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Torres brace gives ten-man Balzan win over Żebbuġ

Balzan's Angel Torres tries to skip over a Żebbuġ challenge towards goal. Photo: Domenic Borg

ŻEBBUĠ RANGERS      2         

Lokoli Ngoy 36; Sanchez 67

BALZAN           3         

Sousa 25; A. Torres 47, 90

ŻEBBUĠ RANGERS J. Azzopardi-6, S. Bugeja-6, L. Almeida-6, W. Rocha-5.5 (46 A. Soto), A. Mizzi-6 (59 S. Jankovic), C. Lokoli Ngoy-6.5, R. Sanchez-6.5, R. Vella-6.5, J. Macedo-6.5, S. Miloskovic-6, G. Gesualdi-6.

BALZAN R. Briffa-5.5, I. Bozovic, D. Torres-5.5 (46 S. Jalu) (80 L. Mallia), M. Grima-6, P. Fenech-6.5, A. Torres-7, A. Satariano-6, N. Braunovic-6, M. Raso-6, Matheus-6.5, A. Andrejic-5.5 (89’ B. Kaljevic).

Referee Slobodan Petrovic.

Yellow cards Rocha, Matheus, Gesualdi, Almeida.

Red card I. Bozovic (Balzan) 64.

BOV Player of the Match Angel Torres (Balzan).

Ten-man Balzan scored a goal in stoppage time to grab the three points as they defeated Żebbuġ Rangers by the odd goal in five.

Oliver Spiteri’s side twice went ahead with Żebbuġ every time restoring parity. But in the end, it was Balzan who notched the winner to return to winning ways after last weekend’s loss to Birkirkara.

Żebbuġ gave a good account of themselves throughout the 90 minutes and could consider themselves unlucky having to leave the pitch empty-handed.

Coach Brian Spiteri opted for two changes from the team which lost to Gżira as Gaetano Gesualdi and Stanimir Miloskovic were handed a start.

On the other hand, for Balzan, Rudy Briffa deputised for Jonathan Debono while Momcilo Raso replaced the suspended Milos Zlatkovic.

Żebbuġ went in search of an early goal and Jeferson Macedo had a low shot saved by goalkeeper Briffa after just five minutes.

Five minutes later, Matheus received the ball just outside the area and rounded a defender before testing Żebbuġ custodian Jamie Azzopardi with a powerful shot.

Balzan took the lead on 25 minutes as Matheus rose high to head the ball home from close range following a cross from the left.

Żebbuġ levelled matters on 36 minutes. Randall Vella delivered a cross from the right and Charles Lokoli Ngoy headed in style past goalkeeper Briffa.

Two minutes into the second half, Balzan regained the lead. Angel Torres received a through pass on the right and with a low shot from the edge of the area slotted the ball past Azzopardi.

Balzan could have added another goal four minutes later when off a cross from the right, Marcus Grima was unlucky to hit the crossbar with a shot from inside the area.

On 64 minutes, Balzan suffered a setback as they were reduced to ten men after Ivan Bozovic received a straight red card for a foul on Macedo.

To make matters worse for Balzan, the Rangers levelled matters on 67 minutes. Roberto Sanchez managed to beat Briffa direct from a corner from the right.  

Żebbuġ continued to press for more and a diagonal shot by Lokoli Ngoy from the right scraped past the post on 74 minutes.

Four minutes later, the Rangers threatened once again with another corner from the right with Macedo eventually having a close-range effort blocked by a defender.

However, in stoppage time, Balzan notched the winner. Paul Fenech sent Torres through, and the latter rounded the goalkeeper before placing the ball at the back of the net.

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