Balzan came back from two goals down but a late goal by Seydou Doumbia handed Hamrun Spartans a 3-2 win at the Centenary Stadium on Sunday. A win which keeps the Spartans on top the BOV Premier League table.
Hamrun therefore extend their unbeaten record to sixteen matches, this being their fifth consecutive win. Balzan, on the other hand, remain fourth from bottom.
The Spartans took the lead on the 4th minute when off a Karl Micallef cross from the right, Franklin Sasere headed home in style past goalkeeper Vukasin Vranes.
Balzan were unlucky not to equalise on the 12th minute with Uros Ljubomirac hitting the crossbar as he caught goalkeeper Manuel Bartolo out of the area following an erratic clearance by the latter.
On the 24th minute, Hamrun doubled the score thanks to a powerful drive by Joseph Mbong which ended in the top right corner.
Three minutes in the second half, Balzan pulled one back thanks to an Aleksa Andrejic cross shot from the right which hit the upright before ending at the back of the net.
Ailton Soares was unlucky to hit the crossbar with a freekick on the 69th but seven minutes later, Balzan equalised when in a swift counter-attack, Uros Ljubomirac sent Alfred Effiong through who beat the onrushing Bartolo with a low shot from outside the area.
However six minutes from time, Hamrun regained the lead whe off a cross by Djordjevic from the right, Seydou Doumbia slammed the ball home.
HAMRUN Manuel Bartolo, Darko Gojkovic, Matthew Guillaumier, Joseph Mbong, Ailton Jorge dos Santos Soares, Franklin Sasere (Ige Abdullahi Adeshina 87’), Elkin Serrano Valero, Juan Carlos Corbalan, Predrag Djordjevic, Karl Micallef, Emerson Marcelina (Seydou Doumbia 57′).
Coach: Mark Buttigieg
BALZAN Vukasin Vranes, Augustine Loof, Marcus Grima (Moussa Kamara 75’), Samir Arab, Paul Fenech, Steve Bezzina (Alfred Effiong 71’), Michael David Johnson, Uros Ljubomirac, Stefan Dimic, Moussa Sanoh, Aleksa Andrejic.
Coach: Mark Miller
Referee: Emanuel Grech
Assistant Referees: Roberto Vella, Duncan Spencer
Fourth Official: Alex Johnson
Yellow Cards: M. Sanoh, U. Ljubomirac, A. Loof, S. Bezzina, S. Dimic (B); P. Djordjevic, K. Micallef, J. Mbong (H)
BOV Player of the Match: Joseph Mbong