A brace by Brazilian striker Elton Alexandre da Silva enabled Balzan to turn defeat into victory as they beat Qormi 2-1 to register their first win in the BOV Premier League this season.
Photos: Copyright © Joe Borg / MFA
The team led by Ivan Zammit therefore brought to an end their disappointing start as they were coming from four consecutive defeats. For Qormi, this was the fourth defeat in five matches.
Pedrinho was back for Balzan after missing the last game but Stefan Giglio and Malcolm Licari were both unavailable.
Qormi had the first attempt at goal on the 4th when Gaetan Spiteri served Leighton Grech whose diagonal shot scraped past the post. Balzan replied with a low shot from inside the area by Elton Alexandre da Silva which was neutralised by Steve Sultana.
On the 9th minute, Qormi could have taken the lead when they were awarded a penalty after Yessous Camilleri handled the ball inside the area. However Vincenzo Pisani’s effort was neutralised by Matthew Camilleri with the ball ending into a corner.
However four minutes later, the Blacks managed to score as Pisani concluded a good move on the left with a pass for Abubakar Bello-Osagie who slotted the ball past goalkeeper Camilleri.
Balzan replied with a Renato Conceicao header ending just over the bar off a corner from the right by Pedrinho on 24 minutes. Two minutes later, Dylan Grima hit high off an inviting pass by Elton da Silva from the left. On the other side of the pitch, there was a short clearance off a Matthew Bartolo freekick and off the rebound, Gaetan Spiteri’s fine shot was turned into a corner by Matthew Camilleri.
On the 65th minute, Balzan restored equilibrium when Martin Deanov served the unmarked Elton Alexandre da Silva who hit low past goalkeeper Steve Sultana.
Balzan were then awarded a penalty on the 78th minute after Elton was brought down inside the area by Matthew Gauci.
Elton Alexandre da Silva was voted BOV Player of the Match.
QORMI Steve Sultana, Kris Thackray, Roderick Sammut, Matthew Bartolo, Vincenzo Pisani, Abubakar Bello-Osagie, Edison Bilbao Zarate, Gaetan Spiteri (67’ Joseph Chetcuti), Jonathan Bondin, Gabriel Buttigieg (82’ Luke Sciberras), Leighton Grech (72’ Matthew Gauci).
Subs not used: Matthew Farrugia, Carmelo Farrugia, Sebastian Aurelio Siritto, , Alessio Cassar.
Coach: Stephen Azzopardi
BALZAN Matthew Camilleri, Dylan Grima, Matthew Mendy, Rennie Forace, Jamie Pace, Yessous Camilleri, Bjorn Bondin, Renato Garcia Conceicao (74’ Aaron Agius), Christian Caruana (20’ Martin Deanov), Pedro Calcado, Elton Alexandre da Silva (87’ Clint Micallef).
Subs not used: Fredrick Tabone, Michael Borg, Liam Saliba, Gianfranco Micallef.
Coach: Stefan Sultana
Asst. Coach: Atanas Marinov
Referee: Clayton Pisani
Assistant Referees: Paul Apap, Roberto Vella
Fourth Official: Fyodor Zammit
Yellow Cards: Pedrinho, Sultana, Agius, B. Bondin
Scorers: 13’ Abubakar Bello-Osagie, 65′ Elton Alexandre da Silva, 78’ Elton Alexandre da Silva (pen)
Photos: Copyright © Joe Borg / MFA
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Meanwhile Hamrun Spartans bounced back from Monday’s humiliating defeat to Valletta as they defeated Melita 3-1.
This was also the first win for Hamrun Spartans as they had collected the previous three points in three draws.
Melita managed to take the lead on the 17th minute when Julian Galea released Luke Micallef who advanced into the area, hitting low past goalkeeper Andrea Cassar.
Three minutes later, Cassar came to the rescue as he rushed out of the area to clear the ball into safety after another through pass for Micallef put him in a most favourable position in front of the goalkeeper.
Hamrun levelled matters on 28 minutes when a Nikolay Bozhov cross from the left was deflected by George Gribbon for an own goal.
Two minutes in the second half, the Spartans forged ahead when Nikolay Bozhov sent Terence Vella through, the latter advanced into the area and served the unmarked Gianluca Calabretta who hit home from close range.
Melita had a couple of goal scoring opportunities but goalkeeper Andrea Cassar was rarely called into action.
One minute in added time, Hamrun scored the third goal when Lyubomir Vitanov concluded a good run on the left flank with a perfect pass for Terence Vella who slotted the ball past goalkeeper Matthew Sapiano.
Nikolay Bozhov was voted BOV Player of the Match.
MELITA Matthew Sapiano, Rudi Alhinho (69’ Maxime Batel), George Gribbon, Michael Martin (77’ Michael Valenzia), Nigel Rizzo (59’ Luke Sammut), Jose Luis Armaro Negrin, Julian Galea, Luke Micallef, Ivan Tufegdzic, Karl Vella Petroni, Jovan Vukanic.
Subs not used: Karl Zahra, Andrew Caruana Scicluna, Matthew Borg, Kane Micallef.
Coach: Martin Gregory
Asst. Coach: Carmel Busuttil
HAMRUN Andrea Cassar, Daniel Zerafa (69’ David Camilleri, Massimo Grima, Terence Vella (93′ Adrian Borg), Gianluca Calabretta, Adrian Ivanov, Roderick Fenech, Lyubomir Vitanov, Angel Yoshev, Nikolay Bozhov (84’ Anton Vergilov), Richard Brightwell.
Subs not used: Anthony Curmi, Luke Grech, Gianluca Debattista, Ryan Spiteri.
Coach: Joe Borg
Team Manager: Ivan Zammit
Referee: Paul Caruana
Assistant Referees: Mitchell Scerri, Luke Portelli
Fourth Official: Kevin Azzopardi
Yellow Cards: Calabretta, Gribbon, Vella Petroni, Zerafa, Yoshev, Sapiano
Scorers: 17’ Luke Micallef (M); 23’ own goal George Gribbon (H); 47’ Gianluca Calabretta (H); 90+1′ Terence Vella (H)