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Balzan come from behind to overcome improved Sta Lucia

Nikola Braunovic (left) launches a Balzan attack. Photo: Domenic Borg

BALZAN             3           

Kaljevic 20

Torres 41, 68

SANTA LUCIA   1           

Rodrigues 14


R. Briffa-6, D. Torres-6, S. Arab-6 (89 Z. Grech), M. Grima-6, P. Fenech-6 (89 L. Mallia), A. Torres-7 (89 S. Jalu), A. Satariano-6, N. Braunovic-6, M. Raso-6, A. Andrejic-6.5 (84 A. Bradshaw), B. Kaljevic-6.5 (68 B. Mladenovic).


M. Calleja Cremona-6, L. Fonseca-5.5, N. Pulis-6, R. Bairam-6 (78 M. Vella), R. Hehedosh-6.5, J. Tanti-6, D. Pacheco-5 (61 L. McKay), J. Pisani-5.5, F. Rodrigues-6, J. Zerafa-5.5 (57 J. Carbone), M. Alba-5.5 (78 L. Ayad).

Referee: Darryl Agius.

Yellow cards: Pacheco, Kaljevic, Soares, Braunovic.

BOV Player of the Match: Angel Torres (Balzan).

Balzan came from behind to overcome Santa Lucia and join Mosta in seventh place, although the latter have a game in hand.

For Santa Lucia, this was the sixth sucv=cessive defeat as they remain second from bottom. The performance was, however, quite encouraging.

Coach Vincenzo Potenza opted to start with Jamie Zerafa, Jan Tanti and new recruit Robert Hehedosh, who left quite a good impression, as Liam Ayad, Dexter Xuereb and Jamie Carbone were among the substitutes.  

On the other hand, Balzan coach Oliver Spiteri was forced to make two changes as he could not count on the suspended Ivan Bozovic and Matheus Sousa with Samir Arab and Bojan Kaljevic handed a start.

Santa Lucia took the lead on 14 minutes. Hehedosh concluded a good move on the right with a fine shot which hit the foot of the upright and off the rebound, Francesco Rodrigues headed home.

Balzan equalised six minutes later. Alexander Satariano sent Kaljevic through and the latter beat goalkeeper Matthew Calleja Cremona with a powerful shot.

Santa Lucia threatened with a curling shot by Jan Tanti which scraped past the upright on 38 minutes.

However, four minutes from the end of the first half, Balzan went ahead for the first time. Diego Pacheco lost the ball to Kaljevic who advanced into the area before serving Angel Torres who slotted home.

Two minutes in added time, Balzan were unlucky to hit the woodwork with a Angel Torres angled effort from the right.

Kaljevic went close to adding another for Balzan on 59 minutes when Santa Lucia’s Pacheco slipped outside the area but the Montenegrin forward’s low shot was deflected into a corner by Calleja Cremona.

On 64 minutes, Santa Lucia went close to equalising with a Tanti angled shot which was blocked by Briffa and off the rebound, Hehedosh had a shot which was deflected into a corner.

However, Balzan sealed the issue with a third goal four minutes later.

Satariano provided the assist from the right and Torres slotted the ball past goalkeeper Calleja Cremona from the edge of the area.

Satariano could have extended the lead further on 79 minutes but his attempt hit the upright when served by Bogdan Mladenovic.

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