BOV Premier League | Sliema Wanderers 1 - Balzan 2

In a match full of controversy, Balzan registered a 2-1 win over Sliema Wanderers that consolidated their place in the top half of the table. .

Photo: Christine Borg
Photo: Christine Borg

The second match at the Hibernians stadium saw the teams of Sliema and Balzan facing off each other.

Sliema made a disastrous start to the season and find themselves tenth in the table.

On the other end, Balzan struggled to gain consistency and are sitting mid-way through the table attempting to take a spot inside next season’s Europa League.

During the previous round, Balzan emerged winners as they secured a 2-1 win.

Balzan made a great start to the match and broke the deadlock after ten minutes. Luke Montebello exchanged possession with Uros Ljubomirac and the latter slotted the ball home from close range.

Sliema protested for a penalty on the 16th minute as Juri Cisotti was brought down inside the penalty area. The ball remained in their possession and Federico Vasilchik saw his close range shot being saved by Kristijan Naumovski.

Balzan lost the opportunity to double their advantage on the 28th minute. Kurt Shaw floored Arthur Faria Machado inside the penalty area and the referee signalled for a penalty. However, Andrija Majdevac’s shot from the eleven metres mark was pushed away by Entonjo Elezaj.

Scerri’s men remained superior and threatened Sliema again on the 35th minute. Ljubomirac was played through on goal down the right flank before firing a shot that was blocked by Sliema’s goalkeeper.

Ten minutes later, Majdevac sent a shot from inside the penalty area that sailed off target.

Balzan doubled their advantage four minutes into the second half. Faria Machado drilled a low cross in the direction of Luke Montebello who went round his marker and placed the ball past Elezaj.

Sliema pulled one back on the 67th minute. Claudi Zappa fired a low shot from distance that stunned Naumovski.

Balzan had a good chance to score again on the 75th minute. Majdevac made space for himself and sent a shot that went centimetres high.

Naumovski denied Sliema from equalising on the 77th minute. Cisotti hit a powerful shot from an angled position that forced a great save from Balzan’s goalkeeper.

Sliema had a goal disallowed on the 83rd minute. Zappa’s cross was met by Jean Paul Farrugia and the substitute headed the ball home. However, the goal was ruled out as the assistant referee raised his flag for an offside.

An argument took place on the 90th minute. The referee approach Sliema’s technical area and sent off one of the officials on the bench.

Sliema tried desperately to take something from the match during the latter stages; however, Balzan held firm to take home the three points.

Sliema Wanderers starting line-up: Entonjo Elezaj, Michele Sansone (Jea n Paul Farrugia-78), Alexander Satariano (Claudio Zappa-45), Kurt Shaw, John Mintoff, Mark Scerri, Federico Vasilchik, Juri Cisotto, Arthur Oyama, Claudio Pani (Edmond Agius-57), Goran Adamovic

Balzan starting line-up: Kristijan Naumovski, Augustine Loof. Nenad Sljivic, Steven Pisani, Steven Bzzina, Paul fenech, Uros Ljubomirac, Ivan Bozovic, Arthur Faria Machado (Dale Camilleri-80), Andrija Majdevac (Samir Arab-87), Luke Montebello (Alfred Effiong-72)

Referee: Emanuel Grech

Assistant Referees: Mitchell Scerri, Luke Portelli

Fourth Official: Philip Farrugia

BOV Player of the Match: Luke Montebello (Balzan)