The Malta Independent 22 January 2020, Wednesday

BOV Premier League: Balzan beat bottom placed Tarxien who remain without any points

Henry Brincat Sunday, 20 October 2019, 19:12 Last update: about 3 months ago
Photos: James Galea
Photos: James Galea

Tarxien          1
Balzan           3 

Tarxien: R. Briffa, M. Botta, T. Veronese, D. Mambouana, M. Murillo Torres, A. Andrejic, M. Tabone (C. Zahra 75), S. Shaba, N. Portelli (D. Tabone 89), B. Farrugia, M. Gomez

Balzan: S. Mintoff, A. Loof, A. Kosoric, S. Pisani, Z. Grech, U. Ljubomirac, I. Bozovic, R. Scicluna (A. Effiong 64), S. Dimic (M. Johnson 78), A. Faria (P. Fenech 64), A. Majdevac


Referee: M. Apap

Asst refs: P. Apap, M. Ciantar

4th official: S. Petrovic

Scorers: A. Majdevac 22 pen., 86, D. Mambouane 53, A. Effiong 66

Yellow cards: B. Farrugia 30, S. Pisani 57,

BOV Player of the Match: U. Ljubomirac

TMI Top 3: 1. U. Ljubomirac, 2. A. Kosoric, 3. A. Andrejic

Attendance: 831

Alfred Effiong and Andrija Madjevac were Balzan's heroes yesterday as their side beat bottom placed Tarxien 3-1 to keep the latter firmly anchored to the bottom of the standings without any points.

Effiong had just entered as a substitute in the 66th minute when he put his side 2-1 ahead, that is, only four minutes after Tarxien had equalised. Majdevac had given Balzan the lead in the first half from a penalty and then he scored the third and final goal in the final minutes.

Thanks to this win, Balzan have moved onto the 10-point mark in the standings.

The match had a very quiet start and in the first half, actions in front of goal were few and far between.

It was one of the most mediocre matches seen so far this season with a lot of midfield play.

Balzan were perhaps the more methodical side, but they could only find the net through a penalty midway through the first half.

Tarxien were faster on the ball, but their strikers lacked precision although they rarely found their way past a strong Balzan rearguard which proved to be a veritable shield in front of goalie Sean Mintoff.

In the second half, Tarxien improved and appeared to be more determined taking the initiative right from the start.

They certainly deserved to equalise, but after Effiong's goal for Balzan, they seemed to be tired and never reacted seriously to try and save a point.

The first action arrived in the 14th minute when Uros Ljubomirac advanced into the Tarxien area, but his shot from the angle was well saved by goalie Rudy Briffa.

In the 21st minute, Balzan were awarded a penalty when Matthew Tabone floored Andrija Majdevac in the area. Referee Apap did not hesitate to point to the dreaded spot. The same Majdevac made no mistake from the spotkick.

Soon after, Tarxien had a chance to level the score. From a good cross by Aleksa Andrejic, it was Stiv Shaba who headed wide from a good position.

At the other end, a shot by Arthur Faria went wide.

Just before the interval, in a fast breakaway, Ljubomirac advanced on the right flank and crossed perfectly for Majdevac to control the ball well only to see his effort being blocked by goalie Briffa.

Soon after the start of the second half, Andrejic had a shot going well over the bar. And moments later, Brooke Farrugia went even closer as his cross-shot was saved by goalie Sean Mintoff with the help of the crossbar.

Tarxien were rewarded for their efforts in the 53rd minute when from a Thomas Veronese freekick, Destin Mambouane rose above friend and foe to head past Mintoff.

Tarxien insisted on attack and on 62 minutes, from a Murillo corner, Matthew Tabone saw his header going just wide.

Balzan were back in the lead on 66 minutes. After a Kosoric shot hit the post, it was substitute Alfred Effiong who received a good pass from Stefan Dimic, beat a defender and then found the net with an unstoppable shot.

Tarxien went close to obtaining a second equaliser on 71 minutes, when Mintoff fumbled a ball which went out to Nevin Portelli, whose weak effort was easily cleared from over the line by Kosoric.

At the other end, Effiong set Dimic in the Tarxien area, but his shot was saved by Briffa.

In the 81st minute, Majdevac missed a good chance to assure his side of the three points, but after going round the onrushing Briffa, he hit the ball wide of an empty goal.

Balzan made sure of the points in the 86th minute with a third goal. It was Ljubormirac who crossed perfectly for the unmarked Majdevac to flick into the net.

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