Johnson 24, 36 Sanoh 25
ŻEJTUN CORINTHIANS 1
Balzan: V. Vranes-6, A. Loof-6, M. Grima-6, M. Duric-6.5, S. Bezzina-6 (90 Z. Grech), M. Johnson-7.5, U. Ljubomirac-6.5, S. Dimic-6 (90 A. Bradshaw), M. Sanoh-6 (79 G. Camilleri), A. Andrejic-6 (70 A. Effiong), S. Cipriott-5.5 (90 S. Arab)
Żejtun Corinthians: C. Cassar-6, L. Moreira-5, K. Reid-5, J. Suda-4, Robeiro-6, T. Bonfim-4 (46 C. Grech-5), H. Marcelino-5, J. Barboza-5, E. Herrera-5 (46 N., Tabone-5), G. Azzopardi-5, A. De Barros-5.5 (70 A. Carabott).
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Yellow card: Bonfim, Cipriott, Azzopardi, Barboza,
BOV player of the match: Michael Johnson (Balzan)
Balzan cruised past Żejtun Corinthians yesterday to move out of the relegation zone. In the process, they leapfrogged their opponents on points, as well as Gudja and Floriana on goal average.
Two of the goals came from an unexpected source as defender Michael Johnson led his side’s 3-1 win over Żejtun. In between, Moussa Sanoh added the lead for the 2019 FA Trophy winners.
It was the manner as much as the number of Johnson’s goals that surprised the Corinthians.
With three vitals points within their grasp, Mark Miller’s Balzan showed signs of buckling as Robeiro scored to reduce the deficit and struck the crossbar at the end of the match.
Balzan started like a team that clearly knew they had technical supremacy over their opponents.
And it did not take long before Michael Johnson exposed Żejtun’s frailties at the back, with the defender rising high to head home from Milan Duric’s corner.
The Corinthians tried to hit straight back but the Balzan defence transferred the ball upfront quickly where Uros Ljubomirac found space on down the right flank, before hitting a superb cross into the box which reached Moussa Sanoh, who steered it from close-range.
With Żejtun in complete disarray, Johnson sidefooted a third after Christian Cassar had parried his first volley. The defender made no mistake from the rebound and beautifully guided the ball beyond the goalkeeper.
It could even have been much worse for Orosco Anonam’s side by the time they headed for the changing rooms at half-time but Cassar blocked Sanoh’s shot end the end of the half.
Żejtun’s first-half display did not merit a goal, but they found the net when Ribeiro do Nascimento saw his venomous strike hit the back of the net.
The usually lucid Aleksa Andrejic was clearly upset when he shot straight at Cassar.
In an attempt to give the Corinthians’ attack some potency, Anonam brought on Adrian Carabott for Anderson de Barros. Carabott made a quick impression but he was denied by Vukasin Vranes who blocked his effort on 75 minutes.
At death, Żejtun went close to engineer a comeback as Robeiro knocked the ball against the crossbar from point-blank range but his effort came too late.