A goal eight minutes in added time enabled Balzan to rescue a point in a 2-2 draw with Tarxien Rainbows at the Hibernians Stadium on Tuesday. A draw which enables Oliver Spiteri’s side to extend their unbeaten run to ten matches although their winning streak was brought to an end.
Balzan therefore stay in third place but Birkirkara could join them should they beat Floriana on Wednesday. Tarxien Rainbows, on the other hand, remain in sixth place.
Samir Arab and Pedro dos Santos Calcado were back for Balzan after serving a one-match ban. Tarxien, on the other hand, lacked Carlos Menendez Hevia.
Balzan took the lead on the 13th minute when the Tarxien defence failed to clear the ball off a cross from the left by Pedro Calcado, Lydon Micallef served Alfred Effiong whose acrobatic shot hit the crossbar before the ball ended at the back of the net.
Tarxien equalised one minute from half-time when Joao Pedro Oliveira Santos surprised goalkeeper Ivan Janjusevic with a freekick from the left.
The Rainbows forged ahead on the 79th when Luke Montebello served Alex Nilsson from the left and the latter’s curved shot gave goalkeeper Ivan Janjusevic no chance.
Six minutes in added time, both sides had a player sent off as Balzan’s Samir Arab and Tarxien’s Alex da Paixao Alves both were given marching orders by referee Fyodor Zammit.
However the game was not over yet as two minutes later, Balzan equalised when off a cross by Paul Fenech from the left, the ball ended at the back of the net, probably following a slight deflection by a defender.
BALZAN Ivan Janjusevic, Justin Grioli, Paul Fenech, Steve Bezzina, Dylan Grima, Alfred Effiong, Bojan Kaljevic (59′ Luke Sciberras), Pedro dos Santos Calcado, Lydon Micallef, Elkin Serrano, Samir Arab.
Subs not used: Christian Cassar, Maxim Focsa, Clive Brincat, Sean Cipriott, Courage Oneruanzoje, Gary Camilleri.
Coach: Oliver Spiteri
TARXIEN Andrea Cassar, Ebiabowei Baker, Bruno Giglio de Oliveira, Triston Caruana, Brandon Muscat, Alex Nilsson (87′ Matthew Tabone), Ayrton Azzopardi, Daniel Zerafa, Alex da Paixao Alves, Joao Pedro Oliveira Santos (90+2′ Claudio Frances), John Mintoff (75′ Luke Montebello).
Subs not used: Sean Mintoff, Manuel Caruana, Roderick Bajada, Ryan Spiteri.
Coach: Jacques Scerri
Referee: Fyodor Zammit
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, William Debattista
Additional Assistant Referees: Sandro Spiteri, Etienne Mangion
Fourth Official: Sammy Attard
Yellow Cards: B. Muscat, Nilsson, Grioli
Red Cards: 90+6′ Samir Arab, 90+6′ Alex da Paixao Alves
Scorers: 13′ Alfred Effiong, 44′ Joao Pedro Oliveira Santos, 79′ Alex Nilsson, 90+8′ Paul Fenech
BOV Player of the Match: Pedro dos Santos Calcado