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Angel Torres brace propels Balzan into third place

Balzan's Alex Satariano pushes towards goal against Mosta. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

MOSTA                    2

Bonnici 24

Failla 70

BALZAN                  3

Kaljevic 42

Torres 74, 78


I.Akpan-6; R. Briffa-6, C. Ememe-6 (72 T. Farrugia), P. Tenebe, D. Bonnici-6 (64 N. Agius), C. Failla-7, B. Diarra-6, J. Akrong-6 (64 S. Kingue), J. Vassallo-6, Z. Brincat-6 (64 M. Okoh), R. Ekani-6.


J. Debono-6.5; I. Bozovic-6, S. Arab-6 (77 B. Hili), P. Fenech-6, A. Torres-7, D. Ndinga-6 (64 M. Grima), N. Zerjal-6, A. Satariano-6 (64 M. Sousa), M. Raso-6, A. Andrejic-6 (77 B. Mladnovic), B. Kaljevic-6.5.

Referee Matthew DeGabriele.

Yellow cards Akrong, Failla, Fenech, Ememe, Bozovic.

Red card Precious Tenebe (Mosta) 41.

BOV Player of the Match Angel Torres (Balzan).

Angel Torres proved Balzan’s hero once again as he scored two second-half goals to hand the Reds three massive points in the race for European football at the Centenary Stadium on Monday.

Balzan met Mosta in a direct clash for a place in next season’s Europa Conference League, with third place at stake following Gżira United’s slip against Birkirkara over the weekend.

The Blues produced a solid showing but Precious Tenebe’s first-half red card proved costly for them as they had to face Balzan with a man down for the next 45 minutes.

With two matches left, Birkirkara sit second on 47 points while Balzan are now trailing them by four in third place.

Gżira, Hibernians, and Mosta follow with just three points separate Balzan from the aforementioned trio.

Balzan’s Bojan Kaljevic tested Ini Akpan early in the game with a shot that was too central for the Mosta goalkeeper, but it was the Blues who imposed their game better and managed to make the most of their possession when they forged ahead on minute 24.

Zachary Brincat, Mosta captain on the day, picked up a ball in the midfield and played a through ball towards Christ Ememe who teed up Duane Bonnici to convert into an empty net.

Oliver Spiteri’s Balzan replied through Alexander Satariano who past the half-hour mark forced Akpan into a save, with the former Floriana goalkeeper diverting into a corner.

Balzan managed to level terms before half-time when the Reds were awarded a penalty. Precious Tenebe floored Oliver Torres during a counter-attack and was given the marching orders with a direct red card.

Montenegrin forward Kaljevic made no mistake from the spot as Balzan were now facing an entire second half with an extra player.

After the change of ends, Ememe came close to putting Mosta ahead once again when he struck a shot from inside the penalty area but Jonathan Debono was alert to avert the danger.

The Mosta striker let fly another shot past the hour mark but Debono managed to block his effort once again.

However, Debono could do nothing when Clayton Failla fired a brilliant volley from the edge of the area to hand Mosta a one-goal lead.

Nonetheless, Balzan managed to find a leveller when Angel Torres, the club’s top scorer, beat Akpan with a curling effort from the edge of the area.

The Colombian winger completed his brace when he broke through into Mosta’s penalty area before beating Akpan from a tight angle.

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