Balzan, Hibs share spoils in eight-goal thriller

bov-premier-league-2013-2014Balzan and Hibernians shared the spoils in a highly-entertaining 4-4 draw to earn a point each. A second consecutive positive result for Balzan and another step towards securing a place in the UEFA Europa League this summer for Hibernians.

The Paolites went ahead on four occasions but each time, Balzan levelled matters.

Justin Grioli, Fabio Vignaroli and Luke Sciberras were missing for Balzan while Hibs lacked Scott Chircop.

Hibernians took the lead on the 4th minute when a freekick by Failla was followed by headers by Obiefule and Radusinovic and finally Jonathan Pearson slotted the ball from close range.

Balzan equalised on the 14th when off a cross by Lydon Micallef from the right, the ball was deflected by Jonathan Pearson past goalkeeper Daniel Balzan for an own goal.

On the 29th, Andrew Scicluna almost committed an own goal in an attempt to anticipate Tarabai following an inviting cross from the right by Obuiefule but the ball hit the upright and ended into a corner.

Hibs regained the lead on 36 minutes thanks to Jean Paul Farrugia who hit home from close range after a shot by Tarabai from the edge of the area was deflected by a defender.

Three minutes later, Balzan restored equilibrium when a pass by Bezzina was intercepted by Radusinovic who failed to clear the ball into safety, Jose Luis Armario Negrin hit the crossbar and off the rebound, Lydon Micallef placed the ball at the back of the net.

Hibernians made it 3-2 on 51 minutes when Clayton Failla intelligently served Obinna Obiefule whose perfect lob from the edge of the area from the left caught Manuel Bartolo out of place.

Balzan equalised on the 62nd minute when off a cross by Lydon Micallef from the right, Firas Aboulezz served Jose Luis Armario Negrin who deflected the ball past Hibernians goalkeeper Daniel Balzan.

Two minutes later, Hibs regained the lead thanks to direct freekick by Clayton Failla who placed the ball in the top right corner.

However on the 74th minute, Balzan made it 4-4 through Lydon Micallef’s low diagonal shot from the left which beat the Hibs custodian.

BALZAN Manuel Bartolo, Steve Bezzina, Lucas Ramon dos Santos, Andrew Scicluna, Dylan Grima, Kurt Magro, Firas Aboulezz, Edison David Bilbao Zarate, Pedro dos Santos Calcado, Lydon Micallef, Jose Luis Armario Negrin.
Subs not used: Jacob Cipriott, Jacob Micallef, Daniel Spiteri, Gianfranco Micallef, Shaun Spiteri, Sean Cipriott, Mark Spiteri.
Coach: Jesmond Zerafa

HIBS Daniel Balzan, Ryan Camilleri (46′ Timothy Tabone Desira), Jonathan Pearson, Igor Radusinovic, Bjorn Kristensen, Clayton Failla, Zoran Levnajic, Jackson di Lima Siqueira, Obinna Obiefule (82′ Brandon Muscat), Edison Luis dos Santos, Jean Paul Farrugia (64′ Andrew Cohen)
Subs not used: Jurgen Borg, Matthew Bartolo, Johann Bezzina, Jurgen Degabriele.
Coach: Branko Nisevic

Referee: Chris Lautier
Assistant Referees: Albert Borg Cardona, David Castillo
Additional Assistant Referees: Glenn Tonna, Fyodor Zammit
Fourth Official: Alan Mario Sant
Yellow Cards: Levnajic, Kristensen, Bezzina, Tabone Desira
4′ Jonathan Pearson (H); 14′ own goal Jonathan Pearson (B); 36′ Jean Paul Farrugia (H); 39′ Lydon Micallef (B); 51′ Obinna Obiefule (H); 62′ Jose Luis Armario Negrin (B); 64′ Clayton Failla (H); 74′ Lydon Micallef (B)
BOV Player of the Match: Lydon Micallef