Narrow win puts Balzan back on track

Balzan bounced from the back-to-back defeats to Floriana and Birkirkara as they beat ten-man Sliema Wanderers 1-0 at the Victor Tedesco Stadium to move temporarily on top the BOV Premier League table.

For the Wanderers, on the other hand, this was the third defeat in five matches, leaving them in eighth place.

Balzan had two changes from the team which lost to Birkirkara as the returning Elkin Serrano Valero and Edison Bilbao Zarate replaced Justin Grioli. Sliema, on the other hand, welcomed back Alex Muscat who was named in the starting line-up in lieu of the suspended Mark Scerri.

The Wanderers were reduced to ten men two minutes from the end of the first half as Pedrinho was sent off for hitting an opponent.

Nine minutes in the second half, Balzan forged ahead when Lydon Micallef concluded a solo effort with a low shot which beat goalkeeper Glenn Zammit.

BALZAN Christian Cassar, Dylan Grima, Samir Arab, Steve Bezzina, Lydon Micallef (76′ Maxim Focsa), Clive Brincat, Alfred Effiong (89′ Jamie Zerafa), Elkin Serrano Valero, Edison Bilbao Zarate, Aleksandar Vujacic, Luke Sciberras (60′ Terence Agius).
Subs not used: Mikhail Sciberras, Sean Cipriott, Justin Grioli, Ryan Darmanin.
Coach: Oliver Spiteri

SLIEMA Glenn Zammit, Alex Muscat, Benjamin Essel, Pedro Henrique dos Santos Calcado, Rafael Pompeo Rodrigues Ledesma (34′ Michael Mifsud), Aidan Jake Friggieri, Johann Bezzina (81′ Peter Xuereb), Kerlon Moura Souza (46′ Marko Potezica), Gary Muir, Stefano Bianciardi, Luke Dimech.
Subs not used: Timothy Aquilina, Justin Vella, John Mintoff, Ryan Dalli.
Coach: Stephen Azzopardi

Referee: Clayton Pisani
Assistant Referees: Jurgen Spiteri, David Castillo
Fourth Official: Philip Farrugia
Yellow Cards: Sciberras, Dimech
Red Cards: 43′ Pedrinho
Scorers: 54′ Lydon Micallef
BOV Player of the Match: Lydon Micallef