Hamrun fail to beat nine-man Balzan
■ 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.