Ljubomirac brace keeps Balzan in pole position

Published: 14-01-2018 10:00
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SLIEMA WANDERERS 1BALZAN                        2A well-taken brace from Uros Ljubomirac ensured Balzan stayed top of the BOV Premier League after a 2-1 win over Sliema Wanderers. After a goalless first half, Balzan found their scoring touch in the second with Ljubomirac putting them ahead on 66 minutes following a good move involving Alfred Effiong and Alex Alves De Paixao. In the dying stages, Ljubomirac scored his second, beating Glenn Zammit after receiving from Kaljevic. Sliema scored a consolation goal in stoppage time thanks to a well-taken free-kick by Matias Muchardi which had the better of Sean Mintoff, the Balzan goalkeeper. BOV player of the match: Bojan Kaljevic (Balzan).NAXXAR LIONS 0VALLETTA          1 Valletta made hard work of beating a well-drilled Naxxar Lions team at the Victor Tedesco Stadium on Saturday. Santiago Malano’s goal midway into the first half separated the two sides as Valletta kept the pace with Balzan at the top while Naxxar remain in the bottom part of the standings. Argentine striker Miguel Angel Alba made his debut for Valletta while Naxxar Lions had Matheus Verissimo Casarotto making his first appearance. Valletta scored the winner midway into the first half when Malano fired a low shot past goalkeeper Christoph Nicht after being set up by Enmy Manuel Pena Beltre. In the second half, Naxxar came close to equalising when Moser’s looping header was saved by goalkeeper Henry Bonello with the aid of the upright. BOV player of the match: Yuri De Jesus Messias (Naxxar Lions). SAMB HITS BRACE IN GŻIRA WIN GŻIRA UNITED            3TARXIEN RAINBOWS 1 Gżira United fought back from a goal down to beat Tarxien Rainbows 3-1 at the Hibernians Stadium on Saturday. While Gżira consolidated third spot with this win, Tarxien slipped to their eighth defeat in nine matches to remain second from bottom. Midfielder Edison Bilbao Zarate made his bow for Gżira and Stefan Radovanovic made his first start for Tarxien. It was Tarxien who took the lead on the half-hour. Profiting from a misunderstanding in the Gżira defence, Eduard Calin served Ricardo Silva Faria whose initial shot was blocked but the Brazilian blasted home from the rebound. Gżira made it 1-1 before half-time. They were awarded a penalty after Matthew Spiteri fouled Andrew Cohen inside the area. Amadou Samb scored from the spot. The Senegalese put Gżira ahead on 67 minutes, heading home from close range following a corner. Eight minutes from time, Tarxien Rainbows were reduced to 10 after Macedonian defender Antonio Mitrev received a second yellow card. From the resulting freekick, Nikolai Muscat drilled his shot past goalkeeper Antonio Chetcuti to wrap up Gżira’s win. BOV player of the match: Ricardo Silva Faria (Tarxien Rainbows). HONOURS SHARED ĦAMRUN SPARTANS 1ST ANDREWS            1 Kemar Reid capped a man-of-the-match display with a fine goal as St Andrews held Ħamrun Spartans to a 1-1 draw at the Victor Tedesco Stadium on Saturday. Ħamrun opened the scoring in after 10 minutes. Julian Galea’s cross unnerved the Saints defence as Davide Succi sprinted through to hit past St Andrews goalkeeper Matthew Calleja Cremona. The first time the Saints threatened was just past the half-hour when Reid’s shot sailed past the upright. Nine minutes into the second half, Calleja Cremona stopped a dangerous shot from Spartans midfielder Terence Agius. St Andrews improved in the second half. They levelled matters on 57 minutes when Reid twisted his way past a host of Ħamrun defenders before rifling a low shot that gave Jake Galea no chance. BOV player of the match: Kemar Reid (St Andrews). SENGLEA MOVE CLEAR OF DANGER ZONE SENGLEA ATHLETIC 2LIJA ATHLETIC           0 Senglea Athletic moved further clear of the relegation zone after beating strugglers Lija Athletic 2-0 at the Centenary Stadium on Friday. The Yellow-Reds created the better opportunities in the early stages, going close with efforts form Gonzalo Virano, Peter Paul Sammut and Nicola Palmieri. In the first notable attack, Lija almost forged ahead. Raphael Kooh Sohna recovered possession and advanced but his shot hit the post and ended wide Nine minutes from half-time, Senglea took the lead with a direct free-kick from Virano. Six minutes into the second half, Lija were reduced to 10 men when defender Patrick Borg was sent off for a second booking. From the resultant freekick, Virano’s shot ended just wide. Senglea sealed their win three minutes from time when substitute Augusto Caseres found the back of the net following a free-kick. BOV player of the match: Gonzalo Virano (Senglea).