Eddin Arab – 87), Elkin Serrano Valero, Uros Ljubomirac, Ivan Bozovic (Justin Grioli – 70), Bojan Kaljevic, Paul Fenech, Milos Lepovic, Bruno Gilio de Oliveira, Alex Da Paixao Alves (Michael Johnson – 89)

Referee: Alan Mario Sant

Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Paul Apap

Fourth Official: Darryl Agius

BOV Player of the Match: Bojan Kaljevic (Balzan)

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