Valletta, Balzan share spoils in entertaining 2-2 draw

Valletta and Balzan shared the spoils in an entertaining 2-2 draw in a repeat of the first round clash between the two teams at the National Stadium on Sunday.

The two teams therefore failed to take advantage of the draw Hibernians were held in by Pembroke on Saturday. Hibernians continue to lead the way with 33 points, followed by Balzan on 31 and Valletta on 29 with Floriana in fourth place on 28.

Balzan had five changes from the team which lost to Floriana as Steve Bezzina, Ryan Fenech, Paul Fenech, Lydon Micallef and Matteo Piciollo replaced Clive Brincat, Abdelkarim Nafti and Alfred Effiong and the suspended Dylan Grima and Alan da Silva Souza. Valletta, on the other hand, welcomed back Steve Borg and had Llywelyn Cremona back in the starting line-up after missing the last game. They replaced Jean Borg and Romeu Romao.

Following a goalless first half, Valletta took the lead two minutes in the second half when off a cross by Michael Mifsud, Federico Falcone headed home past Janjusevic.

However on the hour, Balzan levelled matters when Alfred Effiong sent Bojan Kaljevic through and the latter slotted the ball past Bartkus.

Balzan forged ahead on the 67th minute when off a cross by Ryan Fenech, Matteo Piciollo headed home past the Lithuanian goalkeeper.

Valletta restored equilibrium eight minutes later thanks to Jhonnattann Benites da Conceicao whose freekick gave the Balzan goalkeeper no chance.

VALLETTA Dziugas Bartkus, Jonathan Caruana, Steve Borg, Ryan Camilleri, Santiago Malano (73′ Romeu Pericles Romao), Michael Mifsud, Federico Falcone (85′ Luke Montebello), Llywelyn Cremona, Claudio Pani, Leandro Aguirre, Jhonnattann Benites da Conceicao.
Subs not used: Nicky Vella, Russell Fenech, Jean Borg, Jurgen Suda, Nicholas Pulis.
Coach: Paul Zammit

BALZAN Ivan Janjusevic, Bruno Gilgio de Oliveira, Samir Arab, Bojan Kaljevic, Elkin Serrano Valero, Ryan Fenech, Anderson Francisco de Barros (57′ Alfred Effiong), Lydon Micallef (57′ Abdelkarim Nafti), Steve Bezzina (78′ Clive Brincat), Paul Fenech, Matteo Piciollo.
Subs not used: Christian Cassar, Paul Lapira, Terence Agius
Coach: Oliver Spiteri

Referee: Esther Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Jurgen Spiteri, Luke Portelli
Fourth Official: Glen Tonna
Yellow Cards: Arab
Scorers: 47′ Fedrico Falcone, 60′ Bojan Kaljevic, 67′ Matteo Piciollo, 75′ Jhonnattann
BOV Player of the Match: Michael Mifsud
Attendance: 1,269