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Second win in a row for Balzan, first point for Gżira United and Naxxar Lions

Santa Lucia striker Wagner (centre) tries to move in between Marcus Grima (left) and Riohei Mihibuchi. Photo: Christine Borg

Balzan notched their second successive win when they overcame Santa Lucia 1-0 at the Tony Bezzina Stadium.

The result lifted Balzan to second place in the standings on six points, level with Ħamrun Spartans and Hibernians albeit the former have played a game less.

The Reds were off to a strong start and took the lead on 14 minutes when Aleksandar Katanic concluded a swift transition play when hitting a firm drive that flew into the net.

Balzan almost doubled their lead five minutes from the break Leonardo Da Silva saw his shot pushed away by Celio Da Paz Silva.

Santa Lucia threatened on 64 minutes when Sven Xerri’s shot was pushed away by Danilo Golovic.

The Southerners came agonisingly close to a last-gasp equaliser when in stoppage time Tatsuro Nagamatsu hit a thumping drive that just missed the upright as Balzan held on for the win.

Gżira United and Naxxar Lions picked up their first point of the season when they ended their clash in a 1-1 draw.

The result will be somewhat disappointing for Gżira United who enjoyed the better share of possession throughout the match and had enough opportunities to kill off the match but were pegged back late on when Takuma Yamaguchi equalised for Naxxar Lions.

The Maroons were the better side in the first half and came close to taking the lead following efforts from Andy Borg and Ewertton that were both kept out by Naxxar goalkeeper Matthias Debono.

Gżira took the lead on 54 minutes when they were awarded a penalty for a foul on Adama Sane and from the spot Gabriel Bohrer made no mistake.

Naxxar Lions midfielder Edson Farias (right) tries to move past Andy Borg. Photo: Dominic Borg

The Maroons were denied by the woodwork from adding a second goal six minutes from time when Sane saw his shot coming off the upright.

But it was Naxxar who had the final say as on 86 minutes substitute Yamaguchi beat Cassar with a firm drive to earn his team their first point on their return to the Premier League.

Standings provided by Sofascore


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