Balzan held by Hamrun Spartans

Balzan dropped two important points in the race for the championship after being held in a 1-1 draw by Hamrun Spartans at the National Stadium on Saturday. A draw which leaves Oliver Spiteri’s side one point behind leaders Hibernians. With the Paolites having a game in hand, they would hand claim the twelfth title in the history of the club should they beat St. Andrews on Sunday.

Balzan took the lead on the 13th minute thanks to a direct freekick from the left by Bojan Kaljevic which gave goalkeeper David Cassar no chance.

The Spartans levelled matters four minutes later when Jake Grech sent Mathieu Manset through and the latter advanced into the area before slotting the ball past goalkeeper Christian Cassar.

Balzan had the opportunity to regain the lead just before half time when they were awarded a penalty after Sean Cipriott was brought down inside the area by David Cassar; however Bojan Kaljevic hit wide from the penalty spot.

BALZAN Christian Cassar, Bruno Giglio de Oliveira, Matteo Piciollo (61′ Abdelkarim Nafti), Lydon Micallef, Sean Cipriott, Clive Brincat, Alfred Effiong, Bojan Kaljevic, Anderson Francisco de Barros (88′ Milos Lepovic), Terence Agius (64′ Paul Fenech), Elkin Serrano Valero.
Subs not used: Justin Micallef, Jamie Zerafa, Paul Lapira, Samir Arab.
Coach: Oliver Spiteri

HAMRUN David Cassar, Glenn Azzopardi, Manolito Micallef, Sergio Raphael dos Anjos, Igo Misan, Luke Grech, Jorge Mesqueu Neto, Luke Sciberras, Jake Grech (85′ Siraj Arab Eddin), Mathieu Manset (71′ Leandro Motta dos Santos), Massimiliano Giusti (79′ Saturday Nanapere)
Subs not used: Lyden Moore, Philip Chircop, Brandon Diego Paiber, Jeremy Busuttil.
Coach: Jacques Scerri

Referee: Glen Tonna
Assistant Referees: Martin Borg, Christopher Azzopardi
Additional Assistant Referees: Clayton Pisani, Sandro Spiteri
Fourth Official: Sammy Attard
Yellow Cards: Micallef, Jorginho, L. Grech, Serrano, Manset, Brincat
BOV Player of the Match: Lydon Micallef
Attendance at the National Stadium: 490

Meanwhile at the Hibernians Stadium, Sliema Wanderers defeated bottom-placed Pembroke Athleta 2-0.

This defeat for Pembroke means that they remain on level points with Mosta before the direct clash between the two which would determine which team will be relegated to Division 1 and who will take the play-off spot.

Sliema managed to take the lead on the 59th minute when off a cross by Ryan Spiteri, Stefano Bianciardi headed the ball home past Calleja Cremona.

On the 71st minute, the Wanderers doubled the score when John Mintoff served Jean Paul Farrugia who advanced on the right before beating the Pembroke goalkeeper with a low shot.

PEMBROKE Matthew Calleja Cremona (90+1′ Craig Abdilla), Miguel Attard, Christian Pouga, Stevan Racic, Adrian Borg, Zoran Levnaic (83′ Tyron Fenech), Daniane Jawad, Tonci Radovnikovic, Emmanuel Naatey, Neil Grech, Raphael Kooh Sohna (79′ Zachary Grech).
Subs not used: Sunday Eboh, Roderick Caruana, Matthew Buhagiar, James Mifsud.
Coach: Artim Shakiri

SLIEMA Giuseppe Sarao, Alex Muscat, John Mintoff, Ryan Spiteri (70′ Michele Sansone), Leonardo Incorvaia (57′ Marko Potezica), Matias Muchardi, Stefano Bianciardi, Ricardo Calixto Correa Duarte, Jean Paul Farrugia (86′ Luca Brincat), Frank Temile, Peter Xuereb.
Subs not used: Claudio Carabott, Luca Martinelli, Mark Scerri, Jonathan Pearson.
Coach: John Buttigieg

Referee: Matthew De Gabriele
Assistant Referees: Ryan Aquilina, Dusan Petrovic
Fourth Official: Alan Mario Sant
Yellow Cards: Attard, Spiteri, Kooh Sohna, Naatey
BOV Player of the Match: Stefano Bianciardi
Attendance at the Hibernians Stadium: 238