Falcone 55, Attard 61
Ljubomirac 5, Loof 44 pen
A. Guarnone-6, E. Pepe-6, Y. Yankam-6, L. Montebello-6, R. Briffa-6 (85 R. Mbu Alidor), K. Zammit-6, F. Falcone-6.5, C. Attard-6, C. Bonanni-6.5, C. Prado-6.5, O. Carniello-6.
V. Vranes-6, A. Loof-6.5, S. Arab-6, P. Fenech-6, S. Pisani-6.5, S. Bezzina-6 (72 G. Camilleri), U. Ljubomirac-7, S. Dimic-6.5 (88 A. Effiong), P. Mota-6.5 (90+2’ N. Frendo), S. Cipriott-6 (72 E. McWoods), M. Kamara-6.
Referee: Glen Tonna.
Yellow cards: Attard, Dimic, Carniello, Falcone, Fenech, Prado, Mota.
BOV Player of the Match: Uros Ljubomirac (Balzan).
Birkirkara failed to maintain their recent fine form as they only managed to rescue a point in a 2-2 draw with Balzan.
After collecting maximum points from their last three matches, the Stripes were favourites for the win, considering that Balzan struggled in recent outings, failing to win any of their last six matches.
However, Mark Miller’s side had other thoughts and went two goals ahead by the end of the first half and it was only a good comeback by Birkirkara that enabled them to take home a point.
Balzan had a perfect start, taking the lead after just five minutes when Uros Ljubomirac received the ball on the left and pulled to a more central position before unleashing a great shot from the edge of the area which gave goalkeeper Alessandro Guarnone no chance.
The Stripes’ reaction took some time to arrive and on 34 minutes, Roderick Briffa delivered a cross and Federico Falcone hit just wide with a fine effort.
However, it was Balzan who missed a good opportunity three minutes later with Stefan Dimic heading wide from a Samir Arab cross.
But Balzan’s second goal was just round the corner as one minute from the end of the first half, they were awarded a penalty after Oscar Carniello pulled Dimic down inside the area. Augustine Loof converted to make it 2-0.
Ten minutes in the second half, Birkirkara reduced the gap. Briffa’s free-kick from the left created havoc inside the area and the ball reached Falcone who hit hard past Vranes.
Six minutes later, the Stripes levelled matters. Claudio Bonanni picked up a short clearance and chipped the ball for Cain Attard to control and beat the Balzan custodian with an angled shot.
Pedro Mota went close for Balzan with a shot ending just wide off a cross by Dimic on 79 minutes but Birkirkara could have notched the winner in the dying minutes.
In fact, after having an angled shot from the right by Luke Montebello blocked by Vranes five minutes from time, the Malta international striker was unlucky to hit the crossbar with a header from a corner by Caio.