Malta Football Association
It was important to win after difficult Hibs match – Spiteri
Apr 6, 2017
Posted in:
BOV Premier League
Photo: Joe Borg/MFA
Photo: Joe Borg/MFA

Balzan revived their title hopes after a 3-1 victory over Gżira United coupled with Valletta’s 1-0 defeat of Hibernians moved them to within two points off the top with five games remaining.

Back-to-back defeats to fellow title rivals Valletta and Hibernians looked to have jeopardised Balzan’s title challenge but the Reds stayed in contention after second-half goals by Abdelkarim Nafti, Lydon Micallef, from a penalty, and Bojan Kaljevic, on as a substitute, secured a 3-1 win over the erstwhile in-form Gżira United who scored a late consolation through Zachary Scerri.


Oliver Spiteri, the Balzan coach, was pleased with his team’s reaction after their disappointing defeat to Hibs.


“It was important for us to win this game after our difficult match last weekend,” Spiteri told


“In the Hibs game, I felt that we were denied two clear penalties.


“We needed to bounce back and the team reacted well. Having been in a top-two position throughout the season, it’s important that we end this championship in the best way possible and this is why it was imperative for us to win our game against Gżira.


“We are now looking forward to the Birkirkara game on Saturday with renewed optimism.”


Spiteri believes that the ability to deal with the pressure will play a key role in what promises to be a tense title run-in involving three clubs.


“We believe that we can maintain our challenge for the championship but, as I’ve said all along, it’s not easy for a modest club like Balzan,” Spiteri said.


“We will keep fighting. How you deal with the pressure during the title run-in could be decisive.


“This season’s championship has been balanced and competitive from the start and the final weeks may well produce more twists and turns. We will see.”


In the second game at the Victor Tedesco Stadium on Wednesday, Floriana pulled off a 2-1 win over Ħamrun Spartans to reduce the gap on fourth-placed Birkirkara to one point.


Alex Cini gave Floriana a 14th-minute lead but Mano Micallef equalised for the Spartans late in the opening half.


Midway into the second half, Floriana were awarded a penalty after Amadou Samb’s run into the box was halted by Jorginho.


Mario Fontanella hit home from the spot to wrap up the three points for the Greens who had several players missing.


Both teams finished the game with 10 men as Floriana’s Steve Pisani and Igor Misan, of Ħamrun Spartans, were sent off for two bookings.


Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Birkirkara beat Pembroke Athleta 2-0 while the clash between Sliema Wanderers and Tarxien Rainbows ended 1-1.

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