Balzan move four points clear of Floriana

Balzan moved four points clear of Floriana after beating them by the odd goal in five in a direct clash for fourth place.

For Balzan, this was the third consecutive defeat after beating Mosta and Tarxien in their previous two matches.

With Oscar Guerrero still ruled out through suspension, Balzan had two changes from the team which defeated Tarxien last week as Clive Brincat and Edison Bilbao Zarate replaced Samir Arab and Ryan Darmanin. Neil Spiteri and the returning Amadou Samb were awarded a place in the starting line-up ahead of Conor Borg and Gary Muir.

Balzan had a perfect start, taking the lead on the 2nd minute when Tyrone Gauci punched the ball off a cross by Justin Grioli and off the rebound, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza slammed the ball home.

Gianmarco Piccioni could have doubled the score five minutes with a volley from the right which ended just over the bar.

However on the 18th, Balzan made it 2-0 as they were awarded a penalty after Clyde Borg handled the ball inside the area and from the penalty spot, Gianmarco Piccioni converted.

Balzan missed anexcellent opportunity to increase the lead on the 31st when they were awarded another penalty after Steve Bezzina was brought down inside the area by Amadou Samb – with the Senegalese striker being sent off – but from the penalty spot, Ice Cream Guobadia’s effort was blocked by the Floriana goalkeeper and off the rebound, Lydon Micallef’s effort was deflected into a corner.

Three minutes from the end of the first half, Floriana pulled one back as Steve Bonnici headed home off a cross by Steve Pisanu.

In the second half, Balzan opted for a cautious approach despite the fact that Floriana were playing in ten men. The Greens, on the other hand, held the initiative but hardly tested the Balzan goalkeeper.

Four minutes from time, Balzan sealed the issue as Osa Ice-Cream Guobadia headed the ball home off a corner from the left.

In added time, Floriana reduced the gap thanks to Giovanni Galea after Sultana had partially saved a Vito Plut effort.

BALZAN Steve Sultana, Justin Grioli, Steve Bezzina, Elkin Orlando Serrano Valero, Edison David Bilbao Zarate, Osa Ice-Cream Guobadia, Clive Brincat, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza (68′ Dylan Grima), Lydon Micallef (60′ Samir Arab), Luke Sciberras (85′ Ryan Darmanin), Gianmarco Piccioni.
Subs not used: Christian Cassar, Michael Borg, Sean Cipriott, Terence Agius.
Coach: Oliver Spiteri

FLORIANA Tyrone Gauci, Douglas Felipe Moreira Cobo, Marcelina Emerson, Steve Pisani, Clyde Borg (46′ Brooke Farrugia), Vito Plut, Matteo Piciollo, Neil Spiteri (42′ Gary Muir), Manuel Briffa (69′ Giovanni Galea), Amadou Samb, Steve Bonnici.
Subs not used: Andrew Zammit, Luke Micallef, Daniel Agius, Sacha Borg.
Coach: Giovanni Tedesco

Referee: Sandro Spiteri
Assistant Referees: Duncan Sultana, Luke Portelli
Fourth Official: Adrian Azzopardi
Yellow Cards: Guobadia, Grioli, Micallef, Serrano, Bonnici, Pisani, Piccioni, Brincat
Scorers: 2′ Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza, 18′ Gianmarco Piccioni pen, 42′ Steve Bonnici
BOV Player of the Match: Justin Grioli