BOV Premier League | Sliema Wanderers 1 – Balzan 3

Balzan came from behind to secure an important 3-1 win over Sliema Wanderers.

The second match at the Hibernians stadium saw the teams of Sliema Wanderers and Balzan facing off each other. Unlike previous seasons, the Wanderers are being more consistent and came into this match sitting fourth. They were coming from a 2-0 win over bottom side Senglea Athletic.

The same cannot be said for Balzan. During this campaign, Balzan struggled to gain consistency are currently sixth. In light of this, they needed to register a win in this direct match if they are to secure at least a place inside the Europa League.

Sliema created the first chance of the match on the 11th minute. From a free-kick, Matias Muchardi unleashed a powerful shot that forced an excellent save from Steve Sultana.

Balzan hit back on the 37th minute. Alex Da Paixao Alves drilled a low shot from distance that was neutralised by Jake Galea.

Alves threatened Sliema again two minutes from half-time. The Brazilian hit a powerful shot that was parried by Jake Galea.

The post denied Balzan from scoring the first goal of the match on the brink of half-time. Sean Cipriott fired a shot from distance that stamped off the upright.

Sliema made a great start to the second half as they went ahead on the 48th minute. Muchardi’s shot from a free-kick went inside the net. The second assistant referee raised his flag for an offside. The referee went towards him to discuss the incident and decided to award the goal.

Moments later, Muchardi sent a shot from distance that ended up slightly wide.

Balzan equalised on the 68th minute. Following a congestion inside the penalty area, the ball went into the path of Alfred Effiong who placed the ball inside the net from close range.

Micovic’s men scored the winning goal on the 83rd minute. Sliema’s defence failed to clear their marks following a corner, Michael Johnson was at the right place at the right time and headed the ball home.

Balzan made sure of the three points one minute from time. Effiong went on an excellent run before delivering the ball towards Andrija Majdevac and the substitute hit a low shot that was deflected inside the net.

Following this result, Balzan are on level points with Sliema. Both sides earned twenty-two points so far.

Sliema Wanderers starting line-up: Jake Galea, Matias Muchardi, Kurt Shaw, Mark Scerri, Jefferson De Assis, Nii Nortey Ashong, Frank Temile, Michele Sansone, Claudio  Pani, Goran Adamovic, Stefano Biancardi

Balzan starting line-up: Steven Sultana, Justin Grioli, Nenad Sljivic, Alex Da Paixao Alves, Michael Johnson, Alfred Effiong, Uros Ljubomirac, Ivan Bozovic, Elkin Orlando Serrano Valero, Carlos De Fiori Mendes, Sean Cipriott

Referee: Philip Farrugia

Assistant Referees: Luke Portelli, Dusan Petrovic

Fourth Official: Darryl Agius

BOV Player of the Match: Matias Muchardi (Sliema)

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