Balzan, Mosta return to victory

Balzan moved temporarily on top the BOV Premier League table as they returned to winning ways, defeating Naxxar Lions 4-2 at the Victor Tedesco Stadium.

On the other hand, Naxxar had to leave the pitch empty-handed after collecting five points from the previous three matches, remaining third from bottom, two points ahead of Qormi.

Naxxar had no less than four changes from the team which held Birkirkara in a 2-2 draw in their last outing as Luca Lodetti, Ishmael Grech and new signings Thomas Sarina and Jose Angel Godar Pereira replaced Lattes, Oussou and the suspended Angus Buhagiar and Gnenegbe. Balzan also had four changes to the team which lost to champions Hibernians as Christian Cassar, Terence Agius, Steve Bezzina and Godwin Mensha replaced Senatore, Arab, Sciberras and Vujacic.

Balzan managed to take the lead on the 23rd minute when off a Terence Agius freekick from the left, Godwin Mensha flicked the ball past goalkeeper Julian Azzopardi.

Eight minutes from the end of the first half, Alfred Effiong doubled the score when he exchanged the ball with Mensha just outside the area and slotted the ball past the Naxxar custodian.

Balzan scored the third goal on the 67th minute when off a cross from the right by Mensha, Alfred Effiong headed home from close range.

Naxxar pulled one back four minutes later when Demba Toure flicked the ball past Christian Cassar following a corner from the left by Daren Falzon.

Lydon Micallef made it 4-1 for Balzan on the 79th with a header off another cross by Effiong.

Three minutes from time, Naxxar scored a second goal thanks to an own goal by Steve Bezzina after a corner by Daren Falzon was deflected by Steve Bezzina and not held by Cassar.

BALZAN Christian Cassar, Dylan Grima, Justin Grioli, Godwin Mensha (90′ Paul Lapira), Lydon Micallef (85′ Maxim Focsa), Clive Brincat (56′ Samir Arab), Alfred Effiong, Elkin Orlando Serrano Valero, Edison Bilbao Zarate, Steve Bezzina, Terence Agius.
Subs not used: Valerio Senatore, Luke Sciberras, Ryan Darmanin, Jamie Zerafa.
Coach: Oliver Spiteri

NAXXAR Julian Azzopardi, Blazo Rajovic, Andrew Scicluna, Luca Lodetti (75′ Duane Bonnici), Ricard Carlos Cardozo, Thomas Sarina, Demba Toure, Jose Angel Godar Pereira, Jurgen Debono (46′ Daren Falzon), Ishmael Grech, Armando Vieira dos Santos (67′ David Fenech).
Subs not used: Luke Pecorella, Isaac McCarthy, Mark Fenech, Ryan Mercieca.
Coach: Clive Mizzi

Referee: Mario Apap
Assistant Referees: Mitchell Scerri, Chris Francalanza
Additional Assistant Referees: Adrian Azzopardi, Esther Azzopardi
Fourth Official: Paul Apap
Yellow Cards: Scicluna, Grima, Serrano, Micallef, Agius, Grech
Scorers: 23′ Godwin Mensha, 37′ Alfred Effiong, 67′ Alfred Effiong, 71′ Demba Toure, 79′ Lydon Micallef, 87′ own goal
BOV Player of the Match: Godwin Mensha

Meanwhile at the Hibernians Stadium, Mosta bounced back from last week’s defeat to Floriana as they came from behind to beat Qormi 3-1. A win which puts them closer to the top six teams in the BOV Premier League.

Despite having Noah Olawole Ojuola sent off on the 35th minute, Qormi managed to take the lead on the 44th minute thanks to a goal by Djamel Leeflang.

However a minute later, Ian Zammit levelled matters for Mosta.

On the hour, Edin Murga made it 2-1 for Mosta and substitute Gustavo De Paulo sealed the issue with a third goal six minutes from time.

QORMI Jean Matthias Vella, Alessio Casssar, Ousmane Sidibe, Noah Olawole Ojuola, Yannick Yankam (79′ Tensior Gusman), Djamel Leeflang, Clifford Gauci, Kurt Magro, Carlo Gordon Monti, Emerson Vella, Alex Nilsson.
Subs not used: Andreas Vella, Edward Falzon, Joshua Barbara, Pietro Viggiani, Juan Carlos Viera Peixoto, Immy Micallef.
Coach: Johann Scicluna

MOSTA Omar Borg, Tyrone Farrugia, Manolito Micallef, Osa Guobadia (88′ Saviour Fidelis), Adrian Borg, Onyekachi Okonkwo, Edin Murga (79′ Kyle Frendo), Ian Zammit (72′ Gustavo De Paula), Jonas Rodriguez Ekani, Hassan Yau, Dyson Falzon.
Subs not used: Yenz Cini, Mark Brincat, Zachary Brincat, Ryan Grech.
Coach: Anton Cremona

Referee: Sandro Spiteri
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Sammy Attard
Fourth Official: Alan Mario Sant
Yellow Cards: Yau
Red Cards: 35′ Noah Olawole Ojuola
Scorers: 44′ Djamel Leeflang, 45′ Ian Zammit, 60′ Edin Murga, 84′ Gustavo De Paulo