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Veteran striker Mifsud scores as Mosta add to Balzan’s woes

Mosta's Clayton Failla is tackled by Milos Zlatkovic. Photo: Stephen Gatt

MOSTA        3

Akinbule 73, 84; Mifsud 78

BALZAN       2

Andrejic 45; Zlatkovic 90

MOSTA

I. Akpan-7; R. Briffa-6 (57 J. Vassallo-6), C. Ememe-5 (46 W. Donkin-6), G. Acheampong-6.5, C. Failla-6.5, J. Bezzina-6 (63 M. Mifsud), B. Diarra-6.5, L. Riascos, Rafael-6.5, S. Akinbule-7 (89 D. Antwi), R. Ekani-6.

BALZAN

R. Briffa-5; A. Loof-5, M. Grima-5, M. Duric-6, N. Gulan-6 (80 N. Gulan), M. Johnson-6, U. Ljubomirac-6.5, M. Zlatkovic-5, M. Mijic-6, A. Andrejic-6, S. Cipriott-6 (58 G. Camilleri-5).

Referee Philip Farrugia.

Yellow cards Mijic, Ljubomirac, Riascos, Bezzina, Johnson.

Red card Riascos (M) 90.

BOV Player of the Match Uros Ljubomirac (Balzan).

Malta’s all-time international top scorer Michael Mifsud opened his 2021-22 season account at the right moment as his introduction in the second half propelled Mosta to a 3-2 comeback victory over Mosta.

The highly-experienced striker was deployed midway into the second half when the Blues were trailing by one goal.

After Sunday Akinbule levelled Aleksa Andrejic’s first-half goal for Balzan, Mifsud scored and produced an assist as the Blues edge closer to safety with 28 points and three games left.

On the other hand, Balzan have succumbed to their 15th defeat of the season as they are now three points from safety.

Balzan threatened first through Michael Johnson whose towering header was cleared off the line by a Mosta player following a corner-kick situation.

Rudy Briffa, starting between the sticks for Balzan, made a fine save on Johann Bezzina when the Mosta midfielder fired a shot from the edge of the area.

Aleksa Andrejic knocked on Mosta’s door with a shot from tight angle which was blocked by Ini Akpan.

In the 37th minute, Briffa was forced into a spectacular save when Geoffrey Acheampong’s shot from the edge of the area took a twist towards goal before the Balzan goalkeeper diverted it into corner.

On the brink of half-time, Balzan forged ahead against the run of play when a Milan Duric’s cut back was converted into a goal by Andrejic.

Ljubomirac tested Akpan with a shot from outside the area but the Mosta goalkeeper halted his chance after the interval.

Duric squandered a chance to double Balzan’s lead when his point-blank range shot sailed over the bar.

Balzan’s Ljubomirac threatened again when he struck a shot which Akpan blocked into corner. From the resultant set-piece, the Serbian midfielder was the one who connected with the cross only for his effort to be cleared into corner once again.

Balzan continued to pile the pressure on Mosta, with a Duric’s header going wide from Akpan’s goal.

Nonetheless, it was Mosta who found the net through Sunday Akinbule who lifted the ball past goalkeeper Briffa from inside the penalty area.

In the 78th minute, Mosta put themselves ahead when veteran striker Michael Mifsud slotted into the net on his 801st career appearance.

Mosta wrapped up the win when they pounced on a loose ball in the midfield with Mifsud latching the ball towards forward Akinbule who fired into an empty net.

Akpan was crucial to Mosta’s victory with a fantastic save on a Bojan Kaljevic’s header late in the game before Milos Zlatkovic scored a consolation goal for Balzan.

Deep in stoppage time, Mosta were reduced to ten men when Luis Riascos was given a second yellow card for a tactical foul.

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