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Fenech hails Torres’ genius as Balzan close in on Europe

Balzan’s Angel Torres (no.10) is fouled during the match against Mosta. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Balzan captain Paul Fenech has lauded the footballing genius of forward Angel Torres after the Colombian striker single-handedly orchestrated his team’s thrilling 3-2 victory over Mosta at Centenary Stadium on Monday.

Facing direct rivals Mosta for a place in the UEFA Conference League qualifiers this summer, Balzan found themselves twice behind against the resilient Blues despite having to play for almost an hour with a player less following the first-half dismissal of Precious Tenebe.

But then Torres came to Balzan’s rescue when he not only won the penalty that pulled his team level before scoring two fine individual goals that earned his team a stunning 3-2 victory and lifted them to third place in the Premier League standings on 43 points, one above Gżira United and Hibernians.

“This was a must-win match for both Mosta and Balzan as for both teams a draw would have not been a good result,” Fenech told the Times of Malta on Tuesday.

“A win against a direct rival like Mosta is a huge psychological boost for us in our bid to secure a top-three finish, particularly as we have two direct encounters against Gżira United and Birkirkara to complete our season.

“The match turned out to be a hard-fought affair as although Mosta played for several minutes with a player less they still remained very dangerous for us. We tried to push forward and try to hurt them but we still remain wary of their threat as they have some fast players that are lethal in quick transitions.

“Mosta can be dangerous from different situations, particularly from set-pieces, and in fact, we ended up conceding a second goal from a free-kick situation while they hit the bar from a corner so you cannot relax against them.

“I have to admit that we are blessed to have a player of the quality of Angel Torres. He scored two goals out of nothing and he single-handedly won the match for us. He thrives in high-pressure situations and when you have these kinds of players they always make a difference.

“For me, he is one of the best foreign players I have ever played with in my career. He was born to do this, he is hard-working, reads the game very well, and has a good intuition of how things will evolve in a match.

“Angel Torres is an exceptional player.”

Gżira test

Next up for Balzan is another mammoth task as they face Gżira United, the team they dislodged from third place last Monday and who are desperate to end a five-match losing run which is seriously jeopardising their hopes of playing in Europe this summer.

“This is another important match for us and I am happy that we will play against them just a few days after our win against Mosta as hopefully, we can carry the positive momentum generated from our last match,” Fenech said.

“We need to play another high-level match if we are to get the result we are looking for to remain in charge for a top-three finish. In a way, it’s good that we are playing some top teams in our final two matches as that will keep us fully motivated and concentrated to perform at our best.

“At this stage of the season, it’s not important the manner how we play but the important thing is that we win matches as picking up the three points is what matters most.”

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