Kaljevic 64, 86, 90 pen
Jalu 5, 14,
Bojan Kaljevic’s second-half hat-trick cancelled Balzan’s three-goal lead as Mosta produced a stunning fightback to earn a draw.
Yet, most of the talk after the match was focused on a decision made by referee Stefan Pace match officials when Mosta were allowed to kick-off twice in the game.
It was Mosta who got the game under way at the National Stadium. But to the astonishment of many, referee Stefan Pace allowed the Blues to take the kick-off again in the second half.
According to football rules, that constitutes a technical error and if either Mosta or Balzan lodge a protest, the result of the match will be declared null and the game will be replayed.
Balzan got off to the best possible start when Paul Fenech whipped in a superb cross for Suleiman Jalu to plant a header into the net with the aid of the post after only five minutes of play.
The Reds continued to look dangerous, although Mark Miller’s side would not have expected to be handed a second goal by their opponents.
Mosta goalkeeper Stephane Bitseki shanked his clearance straight to Jalu who advanced before driving a looping shot over the stranded Mosta goalkeeper and into the far corner of the net.
Mosta unsuccessfully pushed forward in an attempt to cut the deficit on the half hour mark when Clayton Failla saw his curling drive from a free-kick finish just over the bar.
But Balzan made it 3-0 soon after the break when Tyrone Farrugia turned Uros Ljubomirac’s cross past Bitseki following a fine run on the right flank by the Serbian winger.
Despite the three-goal deficit, Mosta refused to throw in the towel and on 64 minutes Kaljevic headed home Failla’s cross.
The goal proved to be the catalyst they needed to mount a stunning comeback.
Mario Muscat’s men showed great spirit and totally outmuscled Balzan in the second half.
They were back in the game four minutes from time when Kaljevic bent his shot from free-kick beyond the wall and away from Sean Mintoff’s reach.
Moments later Mosta should have equalised when Matias Muchardi fired just wide from Kevin Tumilieri’s superb pass.
But the Blues’ amazing turnaround was not to be denied. Substitute Pedro Mota floored Tumilieri in the area as he was poised to shot at goal. From the ensuing penalty kick, Kaljevic sent Mintoff the wrong side to complete a remarkable recovery.
That was that but it remains to be seen whether this was the final chapter of this match.