BOV Premier League | Birkirkara 3 – Balzan 3

Kristijan Naumovski rescued a point for his side deep into stoppage time as Balzan and Birkirkara shared the spoils in a 3-3 draw.

Photo: Christine Borg
Photo: Christine Borg

Birkirkara came into this match looking to bounce back from two consecutive defeats. Such defeats also forced John Buttigieg to offer his resignation. Andreas Paus took charge of the team.

On the other hand, Balzan won against Sliema in their opening match. However, they lost to Floriana prior to the international break.

Balzan made a flying start to the match as they forged ahead after 6 minutes. Debutant Luke Montebello fired a shot from the edge of the penalty area that sailed past Andrew Hogg.

Birkirkara replied on the 14th minute. Michael Mifsud drilled a low shot from inside the penalty area that ended up marginally off target.

On the 19th minute, Ricardo Calixto Correa Duarte of Balzan fired a shot from a free-kick that failed to hit the target.

Seconds later, Montebello sent a volley that nearly stunned Hogg, but the ball stamped off the post.

Balzan kept on insisting and threatened Birkirkara once more on the 35th minute. Montebello received a low cross from the right and fired a shot that went high.

Birkirkara drew level on the 37th minute. Federico Falcone drilled a low shot from inside the penalty area that rolled inside the bottom corner.

Balzan hit back immediately and had a goal disallowed as Aleksandar Kosoric was judged to be in an offside position.

The Stripes forged ahead on the brink of half-time following a howler by Balzan’s goalkeeper. Miguel Angel Alba hit a low shot which was easy for Kristijan Naumovski to neutralise. However, the ball rolled past his legs and ended up inside the net.

Balzan started the second half on the offensive in their attempts to equalise. They succeeded on the 57th minute. Ricardo Calixto Correa Duarte fired a stunning shot that gave Hogg no chance.

The Stripes created an opportunity on the 76th minute. Michael Mifsud’s low shot was blocked by Naumovski.

Four minutes later, Henrique Prado was played through down the right side of the penalty area and sent a shot that went marginally wide.

Birkirkara regained their lead on the 86th minute. Ryan Scicluna floored Prado inside the penalty area and the referee pointed towards the spot. Alba took charge of the spot kick and converted.

Naumovski managed to equalise for his side deep into stoppage time. Balzan won a corner and the goalkeeper decided to join his team mates in attack. Lydon Micallef’s delivery was met by the Macedonaian goalkeeper who headed past Hogg.

Birkirkara starting line-up: Andrew Hogg, Enrico Pepe, Maurizio Vella, Michael Mifsud, Federico Falcone, Cain Attard, Henrique Prado, Matias Carniello (Gianluca Bugeja-77), Miguel Angel Alba (Kurt Zammit-89), Ryan Fenech, Isaac Ntow

Balzan starting line-up: Kristijan Naumovski, Aleksandar Kosoric, Steven Bezzina, Michale Johnson, Paul Fenech (Lydon Micallef-90), Alfred Effiong (Andrija Majdevac-67), Uros Ljubomirac, Ivan Bozovic, Ricardo Calixto Correa Duarte, Arthur Faria Machado (Ryan Scicluna-77), Luke Montebello

Referee: Philip Farrugia

Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Thomas Debono

Fourth Official: Andrea Sciriha

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