Stoppage-time goal sinks Wanderers — Vittoriosa win to re-open battle against relegation

BOV-Premier-LeagueAfter suffering seven consecutive defeats, Balzan returned to winning ways a goal deep into stoppage-time enabled them to beat Sliema Wanderers 1-0.

For the Wanderers, this was a highly disappointing result as they stay in fifth place. This was their fourth defeat in five matches.

Goal-mouth action was rare throughout the first half with Balzan creating the best goal-scoring opportunity on the 33rd minute but Sliema goalkeeper Glenn Zammit performed a brilliant save on a fine Ryan Darmanin effort, turning the ball into a corner.

After the break, Balzan had Justin Grioli sent off on the 52nd after receiving a second yellow card.

However Jesmond Zerafa’s side went close with a Pedro dos Santos Calcado effort who concluded a good move with a rising shot which ended just over the bar mid-way through the second half. Four minutes from time, Manuel Bartolo performed a fine save at point blank on Mathias Muchardi.

One minute from time, Sliema were also reduced to ten men as Clifford Gatt Baldacchino received a second yellow card.

In added time, Balzan increased the pressure Lydon Micallef almost notched the winner with a diagonal shot from the left and then Pedro Calcado concluded a solo effort with a shot from outside the area ending just wide.

However it was not over yet as on the 93rd minute, Pedro Calcado served Jose Luis Armario Negrin on the right and the latter slotted the ball past Glenn Zammit to hand Balzan victory.

SLIEMA Glenn Zammit, Alex Muscat, Jacob Borg, John Mintoff (59′ Alex Podda), Stanley Ohawuchi, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Ivan Woods (46′ Trevor Cilia), Paltemio Barbetti, Matias Muchardi, Beppe Muscat (59′ Axl Xuereb), Stefano Bianciardi.
Subs not used: Henry Bonello, Kane Farrugia, Mark Scerri, Gabriel Aquilina.
Coach: Alfonso Greco

BALZAN Manuel Borg, Justin Grioli, Steve Bezzina, Kurt Magro, Andrew Scicluna, Lucas Ramon dos Santos, Lydon Micallef, Pedro dos Santos Calcado, Edison Bilbao Zarate, Jose Luis Armario Negrin, Ryan Darmanin (56′ Firas Aboulezz).
Subs not used: Jacob Cipriott, Sean Cipriott, Jacob Micallef, Gianfranco Micallef, Juan Corbalan, Shaun Bugeja.
Coach: Jesmond Zerafa

Referee: Sandro Spiteri
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Sammy Attard
Fourth Official: Chris Lautier
Yellow Cards: Bianciardi, Grioli, Ramon, Gatt Baldacchino, Barbetti
Red Cards: 52′ Justin Grioli,
BOV Player of the Match: Pedro dos Santos Calcado
Attendance: 344

At the Centenary Stadium, Vittoriosa Stars re-opened wide the battle against relegation as they beat Floriana 2-1 to move to just three points behind the same Floriana, four behind Tarxien Rainbows and five behind Qormi and Naxxar.

It was Oscar Guerrero who put Vittoriosa ahead two minutes in the second half thanks to a direct freekick.

Floriana restored equilibrium on the 54th thanks to Igor Coronado who beat Mario Muscat with a shot from inside the area after receiving the ball from a corner.

However Vittoriosa regained the lead on the 69th through Ousname Sidibe who headed the ball home off a freekick by Oscar Guerrero from the left.

Two minutes from time, Jose Filipe Aguiar was sent off for Vittoriosa.

VITTORIOSA Mario Muscat, Clive Brincat, Ousmane Sidibe, Clive Spiteri, Marcelo Pereira, Jose Filipe Aguiar, Oscar Guerrero, Siraj Arab Eddin (62′ Michael Camilleri), Leonardo Torri (71′ Francisco Arriagada Mella), Samir Arab, Carl Sammut (81′ Ryan Mifsud).
Subs not used: Sean Cini, Mark Barbara, Sheldon Grech, Malcolm Buttigieg.
Coach: Oliver Spiteri

FLORIANA Daniel Hanford, Andre Scicluna, Emmanuel Ibok Edet, Steve Pisani (70′ Christian Caruana), Igor Coronado, Diogo Pinheiro de Sousa, Jonathan Xerri (86′ Manuel Briffa), Clyde Borg, Joseph Borg, Brooke Farrugia (46′ Sacha Borg), Gary Muir.
Subs not used: Sean Mintoff, Luca Casha, Rodrigo Felix Aguiar, Isaac Galea.
Coach: Ian Dawes

Referee: Andre Arciola
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Thomas Debono
Fourth official: Glenn Tonna
Yellow Cards: Siraj Arab, Farrugia, Guerrero, Pisani, Torri, Aguiar
Red Cards: 88′ Filipe Aguiar
BOV Player of the Match: Oscar Guerrero
Attendance at the Centenary Stadium: 402