C. Formosa-6, E. Ruiz-6, A. Zammit-5 (56 Niltinho), S. Dimech-5, E. Pena Beltre-6, F. Falcone-5.5 (76 W. Jebor), B. Kamdem-5, B. Paiber-6 (79 T. Caruana), R. Muscat-6.5, E. Sala-6, K. Bevis-5 (79 J. Ngong).
J. Debono-6, I. Bozovic-6, S. Arab-6, M. Grima-6.5, B. Mladenovic-6.5 (70 D. Ndinga), P. Fenech-7.5, N. Zerjal-6, M. Raso-6, M. de Sousa Nogureira-6.5, A. Andrejic-5 (83 B. Hili), B. Kaljevic-5 (57 A. Satariano-5).
Referee: Fyodor Zammit.
Yellow card: Ruiz.
BOV player of the match Paul Fenech (Balzan).
Valletta and Balzan drew blank in a hard-fought encounter at the Centenary Stadium on Friday.
Both teams were looking for a massive lift following last week’s victories over Gżira United and Floriana respectively.
It was the Reds who had the better chances but could not breach the Valletta defence which is proving to be the bedrock of their rich vein of form of late as they managed their second clean sheet in three matches.
Balzan have now extended their unbeaten run to ten matches and join Birkirkara in third place, as they continue to improve under coach Oliver Spiteri.
But Valletta’s defence is proving to be the bedrock of their success of late, as they delivered a second clean sheet in three matches.
The Reds were without their suspended topscorer Angel Torres.
But Oliver Spiteri’s side responded by dominated possession in the first half with Bogdan Mladenovic finding plenty of time and space in the final third.
Eslit Sala, who replaced Ulrich Ngong in Valletta’s only change from the side that saw off Gzira United last week, curled a shot off target inside the first 10 minutes.
On 14 minutes, Brandon Paiber was denied by a superb reaction save from Jonathan Debono.
Yet, Balzan looked the more likely to score when a minute later, Mladenovic cut inside on his right foot and unleashed a low drive that crashed against the post.
Paiber threatened again at the other end, when his freekick took a deflection off the wall on its way out.
The momentum was all with Balzan as the second half started – and they did everything but score as Valletta were pinned back.
It took a vital block from Cain Formosa to deny Matheus when he raced clear on the right flank on 53 minutes.
On 75 minutes, Marcus Grima tried to surprise Formosa out of position as he mustered a strong drive that the back-tracking goalkeeper saved into a corner.
At the other end, substitute William Jebor gave the illusion of goal when Enmy Bena Peltre squared the ball for the Liberian striker, who flashed a shot against the side-netting.
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