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Balzan prevail over Pieta Hotspurs in five-goal thriller

Balzan striker Alex Satariano tries a spectacular overhead kick against Pieta. Photo: Domenic Aquilina

PIETA’ HOTSPURS           2           

Yamaguchi 50, Morita 60

BALZAN              3           

Raso 22, Satariano 54

Kaljevic 56’

PIETÀ HOTSPURS

D. Alampasu-5.5, S. Okoh-6, C. Bangura-6 (87 A. Belibi), T. Ojo-6 (87 P. Lapira), J. Ghio-6.5 (76 K. Briffa), A. Amadu-6, A. Schembri Wismayer-6 (88 S. Mizzi), Z. Leonardi-6, G. Ogunugbe-6.5, S. Camara-5.5 (52 Y. Morita), T. Yamaguchi-6.5.

BALZAN

R. Briffa-5.5, I. Bozovic-6, S. Arab-6, P. Fenech-6, U. Ljubomirac-6 (89 A. Bradshaw), M. Zlatkovic-6.5, S. Jalu-6 (58 B. Mladenovic), A. Satariano-6, N. Braunovic-6 (58 M. Grima), M. Raso-6.5, B. Kaljevic-6.5 (76 M. Souza).

Referee: Daniel Casha.

Yellow cards: Z. Leonardi, I. Bozovic, J. Ghio.

BOV Player of the Match: Bojan Kaljevic (Balzan).

Balzan returned to winning ways as they beat Pietà Hotspurs by the odd goal in five.

These three points enable Oliver Spiteri’s side to move fifth, two points behind the duo in third place, Gudja United and Gżira United.

Pieta’ Hotspurs, on the other hand, remain anchored at the bottom of the table without any points after six matches.

The Hotspurs had two changes from their last outing as they welcomed back Clinton Bangura after serving a one-match ban while Temitope Abraham Ojo was handed his debut by coach Rodney Bugeja.

On the other hand, Spiteri opted for four changes from the previous game as Samir Arab, Suleiman Jalu, Nikola Braunovic and Bojan Kaljevic were all named in the starting line-up.

Balzan held the initiative throughout the first half, taking the lead in their first serious attempt at goal on 22 minutes. Jalu delivered a corner from the left and Momcilo Raso headed home past goalkeeper Alampasu.

Pietà replied with a powerful drive by Takuma Yamaguchi which was turned into a corner by goalkeeper Rudy Briffa seven minutes from the end of the first half.

The Hotspurs improved in the second half and after five minutes, they levelled matters. Jake Ghio delivered a cross from the left, udy Briffa failed to save and Yamaguchi placed the ball at the back of the net from a close angle.

However, their joy was short-lived as Balzan regained the lead four minutes later.

Jalu received an erratic clearance by Abedel Latif Lamadu and passed the ball to Bojan Kaljevic who sent Alex Satariano through for the Malta striker to slot the ball past Alampasu.

Balzan extended the lead on 56 minutes. Milos Zlatkovic delivered a cross from the left and Kaljevic flicked the ball past the Pietà goalkeeper.

The Hotspurs failed to give up and reduced the gap on the hour. Following a long-distance freekick, Ganiu Atanda Ogunugbe headed the ball down for Yuto Morita to hit home from close range.

Kaljevic was unlucky to hit the crossbar for Balzan with a direct freekick from the left on 68 minutes and in the remaining minutes, they were careful not to allow their opponents to penetrate their rearguard, taking home the three points.

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