Alan da Silva Souza notched a hat-trick as Balzan defeated Pembroke Athleta 5-2 at the National Stadium on Sunday to regain the top spot in the BOV Premier League.
Balzan had three changes from the team which defeated Mosta as Christian Cassar, Steve Bezzina and Paul Fenech replaced Ivan Janjusevic, Samir Arab and the suspended Ryan Fenech. Pembroke, on the other hand, once again had various changes with Matthew Calleja Cremona, Adrian Borg, Owen Bugeja, Brooke Farrugia and Paltemio Barbetti making way for Fredrick Tabone, Miguel Attard, Daren Falzon, Zoran Levnaic and Sunday Eboh.
Balzan took the lead on the 11th minute thanks to Alan da Silva Souza whose cross shot from the left gave goalkeeper Fredrick Tabone no chance.
Seven minutes later, Pembroke equalised when off a Daren Falzon corner from the left, Go Nagaoka hit home from close range.
Balzan regained the lead three minutes from the end of the first half when Alan da Silva Souza received the ball inside the area and slotted the ball past Fredrick Tabone from close range.
On the hour, Alan da Silva Souza concluded a great solo effort on the left by rounding three players before beating the Pembroke custodian for the third Balzan goal.
Bojan Kaljevic made it 4-1 on the 65th minute when off a cross from the right by Matteo Piciollo, Alfred Effiong served Abdeklarim Nafti who released the Montenegrin striker to slot home with an angled shot from the left.
On the 74th minute, Balzan scored the fifth goal thanks to Matteo Piciollo, served on the right by Lydon Micallef, whose rising shot from a close angle gave the Pembroke goalkeeper no chance.
Daren Falzon scored a second goal for Pembroke on the 83rd thanks to a direct freekick from the left which surprised the Balzan goalkeeper.
PEMBROKE Fredrick Tabone, Miguel Attard (66′ Zachary Grech), Daren Falzon, Panagiotis Giannopoulos, Raphael Kooh Sohna, Zoran Levnaic, Daniane Jawad, Iraklis Roppas, Go Nagaoka (75′ Tyrone Fenech), Tonci Radovnikovic, Sunday Eboh.
Subs not used: Matthew Calleja Cremona, Neil M. Micallef,, Neil Grech, Matthew Buhagiar, Shaun Pace.
Coach: Artim Shakiri
BALZAN Christian Cassar, Clive Brincat (70′ Justin Grioli), Samir Arab, Bojan Kaljevic, Anderson Francisco de Barros, Steve Bezzina, Alan da Silva Souza (63′ Abdelkarim Nafti), Matteo Piciollo, Elkin Serrano Valero, Paul Fenech, Alfred Effiong (68′ Lydon Micallef).
Subs not used: Ivan Janjusevic, Terence Agius, Dylan Grima, Sean Cipriott.
Coach: Oliver Spiteri
Referee: Stefan Pace
Assistant Referees: Paul Apap, Dusan Petrovic
Fourth Official: Fyodor Zammit
Yellow Cards: Serrano, Levnaic, Brincat
BOV Player of the Match: Alan da Silva Souza