Balzan win to re­main sole lead­ers

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Balzan beat lowly Mosta yes­ter­day to re­main sole lead­ers at the top of the Premier League stand­ings.

They were con­sid­ered as firm favourites to win the three points, but they were made to fight hard by the Blues who of­fered stiff re­sis­tance.

Mosta were a to­tally dif­fer­ent out­fit from the one which had gone down 3-0 to bot­tom club Pem­broke in their pre­vi­ous match.

It was Kal­je­vic’s ex­cel­lent goal in the first half that sep­a­rated the two teams at the end.

Balzan took to the field with­out Paul Fenech, Ly­don Mi­callef, Al­fred Ef­fiong and Elkin Ser­rano.

Mosta were the first to go on the of­fen­sive with a McClaren low shot fin­ish­ing just wide.

Balzan also went close through a de Bar­ros low strike which shaved the foot of the post.

That proved to be the pre­lude to Balzan’s opener. Wear­ing a pro­tec­tive mask af­ter re­cov­er­ing from a bro­ken nose, Ab­delka­rim Nafti started a fine move which in­volved Mat­teo Pi­ci­ollo and Alan Silva de Souza be­fore the ball was passed to Bo­jan Kal­je­vic who shot low past Bar­tolo.

Seven min­utes from half­time, Emanuel Bar­tolo thwarted Balzan from a sec­ond goal as he ef­fected a first class save off a da Silva swerv­ing shot that seemed destined for the back of the net.

On 63 min­utes, Ryan Fenech made a long-awaited come­back from a one-year lay-off when he sub­sti­tuted de Barro.

In their first real at­tack in the sec­ond half, Mosta al­most ob­tained an equaliser. From a short cor­ner, Njongo Priso crossed into the Balzan area where Tris­tan Grant rose to head to­wards goal but the ball fin­ished just over.

De­spite their ter­ri­to­rial su­pe­ri­or­ity, Balzan failed to cre­ate any good chances, even if Kal­je­vic pro­vided the Mosta de­fence with some anx­ious mo­ments. Balzan Val­letta Hiber­ni­ans Birkirkara Flo­ri­ana Sliema Ham­run St. An­drews Tarx­ien Gzira Mosta Pem­broke P 12 12 11 12 11 12 11 12 12 12 12 11 W 8 7 7 6 5 5 4 4 3 2 2 2 D 3 3 2 3 3 2 2 2 4 3 2 1 L F A Pts 1 23 13 27 2 20 11 24 2 14 9 23 3 27 10 21 3 12 9 18 5 15 14 17 5 18 20 14 6 12 17 14 5 12 17 13 7 11 21 9 8 10 22 8 8 13 24 7

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