Ten-man Balzan returned to winning ways as they defeated Hibernians 2-1 in a top-of-the table clash in the BOV Premier League.
A win which brings to an end the Paolites’ positive run and which puts Balzan on top the BOV Premier League table, one point ahead of Hibernians.
Hibernians had one change from the team which was held in a draw by Pembroke as Jorge Pereira da Silva replaced the suspended Renan Pimenta Telles. On the other hand, Clive Brincat, Dylan Grima and Alfred Effiong replaced Steve Bezzina, Samir Arab and Lydon Micallef.
The game had a great start with two goals within the first seven minutes. In fact, Balzan took the lead on the 5th when Bojan Kaljevic served Matteo Piciollo whose low shot beat goalkeepr Andrew Hogg.
However two minutes later, Hibs equalised thanks to Jorginho whose rising shot gave Ivan Janjusevic no chance.
On the half hour, Hibs went close once again but Jackson Lima was unlucky to hit the upright.
Balzan were reduced to ten men on the 65th minute after Alfred Effiong was sent off by referee Glen Tonna for kicking an opponent.
However two minutes from time, Balzan notched the winner when off a free kick by Abdelkarim Nafti, Bojan Kaljevic’s header was deflected by Jackson Lima for an own goal.
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BALZAN Ivan Janjusevic, Bruno Giglio de Oliveira, Dylan Grima, Bojan Kaljevic, Elkin Serrano Valero, Ryan Fenech (82′ Anderson De Barros), Alfred Effiong, Abdelkarim Nafti (89′ Terence Agius), Clive Brincat, Paul Fenech, Matteo Picollo (92′ Sean Cipriott).
Subs not used: Christian Cassar, Paul Lapira, Daniel Spiteri, Gary Camilleri.
Coach: Oliver Spiteri
HIBS Andrew Hogg, Rodolfo Soares, Marcelo Dias, Timothy Tabone Desira (91′ Michael Shaddock), Jackson di Lima Siqueira, Joseph Essien Mbong, Johann Bezzina, Jorge da Silva Pereira (62′ Andrew Cohen), Jurgen Degabriele, Bjorn Kristensen, Andrei Agius.
Subs not used: Rudy Briffa, Kyle O’Brien, Conner Zammit, Dunstan Vella, Jonathan Pearson.
Coach: Mark Miller
Referee: Glen Tonna
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, William Debattista
Fourth Official: Philip Farrugia
Yellow Cards: Effiong, R. Fenech, Serrano, Kaljevic, Bezzina
Red Cards: 62′ Alfred Effiong
BOV Player of the Match: Johann Bezzina