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BOV Premier League

Statement win for Balzan as they hit Sirens for six

Balzan's Alex Paixao tries to avoid Sirens goalkeeper Sean Mintoff. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi

SIRENS                     1
Gavrila 79

BALZAN                   6

Duric 7; Mijic 16; Paixao 33; Ljubomirac 38, 42; Kaljevic 88

SIRENS

S. Mintoff-5; A. Blanco-5; K. Reid-5 (85 A. Nakov); A. Effiong-5 (67 W. Avoce); A. Borg-5; J. Walker-5 (85 I. Borg); C. Zammit Lonardelli-5; A. Cini-5; C. Riascos-5; D. Jackson-5 (67 B. Gavrila); V. Vieira-5.

BALZAN

J. Galea-6.5; A. Loof-6.5; M. Grima-7 (73 J. Grech); M. Duric-7 (60 P. Mota); A. Paixao-7 (60 N. Frendo); U. Ljubomirac-7.5 (73 B. Kaljevic); M. Zlatkovic-6.5; G. Camilleri-6.5; M. Mijic-7; A. Andrejic-6.5; S. Cipriott-6.5 (60 P. Fenech).

Referee Ishmael Barbara.

Yellow cards Riascos, Frendo.

BOV Player of the Match Uros Ljubomirac (Balzan).

Balzan sent a statement of intent when they broke little sweat to crush Sirens at the National Stadium.

The win lifted Balzan closer towards the top positions in the league standings. In fact, Balzan have now joined Birkirkara on 15 points, one behind second-placed Floriana.

On the other hand, Sirens remain seventh on 10 points as they will be looking to bounce back from this defeat if they want to break into the top six.

Balzan made sure of their win in the first 45 minutes as they opened a five-goal lead.

The Reds made their intentions clear from the start with Alex Paixao firing a shot from close range but failed to hit the target.

Four minutes later, Balzan drew first blood through Milan Djuric who struck a low drive that beat Sean Mintoff.

Balzan remained the better team on the field even though Sirens almost stunned them through Alfred Effiong who pounced on a loose ball only to see his effort go inches wide.

Nonetheless, Balzan doubled their lead through Milos Mijic with a well-struck drive that went past Sirens goalkeeper Mintoff.

Paixao and Ljubomirac squandered a couple of good chances to extend Balzan’s lead but in the 33rd minute, the former was not to be denied after capitalising on a well-engineered transition.

Serbian midfielder Ljubomirac added a fourth in the 38th minute, when he made his way into the box before slotting past the Sirens goalkeeper.

Ljubomirac scored his second of the afternoon after another counter-attack by Balzan with the Serbian midfielder finding the net from point-blank range.

In the second half, Balzan coach Paul Zammit deployed new faces including 2004-born Jake Grech who was handed a debut midway into the second half.

Sirens, on their part, cut Balzan lead to four goals after being awarded a penalty when Paul Fenech floored Vitor Vieira. Bogdan Gavrila converted from the spot for his first goal of the season.

Macedonian player Andrej Nakov, who is on the books of Sirens, also made his first appearance in the top-flight late in the game.

In the closing stages of the game, Bojan Kaljevic scored Balzan’s sixth with a fierce strike from inside the area.

Standings provided by SofaScore LiveScore

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