LIJA ATHLETIC 1
L. Bonnici-6.5, C. Cassar-5.5, P. Gusso-5.5, L. Muscat-5.5 (46 N. Micallef 5.5), I. Borg-5.5, E. Beu-6, F. Brandan 6.5, W. Serrano-6, M. Jimenez-5.5, G. Virano-5.5 (75 D. Scerri), C. Flores-6.
V. Vranes-6, A. Loof-5.5, S. Arab-5.5, M. Djuric, P. Fenech-6.5, E. McWoods-5.5 (64 A. Effiong), M. Johnson-5.5, S. Dimic-5.5 (71 M. Grima), W. Gomes, A. Andrejic-6.5, S. Cipriott-6 (64 G. Camilleri).
Referee: Philip Farrugia.
Yellow cards: Loof, Fenech, Cipriott, Borg, Djuric, Gomes.
Red cards: Djuric (B), Weverton (B) .
BOV Player of the Match: Paul Fenech (Balzan).
Balzan earned a point in a 1-1 draw with neighbours Lija Athletic despite having two players sent off in the dying minutes.
The draw fails to satisfy Balzan as they were aiming for the three points in their bid to climb out of the relegation zone. In fact, they once again end up sharing fourth from bottom with Floriana.
Lija, on the other hand, remain second from bottom although they claimed another important point.
Balzan took the lead after just ten minutes thanks to Aleksa Andrejic who gained possession in midfield off Gonzalo Virano, beat two defenders on the run and slotted past the onrushing Luke Bonnici.
Balzan seemed in control and could have doubled the score on 18 minutes when Eric Mc Woods released Michael Johnson but all alone in front of the goalkeeper, he allowed Bonnici to block his first attempt with his foot. The Balzan defender headed towards goal the rebound but was parried away by the goalkeeper.
Lija, however, equalised on 31 minutes. Carlos Flores picked up Augustine Loof’s short clearance, off a cross from the left, hitting low past Vranes.
Just before the end of the first half, a Fernando Brandan free-kick ended just wide.
Balzan continued to enjoy the lion’s share of possession but without creating any serious opportunities although on 79 minutes, Milan Djuric was unlucky to hit the crossbar with a freekick from the right.
Three minutes later, Djuric was given marching orders by referee Farrugia after being cautioned for passing remarks and then receiving another yellow card for sarcastically applauding the match official’s decision.
Substitute Neil Micallef almost handed Lija a shock win four minutes from time with a cross shot from the left which hit the bar with Vranes turning the ball into a corner.
One minute in added time, Weverton was also sent off for Balzan after receiving two yellow cards in just one minute.