The Malta Independent 21 September 2019, Saturday

BOV Premier League: Two headers set Balzan on the right track

Chris Cassar Saturday, 24 August 2019, 22:31 Last update: about 27 days ago
Photo: Domenic Aquilina
Photo: Domenic Aquilina

Balzan                   2
Sliema W             1

Balzan: K. Naumovski, A. Kosoric, N. Sljivic (G. Camilleri 81'), S. Bezzina, P. Fenech, A. Effiong, U. Ljubomirac, I. Bozovic, R. Scicluna (M. Johnson 46'), S. Dimic, R. Correa Duarte (L. Micallef 65')

Sliema W: J. Galea, M. Sansone, A. Stelitano, K. Shaw, M. Scerri (K. Amehi 81'), J. Pereira, J. Cisotti (R. Fenech 64'), J. Gill, S. Miloskovic, C. Pani (E. Agius 61'), J.P. Farrugia

Referee: Matthew Degabriele

Ass. Referees: Christopher Francalanza, Darko Stankovic

Fourth Official: Mario Apap

Scorers: A. Kosoric 25', S. Dimic 68', J.P. Farrugia 85'

Yellow cards: S. Miloskovic, M. Scerri, A. Effiong, A. Stelitano, P. Fenech, J. Gill, I. Bozovic, K. Shaw

Player of the match: Aleksander Kosoric (Balzan)

TMI Best three: 1. U. Ljubomirac, 2. A. Kosoric, 3. M. Scerri

Attendance: 488

Balzan beat Sliema with a goal in each half to start the new season on the right track, in a amatch that never reached high standards. Played at a rather slow pace, Balzan were the better team even though their overall performance never really reached high standards.

Something more was expected from the Wanderers, even though their late forcing almost earned them a surprise draw. Balzan however should have sealed the issue in stoppage time but Alfred Effiong had a penalty saved by Sliema goalkeeper Jake Galea.

Sliema opened with a good move between Pani and Pereira with the latter's shot hitting the side netting. Sliema were rather dangerous in their sorties with Balzan unable to impress in the first quarter of the game.

Mark Scerri gave a good ball to Cisotti whose grounder missed the base of the upright by a whisker. On 25 minutes Balzan forged ahead in their first real danger when from a Dimic corner, Kosoric on the far post, rose above all to head home.

This goal gave Balzan the much needed confidence as they were now in control of the midfield sector even though the game was rather scrappy at this phase. On 38 minutes Correa had a good move with Bezzina before testing Jake Galea with a low drive.

In the second half Sliema were more aggressive and went for the equaliser. Jean Paul Farrugia had a good opportunity, losing control of the ball when well placed, but he still managed to serve Cisotti whose effort was blocked by Naumovski.

On 54 minutes Jean Paul Farrugia again lost a good chance with Naumovski charging out of position to block the danger. On 68 minutes Balzan scored the second goal. It was a good move by Ivan Bozovic who crossed towards Stefan Dimic who nipped in beautifully to head home with the ball hitting the underpart of the crossbar before finishing at the back of the net.

Two minutes later a Lyden Micallef deflected shot almost deceived the Sliema custodian. Sliema staged a late rally and managed to pull one back five minutes from time when Jean Paul Farrugia headed beautifully home a Ryan Fenech corner.

Deep in stoppage tiem Alfred Effiong won a penalty when he was pulled down by Kurt Shaw, but from the penalty spot Alfred Effiong's central effort was well saved by the Sliema custodian.

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