A goal deep into stoppage time enabled Balzan to extend their positive run with a hard-fought win over Qormi at the Victor Tedesco Stadium.
Although Balzan held the initiative throughout the ninety minutes, Qormi played a perfect game in defence, especially with central defenders Ousmane Sidibe, Billy Berntsson and Noah Olawole Ojuola and goalkeeper Andreas Vella blocking almost all their opponents’ efforts.
Balzan had three changes from the team which defeated Mosta as Christian Cassar, Samir Arab and Aleksandar Vujacic replaced Senatore, Maxim Focsa and Lydon Micallef. Steve Bezzina, Ryan Fenech and Bojan Kaljevic were once again ruled out injured. Qormi coach Jesmond Zerafa, on the other hand, made no changes to the team which lost narrowly to Birkirkara last week.
The all-important goal arrived on the 92nd minute when off a cross by Godwin Mensha from the right, it was Montenegrin striker Aleksandar Vujacic who beat goalkeeper Andreas Vella with a perfect diving header to hand Oliver Spiteri’s side the three points.
BALZAN Christian Cassar, Dylan Grima (82′ Terence Agius), Edison Bilbao Zarate, Samir Arab (59′ Lydon Micallef), Godwin Mensha, Aleksandar Vujacic, Alfred Effiong (65′ Ryan Darmanin), Elkin Orlando Serrano Valero, Luke Sciberras, Clive Brincat, Justin Grioli.
Subs not used: Valerio Senatore, Sean Cipriott, Maxim Focsa, Juan Corbalan.
Coach: Oliver Spiteri
QORMI Andreas Vella, Alessio Cassar,Ousmane Sidibe, Noah Olawole Ojuola, Billy Berntsson, Steve Agius, Clifford Gauci, Kurt Magro (40′ Sorin Virgil Oproiescu), Carlo Gordon Monti (83′ Emerson Vella), Ryan Micallef (73′ Terence Vella), Alex Nilsson.
Subs not used: Jean Matthias Vella, Gilmore Azzopardi, Edward Falzon, Juan Carlos Vieira Peixoto.
Coach: Jesmond Zerafa
Referee: Marco Borg
Assistant Referees: Duncan Sultana, Ryan Aquilina
Additional Assistant Referees: Sandro Spiteri, Matthew Degabriele
Fourth Official: Luke Portelli
Yellow Cards: Serrano, Grioli, Zarate, Berntsson, A. Vella
Scorers: 90+2′ Aleksandar Vujacic
BOV Player of the Match: Godwin Mensha
Attendance at the Victor Tedesco Stadium: 506
Matteo Picciollo scored twice as Floriana registered a most comfortable 3-0 win over Old Firm derby rivals Sliema Wanderers at the National Stadium.
The Wanderers had two changes as Mark Scerri and Stefano Bianciardi replaced Benjamin Essel and Kerlon. On the other hand, Matteo Picciollo replaced Juninho Cabral for Floriana.
Floriana took the lead on the 18th minute thanks to a Matteo Picciollo effort whose shot was slightly deflected by Alex Muscat past goalkeeper Glenn Zammit.
The Greens doubled the score on 67 minutes when Matteo Picciollo exchanged the ball with Mario Fontanella before the former hit the ball past the Sliema goalkeeper.
Two minutes from time, Floriana sealed the issue with a third goal when off a cross by Picciollo, Steve Pisani’s first-time effort gave Zammit no chance.
FLORIANA Matthew Calleja Cremona, Antonio Monticelli, Enrico Pepe, Clyde Borg (79’ Mauricio Villa), Conor Borg (67’ Steve Pisani), Jurgen Pisani, Filippo Andrea Scozzese, Matteo Picciollo, Emanuel Briffa, Nicolas Chiesa (90’ Firas Abulezz), Mario Fontanella
Subs not used: Tyrone Gauci, Luke Micallef, Daniel Agius, Steve Bonnici.
Coach: Luis Oliveira
SLIEMA Glenn Zammit, Alex Muscat, Mark Scerri (75’ Peter Xuereb), Michael Mifsud, Rafael Pompeo Rodrigues Ledesma, Pedro Henrique dos Santos Calcado, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino (70’ Aidan Jake Friggieri), Johann Bezzina (40’ Marko Potezica), Gary Muir, Stefano Bianciardi, Luke Dimech.
Subs not used: Entonjo Elezaj, Benjamin Essel, John Mintoff, Jeremiah Ani.
Coach: Stephen Azzopardi
Referee: Tristan Farrugia Cann
Assistant Referees: Roberto Vella, Martin Borg
Additional Assistant Referees: Esther Azzopardi, Mario Apap
Fourth Official: Thomas Debono
Yellow Cards: Chiesa, Scerri, Pedrinho
Scorers: 13′ Matteo Picciollo, 67’ Matteo Picciollo, 88’ Steve Pisani
BOV Player of the Match: Matteo Picciollo
Attendance at the National Stadium: 1,035