Ham­run fail to beat nine-man Balzan

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - SPORT -

■ Ste­wart Said Balzan will be more sat­is­fied with the fi­nal re­sult af­ter play­ing half an hour with nine men, but as the fi­nal re­sult stands, Balzan failed for the third time in the first four games to clinch a win.

Ħam­run on the other side gave a tough ride to their op­po­nents in the first hour, but dis­ap­pointed when they had nu­mer­i­cal ad­van­tage.

The game was char­ac­terised by sev­eral ar­gu­ments and yel­low cards, as the ref­eree Matthew De­gabriele had a tough job to con­trol the game.

Ħam­run coach Jac­ques Scerri made three changes as he in­cluded Steve Sul­tana in goal in­stead of Jake Galea, while Ter­ence Agius and Ly­don Mi­callef started against their own club.

Two changes for Marco Mi­covic as Ryan Fenech and Alex da Paixao Alves were cho­sen in­stead of Mi­los Le­povic and Al­fred Ef­fiong re­spec­tively.

The first ac­tion to note came af­ter seven min­utes as Brazil­ian Alex da Paixao Alves tried with a shot that fin­ished over the bar. Ħam­run cre­ated their first dan­ger six min­utes later, with a low shot by Fran­cisco Marino Clavero that fin­ished wide.

Alves was the most dan­ger­ous player in the be­gin­ning for Balzan.

This time on the 17th minute, his ef­fort from dis­tance fin­ished inches over the bar. Three min­utes later, Ħam­run re­sponded again as Va­le­rio Gomes dos San­tos ad­vanced, but his low shot hit the up­right.

Balzan could have taken the lead as they were awarded a penalty be­fore half time for a foul on Bo­jan Kal­je­vic, but from the penalty spot, the shot by Carlos de Fiori Men­des went well over the bar.

A minute later, Steve Sul­tana had to tip into a cor­ner a long range ef­fort by Paul Fenech.

The game re­duced its rhythm in the sec­ond half but had a twist as Balzan were first sentoff in the 58th minute af­ter Paul Fenech re­ceived his sec­ond yel­low card, while four min­utes later, Bo­jan Kal­je­vic was sentoff af­ter he passed re­marks to the ref­eree.

De­spite hav­ing an ad­van­tage of two play­ers, Ħam­run weren’t dan­ger­ous and in fact Balzan looked to be with a nu­mer­i­cal ad­van­tage.

The only shot by Ħam­run came in the 90th minute with a shot from dis­tance by Chir­cop that was saved by Jan­ju­se­vic.

A minute later, Balzan al­most scored the win­ning goal as from a counter-at­tack, the ball fin­ished in the di­rec­tion of Al­fred Ef­fiong who hit from the penalty area, but Sul­tana saved the shot into a cor­ner.

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