Balzan registered a second successive win as they claimed a dramatic 2-1 win over Melita, leaving the latter anchored at the bottom of the table.
The team led by Martin Gregory had managed to take the lead and although Balzan equalised and eventually hit the posts on three occasions, Melita were awarded a penalty which they missed. For this mistake, they paid dearly as less than a minute later, Pedrinho scored the goal that handed Balzan another three points after beating Qormi last week.
Photos: Copyright © Joe Borg / MFA
Balzan lacked the injured Matthew Camilleri and the suspended Malcolm Licari. Melita, on the other hand, welcomed back Manuel Ramon Sierra Camacho.
The Amateurs had the first attempt at goal with a cross by Jovan Vukanic from which Jose Luis Armaro Negrin’s fine effort was turned into a corner on 7 minutes. On the 9th, Luke Micallef then rounded the goalkeeper but his goal-bound shot was cleared off the goal line by Yessous Camilleri. Julian Galea headed just wide off a cross by Vukanic on the 15th minute.
Melita managed to take the lead on 17 minutes when off a cross by Jose Luis Armaro Negrin, Jamie Pace committed an own goal by hitting the ball past goalkeeper Fredrick Tabone.
Manuel Ramon Sierra Camacho went close for Melita with a header following a cross from the right by Jovan Vukanic.
Balzan levelled matters on 33 minutes when off a cross by Elton da Silva from the left, the ball was deflected by a defender and from outside the area, Martin Deyanov hit low past goalkeeper Matthew Sapiano.
Jose Luis Armaro Negrin had a close-range effort blocked by Fredrick Tabone thirteen minutes in the second half when served by Sierra Camacho. On the other side of the pitch, a cross shot from the left by Rennie Forace hit the crossbar with Sapiano beaten.
Off a freekick by Pedro Calcado on 64 minutes, Matthew Mendy was unlucky to hit the foot of the upright with a header, the ball travelled along the goal line but was then cleared into safety. Rennie Forace once again hit the crossbar off a cross by Martin Deyanov six minutes later.
Consecutive shots by Pedrinho and Caruana were blocked on the 79th minute and Balzan were awarded an indirect freekick just outside the goal area but the Brazilian midfielder’s effort was blocked by a defender.
A freekick by Pedrinho was neutralised by Matthew Sapiano aided by the woodwork. A minute later, an Elton effort was blocked by the Melita goalkeeper.
One minute from time, Melita had the opportunity to take the lead when they were awarded a penalty. Julian Galea hit the crossbar with a shot from the edge of the area but took the rebound only to be brought down inside the penalty area by Dylan Grima. However Jovan Vukanic’s effort from the penalty spot was turned by Fredrick Tabone into a corner.
Then in a swift counter-attack, Balzan notched the winner when Elton da Silva served Pedro dos Santos Calcado whose powerful shot beat goalkeeper Matthew Sapiano to hand Ivan Zammit’s side the three points.
BALZAN Fredrick Tabone, Renato Conceicao, Yessous Camilleri, Rennie Forace, Matthew Mendy (81’ Aaron Agius), Bjorn Bondin (46’ Stefan Giglio), Jamie Pace, Dylan Grima, Pedro dos Santos Calcado, Martin Deyanov (71’ Christian Caruana), Elton Alexandre da Silva.
Subs not used: Jacob Cipriott, Michael Borg, Kevin Camilleri, Clint Micallef.
Coach: Joe Borg
Team Manager: Ivan Zammit
MELITA Matthew Sapiano, Matthew Borg, Ivan Tufegdzic, George Gribbon, Manuel Ramon Sierra Camacho, Nigel Rizzo, Julian Galea, Michael Martin (65’ Michael Valenzia), Luke Micallef (73’ Kane Micallef), Jovan Vukanic, Jose Luis Armaro Negrin.
Subs not used: Karl Zahra, Luke Sammut, Rudi Alhinho, Andrew Caruana Scicluna,.
Coach: Martin Gregory
Asst. Coach: Carmel Busuttil
Referee: Andrew Davey (NIR)
Assistant Referees: David Anderson, Andrew Stevenson (NIR)
Fourth Official: Raymond Crangle (NIR)
Yellow Cards: Martin, Borg, Sapiano, Grima
Scorers: 17’ own goal Jamie Pace (M); 33’ Martin Deyanov (B); 90+1’ Pedro dos Santos Calcado (B)
Photos: Copyright © Joe Borg / MFA
An early penalty paved the way for Tarxien Rainbows as they returned to winning ways, beating Mosta 2-0.
This was the third win for the Rainbows who are now sixth on ten points, two behind the Blues. For Mosta, this was the third defeat in seven matches – a defeat which brought to an end a good run of four consecutive wins.
Clive Mizzi had to make a number of changes due to the absence of Evaldo Silva dos Santos, Orosco Anonam, David Fenech and Luiz Romulo de Castro. Daniel Bogdanovic and Firas Aboulezz were missing for Mosta.
Tarxien took the lead on the 8th minute when they were awarded a penalty after Ferdinando Apap floored Danilo Meira Santos inside the area. Daniel Mariano Bueno made no mistake to put the Rainbows ahead.
Ferdinando Apap came to the rescue three minutes later clearing the ball off the goal line after a fine lob by Karl Pulo had beaten goalkeeper Justin Haber. A Roderick Bajada effort was parried by Haber on 33 minutes.
Early in the second half, appeals for a Mosta penalty were turned down by referee Paul Caruana.
The Rainbows doubled the score on 58 minutes when off an Andrezinho freekick from the left, Danilo Meira Santos headed the ball home past Haber.
Andrezinho was voted BOV Player of the Match.
TARXIEN Nicky Vella, Steve Sadowski, Carlo Mamo, Manuel Caruana, Justin Grioli, Roderick Bajada (57’ Andrew Agius), Danilo Meira Santos (79’ Mark Tanti), Andre Reinaldo de Souza Esposito, Karl Pulo (85’ Steve Bonnici), Ryan Sammut, Daniel Mariano Bueno.
Subs not used: David Cassar, Nigel Vella, Clive Fenech, Warren Zerafa.
Coach: Clive Mizzi
Asst. Coach: Steven Vella
MOSTA Justin Haber, Ferdinando Apap, Bryan Agius (76’ Steve Bezzina), Manolito Micallef, Luke Dimech, Ryan Grech, Jonathan Bajada (60’ Alex Cini), Danail Mitev, Carlos Campagnoli, Obinna Obiefule (63’ David Maia dos Santos), Ousseni Zongo.
Subs not used: Noel Attard, Steve Onyii Chiemeka, Adrian Farrugia, Emmanuel Okafor.
Coach: Steve D’Amato
Referee: Paul Caruana
Assistant Referees: William Debattista, Albert Borg Cardona
Fourth Official: Mario Apap
Yellow Cards: Apap, Grioli, Andrezinho, J. Bajada, Mamo, Caruana
Scorers: 8′ Daniel Mariano Bueno pen, 58′ Danilo Meira Santos