A goal five minutes in added time by former Birkirkara goalkeeper Kristian Naumovski handed Balzan a point in a highly entertaining 3-3 draw with Birkirkara at the National Stadium on Saturday.
This was therefore the first point for Birkirkara after two defeats in their first two outings while Balzan managed to avoid a second consecutive defeat after losing to Floriana in their last outing.
Ironically Luke Montebello, who joined Balzan on loan from Birkirkara on the transfer deadline, put Balzan ahead on the 6th minute thanks to a rising shot from the edge of the area.
Birkirkara equalised on the 37th when Miguel Angel Alba sent Federico Falcone through and the latter hit past Naumovski.
Just before the end of the first half, Miguel Angel Alba made it 2-1 for Birkirkara with a long-distance shot which was somehow not parried by the Balzan goalkeeper.
Twelve minutes in the second half, Ricardo Calixto Correa restored equilibrium for Balzan with a powerful long-distance shot which gave Hogg no chance.
Miguel Angel Alba converted a penalty four minutes from time to restore the lead for the Stripes after Caio Henrique was brought down inside the area by substitute Ryan Scicluna.
However Balzan rescued a point four minutes in added time thanks to goalkeeper Kristijan Naumovski who headed the ball home off a Correa corner.
B’KARA Andrew Hogg, Enrico Pepe, Maurizio Vella, Michael Mifsud, Federico Falcone, Cain Attard, Caio Henrique Prado, Oscar Matias Carniello (79′ Gianluca Bugeja), Miguel Angel Alba (90′ Kurt Zammit), Ryan Fenech, Isaac Toah Ntow.
Subs not used: Nicky Vella, Glenn Attard, Carlo Zammit Lonardelli, Paul Mbong, Roderick Briffa.
Coach: Andre Paus
Asst. Coach: Jonathan Holland
BALZAN Kristijan Naumovski, Aleksandar Kosoric, Steve Bezzina, Michael Johnson, Paul Fenech (90+2′ Lydon Micallef), Alfred Effiong (67′ Andrija Majdevac), Uros Ljubomirac, Ivan Bozovic, Ricardo Calixto Correa (78′ Ryan Scicluna), Arthur Faria Machado, Luke Montebello.
Subs not used: Sean Mintoff, Marcus Grima, Zachary Karl Grech, Zak Grech.
Coach: Jacques Scerri
Asst. Coach: Andrea Pisanu
Referee: Philip Farrugia
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Thomas Debono
Fourth Official: Andrea Sciriha
Yellow Cards: Effiong, Pepe, Vella, Correa, Ntow, P. Fenech, Falcone
BOV Player of the Match: Ricardo Calixto Correa Duarte