Hibernians remain top as Sliema beat Balzan

Balzan failed to take the points they needed to regain the top spot in the BOV Premier League table as they suffered a shock 1-2 defeat to Sliema Wanderers at the National Stadium.

Sliema were coming from two highly disappointing results against the two bottom teams – a 1-2 defeat to Mosta and a 1-1 draw with Pembroke. This win puts the Wanderers in sixth place on 31 points, two ahead of Tarxien while Balzan remain second, one point behind Hibernians.

Balzan had two changes from the team which defeated Hamrun as Christian Cassar, Clive Brincat and Matteo Piciollo replaced Ivan Janjusevic, Dylan Grima and Abdelkarim Nafti. The Wanderers, on the other hand, had Stefano Bianciardi and Wisdom Salomon replacing Gabriel Aquilina and Mandinho.

Sliema forged ahead eight minutes from the end of the first half when Salomon released Temile on the right and off the latter’s assist, Jean Paul Farrugia hit home from close range.

Balzan leveled matters seven minutes in the second half when off a cross by Alan da Silva, Bojan Kaljevic headed the ball home from close range.

Eight minutes from the end of the first half, the Wanderers notched the winner when off an assist by Riccardo Correa from the left, substitute Ryan Spiteri slotted the ball past goalkeeper Cassar.

BALZAN Christian Cassar, Clive Brincat (55′ Steve Bezzina), Bruno Giglio de Oliveira, Bojan Kaljevic, Samir Arab, Ryan Fenech, Alan da Silva Souza (72′ Anderson Francisco de Barros), Matteo Piciollo (72′ Lydon Micallef), Elkin Serrano Valero, Paul Fenech, Alfred Effiong.
Subs not used: Ivan Janjusevic, Terence Agius, Sean Cipriott, Paul Lapira.
Coach: Oliver Spiteri

SLIEMA Giuseppe Sarao, Alex Muscat, Frank Temile (90′ John Mintoff), Stefano Bianciardi, Wisdom Salomon (69′ Ryan Spiteri), Jonathan Pearson, Denni Rocha dos Santos (84′ Gabriel Aquilina), Ricardo Correa Duarte, Mark Scerri, Leonardo Incorvaia, Jean Paul Farrugia.
Subs not used: Glenn Zammit, Michele Sansone, Kurt Shaw, Luca Brincat.
Coach: John Buttigieg

Referee: Sandro Spiteri
Assistant Referees: Duncan Sultana, William Debattista
Fourth Official: Mario Apap
Yellow Cards: P. Fenech, A. Muscat, Alan, Correa
BOV Player of the Match: Alan da Silva Souza