BOV Premier League | Balzan 1 – Gudja United 0

Balzan bounced back from two consecutive defeats with a narrow 1-0 win over Gudja United.

Photo: Dominic Borg
Photo: Dominic Borg

Balzan started the match looking to bounce back from two defeats. Jacques Scerri’s men lost against Valletta and Gzira in their previous two encounters.

On the other hand, Gudja are still chasing their first win in the league. The newly promoted team drew their first four games and lost their previous match against Floriana.

The first half was quite balanced with neither team creating much opportunities on goal. In fact, the majority of possession was shared inside the centre of the pitch.

Gudja Created the first chance of the match after twelve minutes. Gabriel Mensah made space for himself inside the penalty area before firing an angled shot that sailed wide.

Balzan replied three minutes later. Ricardo Calixto Correa Duarte’s delivery went into the path of Ivan Bozovic whose effort was saved by Timothy Aquilina.

Aquilina had to on the alert once again seconds later. Correa Duarte drilled a powerful strike that forced an excellent save from Gudja’s goalkeeper.

This was the last chance created during the first half as the score remained goalless up until the half-time whistle.

Balzan showed more urgency in the early stages of the second half and threatened Gudja on the 57th minute. Ivan Bozovic sent a through ball forward towards Stefan Dimic whose close range shot was blocked by Aquilina.

Arthur Faria Machado managed to open the score for Balzan just two minutes later. Alfred Effiong delivered a low cross in the path of the Brazilian who placed the ball past Aquilina.

Balzan remained superior and went close again on the 66th minute. Correa Duarte hit a powerful shot from distance that was parried by Aquilina.

On the 79th minute, Steve Pisani of Balzan tried his luck from distance, but his effort ended up wide.

Gudja protested heavily for a penalty on the 86th minute when Juan Andres Bolanos was floored by Nenad Sljivic inside the penalty area. However, the referee waved play on in what can be considered as a debatable decision.

This episode didn’t influence Balzan’s players as they remained solid at the back to take home the three points.

Balzan starting line-up: Sean Mintoff, Augustine Loof, Aleksandar Kosoric, Nenad Sljivic, Steve Pisani, Steven Bezzina, Alfred Effiong, Ivan Bozovic, Stefan Dimic, Ricardo Calixto Duarte (Ryan Scicluna-78), Arthur Faria Machado (Zachary Grech-88)

Gudja United starting line-up: Tomothy Aquilina, Jonathan Bondin, Dylan Grima (Tariq Al Mahrooqi-64), Winchester Rundell, Gabriel Mensah (Peter Paul Sammut-83) , Anderson De Barros, Hubert Vella, Llyewelyn Cremona (Miguel Jimenez-72), Juan Andres Bolanos, Justin Grioli, Allan Ricardo Miranda

Referee: Stefan Pace

Assistant Referees: Mitchell Scerri, Ivan Galea

Fourth Official: Trustin Farrugia Cann

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