Sliema Wanderers maintained their unbeaten run with a narrow win over Balzan to move on top the BOV Premier League table with ten points from four matches.
For Balzan, on the other hand, this was the second consecutive defeat.
The Wanderers were in full strength with no players injured or suspended. Balzan, on the other hand, lacked Firas Aboulezz.
Sliema could not have a better start, taking the lead on the 9th minute when Pape Gueye stole the ball off Andrew Scicluna on the right flank, advancing into the area, serving the unmarked Stanley Ohawuchi who tapped the ball home from close range.
A cross shot by Stanley Ohawuchi from the right was parried by Dani Miguelez on 28 minutes. Three minutes later, a Mark Spiteri effort from outside the area was turned into a corner by Henry Bonello three minutes later. Spiteri was unlucky to hit the foot of the post for Balzan on 43 minutes after winning possession inside the area.
Balzan went close with a Lydon Micallef effort, when served by Justin Grioli, saved by Henry Bonello on 66 minutes. Two minutes later, they were reduced to ten men after Fabio Vignaroli was sent off by referee Paul Caruana after receiving two yellow cards in a few seconds’ time.
Stanley Ohawuchi, served by Muchardi, had a powerful shot from the left blocked into a corner by Dani Miguelez on 72 minutes.
Ohawuchi almost doubled the score five minutes from time with two close-range attempts blocked by Dani Miguelez. On the other side of the pitch, on the 90th minute, Justin Grioli tried his luck with a shot from outside the area ending just wide. Deep into stoppage time, Pape Gueye hit wide after a good move on the left flank while Mathias Muchardi concluded a fine move with a shot which was blocked by Dani Miguelez.
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BALZAN Daniel Miguelez Martinez, Jose Luis Armario Negrin (73’ Erjon Beu), Steve Bezzina, Gianluca Calabretta, Dylan Grima, Justin Grioli, Dylan Grima, Justin Grioli, Rodrigo Frank Pereira, Luke Sciberras (64’ Lydon Micallef), Andrew Scicluna, Mark Spiteri (79’ Aaron Agius), Fabio Vignaroli.
Subs not used: Michael Falzon, Michael Borg, Ryan Darmanin, Godwin Mckay.
Coach: Riccardo Tumiatti
SLIEMA Henry Bonello, Alex Muscat, Jacob Borg, John Mintoff, Mark Scerri, Stanley Ohawuchi, Abubakar Bello-Osagie (56’ Matias Muchardi), Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Pape Gueye, Paltemio Barbetti, Stefano Bianciardi.
Subs not used: Glenn Zammit, Dylan Borg, Axl Xuereb, Ivan Woods, Trevor Cilia, Beppe Muscat.
Coach: Alfonso Greco
Referee: Paul Caruana
Assistant Referees: Ingmar Spiteri, Paul Apap
Fourth Official: Marco Borg
Yellow Cards: Scerri, Barbetti, Grioli, Vignaroli, Muscat
Red Cards: 68’ Fabio Vignaroli
Scorers: 9’ Stanley Ohawuchi
BOV Player of the Match: Stanley Ohawuchi
Attendance at the National Stadium: 425