The Malta Independent 19 October 2019, Saturday

BOV Premier League: Dominant Citizens too much for Balzan

Simon Farrugia Saturday, 21 September 2019, 22:16 Last update: about 27 days ago
Photos: Jonathan Bugeja
Photos: Jonathan Bugeja

Balzan            0
Valletta          2

Balzan: K. Naumovski, A. Kosoric, N. Sljivic, S. Bezzina (L.Micallef 74'), P. Fenech, A. Effiong, U. Ljubomirac, I. Bozovic, R. Scicluna (M. Grima 74'), R. Correa, A. Faria Machado (L.Montebello 57')

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Valletta: H. Bonello, S. Borg, B. Kaljevic (K.Nwoko 82'), S. Dimech, J.Borg, E. Pena Beltre, J. Zerafa, R. Muscat (Y. Messias 77'),  I. Dzaria, M. Fontanella, K. Tulimieri (N. Pulis 68')

Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann   

Asst refs: Alan Camilleri, Luke Portelli

4th official: Emanuel Grech

Yellow Cards: Sljivic, Muscat, Borg J., Bozovic, Zerafa

Scorers:  Kaljevic 27', Dzaria 75'

BOV Player of the Match:  Mario Fontanella (Valletta)

TMI Best Players: 1. M. Fontanella         2.   S. Dimech                    3.    J. Borg

Attendance: 1,509

Valletta registered their second win when they defeated Balzan scoring a goal in each half and thus gaining three valuable points. It was a deserved win for the Citizens who offered the best football though they never set any bushes on fire.

Both teams were in search of three valuable points since they both had a rather bumpy start to this campaign.

Valletta lost to Santa Lucia in their first outing and after finding the winning touch against Sliema in their second match, last week the Citizens rescued a point against Floriana deep into stoppage time.

As for Balzan after a win in their first match against Sliema, lost against Floriana and saved a point in their last outing when their goalkeeper scored in added time against his ex-team Birkirkara.

Valletta went near in the 9th minute when Dimech pass was intercepted but only towards Dzaria whose shot from just outside the area went wide. Three minutes later a Correa Duarte corner was met by a free headed effort from Sljivic but his conclusion ended well over the bar.

Midway through the first half Fontanella sent a teasing cross in the area with the Balzan rearguard clearing with some difficulty but Dimech's header was saved with ease by Naumovski.

Valletta took the lead on 27 minutes when Dimech did the early running and passed towards Tulimieri who miskicked his cross but luckily found Fontanella with the Italian striker squaring towards Bojan Kaljevic who blasted home from close range.

Six minutes from the end of the first half Pena Beltre sent a low cross in the area with Fontanella's dummy finding Tulimieri but his shot ended on the side netting. Bonello had to make his first save in the 42nd minute when he turned onto a corner a Correa Duarte effort from close range.

Four minutes into the second half and Balzan threatened when a Bozovic cross found a completely unmarked Effiong but his headed just missed the target. And just past the hour a good solo run by Paul Fenech finished with his shot well over the bar.

Valletta were dominant in the midfield area and were rarely giving away possession. On 74 minutes a Pulis shot from outside the area was turned onto a corner by Naumovski. From the resultant corner Valletta doubled their lead. Pulis took charge and following a short clearance the ball fell into Dzaria's path who fired into the net.

And it was Naumovski who in the 80th minute saved on Kaljevic and avoided further embarrassment. Till the end Balzan looked a team without any ideas to come back into the match with Valletta cruising to their second win of the season.

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