St. Andrews claim first points after shock win over Balzan

St. Andrews registered a major surprise as they defeated Balzan by the odd goal in five at the Centenary Stadium on Friday.

The Saints were a much improved side over last week with Balzan failing to impress.

Both sides had two changes from their first outing as Elkin Serrano and Lydon Micallef replaced Alex da Paixao Alves and Bruno Giglio de Oliveira for Balzan; Marcus Grima and Innocent Tano Azian replacing Ricardo Martin and Aiden Friggieri for St. Andrews.

Photo: Copyright © Jonathan Bugeja

Kevaughn Atkinson put St. Andrews ahead on the 26th minute after concluding a solo effort with a powerful drive which beat Janjusevic.

Alfred Effiong levelled matters seven minutes later for Balzan when he headed the ball home off a Ryan Fenech freekick.

The Saints regained the lead five minutes from the end of the first half thanks to Nehemiah Perry who headed the ball home off a corner by Joseph Farrugia.

Bojan Kaljevic restored equilibrium thanks to a penalty four minutes in the second half after Grant was adjudged to have floored Ljubomirac inside the area.

However two minutes from time, St. Andrews notched the winner thanks to another goal by Kevaughn Atkinson who concluded another solo effort with a shot from close range.

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BALZAN Ivan Janjusevic, Ryan Fenech (76′ Carlos Eduardo de Fiori Mendes), Steve Bezzina, Paul Fenech, Bojan Kaljevic, Uros Ljubomirac, Alfred Effiong, Jacob Borg (67′ Alex da Paixao Alves), Michael Johnson, Elkin Serrano Valero, Lydon Micallef.
Subs not used: Sean Mintoff, Justin Grioli, Milos Leopovic, Samir Arab, Clive Brincat.
Coach: Marko Micovic

ST. ANDREWS Matthew Calleja Cremona, Tristan Grant, Adrian Borg, Enmy Pena Beltre, Matthew Gauci, Marcus Grima (81′ Jacob Walker), Joseph Farrugia, Nehemiah Perry (58′ Aidan Friggieri), Kemmu Degran Jackson, Kevaughn Atkinson, Tano Innocent Azian (58′ Ricardo Martin).
Subs not used: Duncan Formosa, Liam Grech, Dario Zampa, Dejan Debono.
Coach: Danilo Doncic

Referee: Philip Farrugia
Assistant Referees: Paul Apap, Ryan Aquilina
Fourth Official: Darryl Agius
Yellow Cards: Azian, Grant, Martin, Borg, Serrano
BOV Player of the Match: Kevaughn Atkinson

Meanwhile at the Victor Tedesco Stadium, Floriana registered a most comfortable 5-0 win over Tarxien Rainbows.

A first win for the Greens following a draw with Birkirkara last week and a second defeat for the Rainbows.

Tarxien had five changes from the team which lost to Hamrun as goalkeeper Antonio Chetcuti, Ayrton Azzopardi, Matthew Spiteri, Artur Benes and the suspended Ryan Darmanin made way for new signings Christian Cassar and Ricardinho along with Ebiabowei Baker, Matteo Desira Buttigieg and Matthew Brincat. Floriana, on the other hand, had Emerson Marcelina making his debut – his inclusion being the only change from the game against Birkirkara.

The Greens managed to take the lead on the 13th minute thanks to Mario Fontanella who took advantage of a misunderstanding between Tarxien players, hitting home from close range.

Three minutes from the end of the first half, Floriana doubled the score thanks to Igancio Varela who hit home off a Maurizio Vella freekick.

Eight minutes in the second half, Ignacio Varela scored the third goal for Floriana with a diagonal shot from the right which gave Cassar no chance.

The Greens piled more misery on the Rainbows on the 59th when Steve Pisani converted a penalty for a fourth goal after Ebiabowei Baker brought Juninho Cabral down inside the area, also receiving a second yellow card.

Floriana made it 5-0 on the 64th minute thanks to a Maurizio Vella freekick from the right which was not held by the Tarxien goalkeeper.

FLORIANA Ini Etim Akpan, James Baldacchino, Enrico Pepe, Enzo Ruiz, Steve Pisani, Ignacio Varela (65′ Dylan Grima), Maurizio Vella, Juninho Cabral, Alex Cini (78′ Neil Spiteri), Mario Fontanella, Emerson Marcelina (61′ Clyde Borg).
Subs not used: Matthew Grech, Mattia Zarb, Denilson Borg Castaldi, Leighton Grech.
Coach: Giovanni Tedesco

TARXIEN Christian Cassar, Andre Scicluna, Sean Cipriott, Eduard Calin, Andrew Agius, James Brincat, Luke Grech, Ebiabowei Baker, Ricardo Silva Faria, Matteo Desira Buttigieg (65′ Matthew Degiorgio), Matthew Brincat (70′ Arsene Cilia Mumford).
Subs not used: Antonio Chetcuti, Bradley Barbara, Godwin McKay, Cedric Zahra, Owen Francalanza.
Coach: Jose Borg

Referee: Alan Mario Sant
Assistant Referees: Roberto Vella, Jurgen Spiteri
Fourth Official: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Yellow Cards: Baker, Calin
Red Card: 58′ Baker
BOV Player of the Match: Maurizio Vella