A goal by Lydon Micallef extended Balzan’s positive run as they defeated Valletta 1-0 at the Hibernians Stadium, therefore bringing the Citizens’ unbeaten record to an end.
Valletta were in fact one of two teams with maximum points from the first three matches along with Mosta. Balzan, on the other hand, had obtained one win and two draws and therefore now move to just one point behind the two joint-leaders.
The Citizens could not count on Henry Bonello and Romeu Romau while Bojan Kaljevic and Aleksandar Vujacic were once again both missing for Balzan.
Balzan had a goal by Lydon Micallef disallowed for an offside on the 12th minute. Then on the half-hour, Valletta were unlucky not to take the lead as Njongo Priso’s powerful shot hit the upright.
Five minutes in the second half, Balzan took the lead when Godwin Mensha had a low shot from inside the area turned into a corner by Nicky Vella and off the resulting corner from the right, Lydon Micallef beat the Valletta custodian.
The Citizens increased the pressure and went close with a Njongo Priso effort from the left which was turned into a corner on 71 minutes.
VALLETTA Nicky Vella, Jonathan Caruana, Ian Azzopardi (82′ Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza), Ryan Camilleri (63′ Llywelyn Cremona), Juan Gill Cruz, Roderick Briffa, Albert Bruce (63′ Abdelkarim Nafti), Njongo Priso, Federico Matias Falcone, Claudio Pani, Jhonnattann Benites da Conceicao.
Subs not used: Manuel Bartolo, Daniel Camilleri, Russell Fenech, Jurgen Suda.
Coach: Paul Zammit
BALZAN Valerio Senatore, Steve Bezzina, Lydon Micallef (68′ Terence Agius), Edison Bilbao Zarate, Samir Arab, Maxim Focsa, Godwin Mensha (90′ Ryan Darmanin), Alfred Effiong (88′ Dylan Grima), Elkin Serrano Valero, Luke Sciberras, Justin Grioli.
Subs not used: Christian Cassar, Ryan Fenech, Sean Cipriott, Paul Lapira.
Coach: Oliver Spiteri
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Assistant Referees: Roberto Vella, William Debattista
Fourth Official: Fyodor Zammit
Yellow Cards: Priso, Serrano
Scorers: 49′ Lydon Micallef
BOV Player of the Match: Elkin Serrano Valero
Atendance at the Hibernians Stadium: 883
Mosta also suffered their first defeat as Sliema Wanderers came from behind to beat them 2-1 at the Victor Tedesco Stadium.
For the Wanderers, this was the second consecutive win following two defeats in the first two outings.
Nigerian striker Saviour Fidelis scored his fourth goal of the season on the 9th minute to put Mosta ahead, beating Sliema Wanderers goalkeeper Glenn Zammit.
Twelve minutes in the second half, Kerlon exchanged the ball with Rafael Ledesma but the former’s conclusion hit the upright.
Sliema levelled matters on the hour when Johann Bezzina sent Michael Mifsud through and the latter’s diagonal shot was deflected by Tyrone Farrugia past goalkeeper Omar Borg.
The Wanderers notched the winner on the 73rd minute. It was Pedrinho who served Kerlon Moura Souza and the latter managed to slot the ball past the Mosta goalkeeper.
MOSTA Omar Borg, Tyrone Farrugia, Manolito Micallef, Osa Guobadia, Dyson Falzon (63’ Ryan Grech), Hassan Yau, Samuel Chukwide (76’ James Brincat), Jonas Ekani Rodriguez, Edile Micheletti Awoh, Edin Murga, Saviour Fidelis (72’ Ian Zammit).
Subs not used: Yenz Cini, Zak Brincat, Mark Brincat, Kyle Frendo.
Coach: Anton Cremona
SLIEMA Glenn Zammit, Alex Muscat, Mark Scerri (7’ Marko Potezica), Michael Mifsud, Rafael Pompeo Rodrigues Ledesma (69’ Pedro Henrique dos Santos Calcado), Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Johann Bezzina, Kerlon Moura Souza (87’ Benjamin Essel), Gary Muir, Stefano Bianciardi, Luke Dimech.
Subs not used: Timothy Aquilina, John Mintoff, Ryan Dalli, Aiden Jake Friggieri.
Coach: Stephen Azzopardi
Referee: Marco Borg
Assistant Referees: Duncan Sultana, Ryan Aquilina
Fourth Official: Glen Tonna
Yellow cards: Scerri, Yau, A. Muscat, Murga, Kerlon, J. Brincat, Zammit, Pedrinho
Scorers: 9’ Saviour Fidelis, 60’ Michael Mifsud, 73’ Kerlon Moura Souza
BOV Player of the Match: Kerlon Moura Souza
Attendance at the Victor Tedesco Stadium: 691