Brazilian striker Pedro dos Santos Calcado scored twice in the final six minutes enabled Balzan Youths to collect three precious points in a 2-0 win over Qormi. Three points which put the Youths just three points behind the same Qormi.
For Stephen Azzopardi’s side, this was a disappointing result following a fine 2-0 win over Qormi earlier this week. They are still fourth but could be overtaken by Birkirkara who have a game in hand.
The match was controlled by referees from Macedonia as part of an exchange programme between the two countries.
Qormi held the initiative during the first half and on the 6th minute, Joseph Chetcuti served Jorge Pereira da Silva with a through pass but the latter’s cross in front of goal did not find any takers. On the 13th, Camilleri turned into a corner a Matthew Bartolo effort from the right.
Joseph Chetcuti headed just wide off a corner by Jorge Pereira da Silva on 24 minutes. Three minutes later, Matthew Camilleri turned a Stephen Wellman effort into a corner with some difficulty. On the half-hour, a cross by Pereira da Silva was met by Abubaker Bello Osagie whose feeble attempt ended off target.
Two minutes in the second half, a Jeffrey Chetcuti effort from outside the penalty area was neutralised by Matthew Camillieri. Shots by Pedrinho and Jonathan Bondin then missed the target for Balzan. A free kick by Pedrinho ended just over the bar on 76 minutes and seven minutes later, Kris Bright headed just wide off a free kick by Pedrinho.
The game seemed heading for a draw but Balzan had other thoughts as six minutes from time, Pedro dos Santos Calcado managed to beat Steve Sultana with a great direct free kick.
On the 90th, in a counter-attack for Qormi, Pedro Calcado advanced from midfield and despite being closely followed by a defender, he managed to beat the Qormi goalkeeper with a low shot.
Matthew Camilleri was voted BOV Player of the Match.
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BALZAN Matthew Camillieri, Clifton Ciantar (65’ Bjorn Bondin), Renie Forace, Yessous Camilleri, Roderick Farrugia, Bledjon Guga, Nikola Tasic, Dylan Grima, David Fenech (46’Miguel Ciantar), Pedro Dos Santos Calcado, Fagner Lins Bernardes (46’ Kris Bright).
Subs not used: Fredrick Tabone, Lydon Micallef, Silvan Ciscaldi, Jonathan Francica.
Coach: Joe Borg
Team Manager: Ivan Zammit
QORMI Steve Sultana, Jeffrey Chetcuti, Roderick Sammut, Matthew Bartolo, Joseph Chetcuti, Kenneth Scicluna, Dino Cachia, Jonathan Bondin, Jorge Pereira da Silva, Stephen Wellman, Abubakar Bello-Osagie (59’ Charlon Sammut).
Subs not used: Matthew Farrugia, Carmelo Farrugia, George Chircop, Ranier Buhagiar, Jeremy Farrugia, Gabriel Buttigieg.
Coach: Stephen Azzopardi
Referee: Faton Mustafi (MKD)
Assistant Referees: Dejan Kostadinov (MKD), Andrej Giev (MKD)
Fourth Official: Dejan Jakimovski (MKD)
Yellow Cards: Chetcuti, Tasic, Calcado, Wellman, Sammut
Scorers: 84’ Pedro dos Santos Calcado; 90’ Pedro dos Santos Calcado
Meanwhile in the first match, Sliema Wanderers and Mqabba shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw.
The Wanderers lacked no less than seven players, namely the suspended Steve Bezzina, Josef Mifsud, Cleavon Frendo and Danial Mitev and the injured Alex Muscat, Rumen Galabov and Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza. Mqabba, on the other hand, were in full strength.
The Wanderers had the first attempt at goal when off a Jackson Lima corner from the right, Jerry Ani’s header bounced in front of the goalkeeper and just over the bar.
Sliema took the lead on the 5th minute thanks to a Roderick Bajada free kick who managed to slot the ball through the small gap between goalkeeper Kris Calleja and the upright.
Mqabba replied with a Thiago Mazzitelli free kick which was turned into a corner by Bonello on the 8th minute. An angled shot by Rene Duca from the left was blocked into a corner by the Sliema goalkeeper on 16 minutes.
Six minutes in the second half, Jackson Lima tested Calleja with a free kick from the left but the Mqabba goalkeeper blocked his attempt.
Mqabba levelled matters when off a Bojan Mamic corner from the left, Thiago dos Santos Mazzitelli headed the ball home from close range.
Five minutes from time, Branislav Timotic headed the ball in the direction of Bojan Mamic whose first-time effort scraped past the upright.
Thiago dos Santos Mazzitelli was voted BOV Player of the Match.
MQABBA Kris Calleja, Mauro Bonnici, Claudio Calleja, Branislav Timotic, John Paul Muscat (59’ Shawn Magro), Rene Duca (44′ Marlon Briffa), Marko Potezica, David Azzopardi, Bojan Mamic, Ryan Sammut, Thiago dos Santos Mazzitelli.
Subs not used: Franklin Azzopardi, Clayton Micallef, Mark Anthony Psaila, Pierre Grima, Omar Farrugia.
Coach: Clive Mizzi
Asst. Coach: Renzo Kerr Cumbo
SLIEMA Henry Bonello, Beppe Muscat, Andrew Caligari, Julian Biffa (70‘ Dejan Vukovic), Mark Scerri, Ryan Grech, Roderick Bajada (87′ David Spiteri), Jackson Lima Sequeira, Jorge Santos Silva, Jeremiah Ani.
Subs not used: Anthony Curmi, Keane Cutajar, Dillon Grech, Ryan Dalli, Timothy Thomas.
Coach: Danilo Doncic
Asst. Coach: Saviour Debono Grech
Referee: Malcolm Spiteri
Assistant Referees: Christopher Francalanza, Alex Grech
Fourth Official: Paul Caruana
Yellow Cards: Bonnici, Potezica, Grech, Vukovic
Scorers: 5’ Roderick Bajada, 69’ Thiago Mazzitelli