Balzan joined Gzira United temporarily on top the BOV Premier League table as an early goal gave them a narrow win over Tarxien Rainbows. A win which enabled them to extend their positive run to nine matches – this being their fourth consecutive win.
The Rainbows, on the other hand, remain third from bottom as they suffer a fourth consecutive defeat.
Balzan took the lead on the 8th minute when off a Samir Arab cross from the left, Bojan Kaljevic tapped the ball home from close range.
On the 69th, Balzan went close to doubling the score with a close-range effort by Bojan Kaljevic which was partially saved by Cassar and off the rebound, Alfred Effiong’s effort hit the foot of the upright.
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BALZAN Sean Mintoff, Justin Grioli (92′ Jacob Borg), Michael Johnson, Alfred Effiong (87′ Jamie Zerafa), Uros Ljubomirac, Milos Lepovic, Bojan Kaljevic, Bruno Giglio de Oliveira, Alex da Paixao Alves (92′ Marko Platisa), Carlos Eduardo de Fiori Mendes, Samir Arab.
Subs not used: Dorian Bugeja, Clive Brincat, Gary Camilleri, Ryan Fenech.
Coach: Marco Micovic
TARXIEN Christian Cassar, Ebiabowei Baker, James Brincat, Eduard Calin (90′ Matthew Brincat), Andrew Agius (87′ Mamadou Traore), Luke Grech, Andre Scicluna, Artur Benes, Ryan Darmanin, Ricardo Silva Faria, Matteo Desira Buttigieg (74′ Arsene Rye Cilia Mumford).
Subs not used: Kylix Calleja, Matthew Sladden, Matthew Spiteri, Matthew Degiorgio.
Coach: Jose Borg
Referee: Darryl Agius
Assistant Referees: Duncan Sultana, Paul Apap
Fourth Official: Alan Mario Sant
Yellow Cards: none
BOV Player of the Match: Carlos Eduardo de Fiori Mendes
Meanwhile at the Hibernians Stadium, a penalty early in the second half handed Hibernians three precious points as they defeated Birkirkara 1-0.
Hibs therefore keep the pace with the top teams, moving fourth although Floriana and Sliema have a game in hand. On the other hand, this was the fourth defeat in six matches for Paul Zammit’s side which see them lose further ground, now lying in ninth place.
After hitting the posts twice through Marko Sahanek and Clayton Failla during the first half, seven minutes in the second half, the Paolites scored the all-important goal when they were awarded a penalty after Lucas Maia brought Sahanek down inside the area and Clayton Failla made no mistake from the penalty spot.
Both teams were reduced to ten men after having a player picking a second yellow card – Rui da Gracia Gomes on the 64th and Lucas Jaques Varone Maia on the 73rd.
HIBS Andrew Hogg, Rui da Gracia Gomes, Jurgen Degabriele (71′ Jorge Elias dos Santos), Dunstan Vella, Rodolfo Soares dos Santos, Marcelo Dias, Clayton Failla, Johann Bezzina (84′ Joseph Mbong), Jackson di Lima Siqueira, Andrei Agius, Marco Sahanek (79′ Marco Antonio Morgon Filho).
Subs not used: Rudy Briffa, Daniel Buckle, Timothy Tabone Desira, Conner Zammit.
B’KARA Philip Schranz, Cain Attard, Nikola Vukanac, Lucas Maia, Mislav Andjelkovic, Ryan Scicluna (86′ Ayrton Attard), Jake Grech (68′ Luke Montebello), Carlos Alberto da Silva, Bruno Andrade de Brito (76′ Edward Herrera), Kurt Zammit, Fabiano Monteiro de Oliveira.
Subs not used: David Cassar, Neil Micallef, Landry Mulemo, Llywelyn Cremona.
Coach: Paul Zammit
Referee: Matthew De Gabriele
Assistant Referees: Luke Portelli, Sammy Attard
Fourth Official: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Yellow Cards: Grech, Rui da Gracia, Lucas Maia, Attard, Degabriele
Red Cards: 64′ Rui da Gracia, 73′ Lucas Maia
BOV Player of the Match: Marko Sahanek