Malta Football Association
Balzan’s late flourish leaves spirited Stripes reeling
Nov 5, 2017
Posted in:
BOV Premier League
Photo: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
Photo: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

  • Photo: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
  • Photo: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

BALZAN        2


Balzan extended their positive run but they had to fight hard to see off a spirited Birkirkara side in a come-from-behind 2-1 win at the Centenary Stadium.

A high-tempo match at the Centenary Stadium saw Balzan make the better start but Alfred Effiong and Justin Grioli were denied by Birkirkara goalkeeper David Cassar.


The Stripes settled as the first half moved on.


On 22 minutes, midfielder Matthew Guillaumier released Jake Grech whose shot was pushed away for a corner by Balzan goalkeeper Ivan Janusevic.


Birkirkara were now on top and their efforts were rewarded three minutes from the end of the first half. Fabiano Montero De Oliveira crossed the ball into the box, Grech squared to Guillaumier who hammerred the ball home at the far post.


Balzan came close to an equaliser seconds from half-time when De Fiori Mendes’s header was saved by Cassar.


The second half was balanced but Balzan increased their pressure for an equaliser in the final 15 minutes.


Bruno Giglio de Oliveira’s free-kick ended wide eight minutes from time.


The match changed completely in the last six minutes as Balzan scored twice in the space of three minutes.


Paul Fenech’s looping cross found Montenegerin striker Bojan Kaljevic who anticipated goalkeeper Cassar and his glancing header dropped into the net.


Three minutes later, Balzan went ahead when Carlos De Fiori Mendes’s swerving free-kick from the left seeped past a clutch of players and eluded Cassar’s dive.


Balzan held out for the win that keeps them in the title hunt while Birkirkara left the pitch heartbroken after finishing empty-handed despite a bold performance.


LIJA ATHLETIC          3


Lija Athletic produced a terrific comeback as they recovered from two goals down to beat Tarxien Rainbows 3-2, their first win of the season.


The first half belonged to Tarxien Rainbows as they established a 2-0 lead while Lija were reduced to 10 men.


Tarxien took the lead midway into the first half when Artur Benes’s lob had the better of goalkeeper Luke Bonnici but the ball came off the woodwork. Ryan Darmanin was on hand to head home. 


A minute later, Lija’s Arjon Beu was dismissed after earning a second yellow card for a reckless tackle.


Tarxien looked to have closed the match when, from a a corner action, Godwin Mckay profited from a goalmouth scramble to score from close range.


Lija pulled one back four minutes into the second half when, from a corner from the left taken by Lee Joe Schembri, Patrick Borg produced a powerful header that sailed past Christian Cassar, the Tarxien goalkeeper.


Lija levelled matters in the 66th minute thanks to Raphael Kooh Sohna. His first shot came off the post but the Cameroonian was first to the rebound and fired home.


Things got worse for Tarxien as they were also reduced to 10 men 16 minutes from time. Sean Cipriott was sent off for two bookings.


That looked that but, in stoppage time, Lija scored the winner with Kooh Sohna beating Cassar with a powerful header.

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