Balzan moved temporarily on top the BOV Premier League table as they registered a narrow defeat over Pietà Hotspurs.
For the Hotspurs, who were coming from two consecutive draws, this was the third defeat.
Both sides had two changes from their last outing as Nenad Sljvic and the suspended Milos Lepovic for Balzan were replaced by Justin Grioli and Ricardo Correa who was back after serving a three-match ban while Neil Pace Cocks and Juan Manuel Artiaga Roa were preferred to Dylan Agius and Nicholas Pisani.
Balzan took the lead five minutes from time thanks to Alfred Effiong who received an assist inside the area and hit low past Pietà custodian Nicky Vella.
Two minutes in added time, Michael Johnson pulled substitute Clyde Bouvet down inside the area; referee Darryl Agius ordered a penalty but Christian Grech’s effort from the penalty spot was turned by Steve Sultana into a corner.
BALZAN Steve Sultana, Justin Grioli (46’ Elkin Serrano Valero), Dale Camilleri, Alex da Paixao Alves, Steve Bezzina (82’ Yudai Miyamoto), Michael Johnson, Alfred Effiong, Uros Ljubomirac, Ivan Bozovic, Ricardo Calixto Correa Duarte (64’ Sean Cipriott), Andrija Majdevac.
Subs not used: Sean Mintoff, Julian Camilleri, Siraj Arab Eddin, Zak Grech.
Coach: Marko Micovic
PIETÀ Nicky Vella, Ose Takaki, Travis Bartolo, Neil Pace Cocks (90+2’ Clyde Bouvet), Paul Chimezie, Jan Busuttil, Juan Manuel Artiaga Roa (86’ Jake Ghio), Christian Grech, Shunsuke Nakamura (77’ Nicholas Pisani), Ishaya Irimiya Jalo, Antonio Orlando de Queiroz Macedo Neto.
Subs not used: Jacob Chircop St John, Christian Degabriele, Dylan Agius, Ayrton Mizzi.
Coach: Ramon Zammit
Referee: Darryl Agius
Assistant Referees: Roberto Vella, Duncan Spencer
Fourth Official: Keith Montebello
Yellow Cards: Chimezie
BOV Player of the Match: Alex da Paixao Alves