BALZAN J. Debono-6, I. Bozovic-6, S. Arab-5.5, M. Grima-5.5, P. Fenech-5.5, A. Torres-5.5 (73 A. Satariano), U. Ljubomirac-6.5, M. Zlatkovic-6, S. Jalu-5.5 (46 B. Mladenovic)(90 L. Mallia), M. Raso-5.5, B. Kaljevic-6.
SIRENS A. Cassar-6.5, G. Camilleri-5.5, K. Sano-6 (68 P. Oluwatobi), R. Tachikawa-6, W. De Oliveira-5.5, S. Cipriott-5.5, A. Borg (31 P. Bento-5.5), A. Cini-5.5, G. Fernandes-6, D. Jackson-5.5, S. Sessegnon (26 M. Muniz-5.5).
Referee: Emanuel Grech
Yellow Cards: M. Zlatkovic, M. Muniz, S. Cipriott, S. Arab
BOV Player of the Match: Andrea Cassar (Sirens)
Balzan and Sirens earned a point each thanks to a goalless draw as the teams cancelled each other out in a rather drab encounter.
Considering that a win would have put them in fourth place, more was expected from Balzan. However, they struggled to penetrate the Sirens defence apart from missing an excellent opportunity to take the lead when they were awarded a penalty which was parried by Sirens goalkeeper Andrea Cassar. They are now joined by Hibernians in fifth place, one point behind Gudja United, who have a game in hand.
Sirens, on the other hand, continue chasing their first win after seven matches and now move fourth from bottom on four points, one ahead of Żebbuġ and Pieta’ and three ahead of Santa Lucia.
Both sides had two changes from their previous outings. Kei Sano and Alex Cini were preferred to Marcelo Pereira Muniz and Paulo Vyctor Bento for Sirens while for Balzan, Jonathan Debono was back in goal with Nikola Braunovic and Alex Satariano making way for Marcus Grima and Angel Torres.
After a quiet start, Sirens had an angled shot by Wellington de Oliveira which was partially saved by the Balzan goalkeeper on 22 minutes. The Brazilian forward regained possession and tried his luck with a cross-shot which was parried once again by Jonathan Debono.
Balzan were awarded a penalty on 36 minutes. Sirens goalkeeper Cassar received a back pass but lost the ball when challenged by Bojan Kaljevic who served Angel Torres, only for the latter to be pushed down by substitute Marcelo Pereira Muniz. Referee Emanuel Grech ordered a penalty but Torres’ effort from the penalty spot was neutralised by Cassar.
Shots at goal were few and far in between and on 62 minutes, Wellington de Oliveira failed to connect off an inviting assist by Kei Sano from the right. Six minutes later, Ivan Bozovic delivered a cross from the right and Uros Ljubomirac tested Cassar with a header which was parried by the Sirens custodian.
Ljubomirac brought the best out of goalkeeper Cassar with a fierce shot from inside the area which was turned into a corner by the Sirens custodian on 81 minutes. Two minutes later, Momcilo Raso headed just wide off a Bogdan Mladenovic corner from the left.
Three minutes from time, Sirens could have notched the winner. Paulo Vyctor Bento delivered a corner from the right but Balzan goalkeeper Debono performed a good save on a fine header by Gabriel Fernandes Ventura.
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