Balzan came back from a goal down to beat Sliema Wanderers 3-1 at the Hibernians Stadium on Saturday. A win which puts Marko Micovic’s side on level points with the Blues in fourth place, together with Hamrun Spartans.
Following the draw with Hamrun in their last league outing, Balzan coach Marko Micovic made three changes as Michael Johnson, Ivan Bozovic and Sean Cipriott replaced Steve Bezzina, Harry Ascroft and Milos Lepovic.
For the Wanderers, Kurt Shaw, Goran Adamovic, Mark Scerri and Frank Temile were preferred to Jonathan Pearson, Ryan Fenech, Kilian Amehi and Younes Marzouk following the win over Qormi in their last league match.
Sliema took the lead two minutes in the second half thanks to a Matias Muchardi freekick from the left.
Balzan equalised on the 68th minute when Cadu’s corner from the left was not cleared by the Sliema defence and Alfred Effiong slammed the ball home from close range.
Seven minutes from time, Balzan made it 2-1 thanks to a Michael Johnson header after a corner from the right by Cadu created havoc inside the area.
Balzan sealed the issue with a third goal on the 89th minute. In a swift counter attack, Cadu released Effiong on the left and off the latter’s assist, Andrija Majdevac’s low shot, deflected by Michele Sansone, ended at the back of the net.
SLIEMA Jake Galea, Matias Muchardi, Kurt Shaw, Mark Scerri, Jefferson de Assis, Nii Nortey Ashong, Frank Temile, Michele Sansone, Claudio Pani, Goran Adamovic, Stefano Bianciardi.
Subs not used: Timothy Aquilina, Jonathan Pearson, John Mintoff, Ryan Fenech, Peter Xuereb, Edmond Agius, Stefan Cassar.
Coach: John Buttigieg
BALZAN Steve Sultana, Justin Grioli, Nenad Sljivic (90’ Dale Camilleri), Alex da Paixao Alves (90+1’ Siraj Arab Eddin), Michael Johnson, Alfred Effiong, Uros Ljubomirac, Ivan Bozovic, Elkin Serrano, Carlos Eduardo de Fiori Mendes, Sean Cipriott (52’ Andrija Majdevac).
Subs not used: Sean Mintoff, Lydon Micallef, Neil Frendo, Gary Camilleri.
Coach: Marko Micovic
Referee: Philip Farrugia
Assistant Referees: Luke Portelli, Dusan Petrovic
Fourth Official: Darryl Agius
Yellow Cards: Sljivic, Muchardi, Cipriott, Grioli, Ljubomirac
BOV Player of the Match: Matias Muchardi