Day 04 Valletta 2 Balzan 2
Balzan came back from two goals down to share the spoils with champions Valletta in an entertaining game this evening.
The game looked over as contest when Umeh Calistus Uchenna gave the champions a deserved two-goal lead at the end of the first half but Balzan were a transformed team after the change of ends.
Goals from Bojan Kaljevic and Matteo Piciollo earned them a draw as both Balzan and Valletta had to settle for a point after winning their opening three games.
Valletta had converted their first-half supremacy into a double advantage.
They wen ahead on 16 minutes when Santiago Malano hit a perfect through-ball to Leandro Aguirre who drilled past Ivan Janjusevic, the Balzan goalkeeper.
Janjusevic saved a Jonathan Caruana header before Bojan Kaljevic missed a good chance to equalise as he rammed wide from the edge of the box.
But Valletta remained the better side. They doubled their advantage on the stroke of half-time thanks to Umeh Uchenna who set off on a twisting run before hitting home.
Balzan reopened the issue when Alfred Effiong released Kaljevic who beat Henry Bonello from close in. The score became 2-2 nine minutes into the second half when Kaljevic chested the ball to the advancing Abdelkarim Nafti who rifled home.
The revitalised Balzan were causing a lot of problems to Valletta. Piciollo released Effiong who hit wide before the Italian had a dangerous grounder saved by Bonello.
Valletta, subdued in the second half, created a chance when Jhonnattann’s cross from the left was only partially cleared with the ball dropping in the path of Romeu Romao who cut it back for Uchenna whose strong drive drew a fine save from Janjusevic.
Kaljevic, the Balzan striker, was named BOV player of the match.
Source – timesofmalta.com
VALLETTA – H. Bonello, S. Borg, R. Romao (I. Azzopardi), S. Malano, J. Borg, U. Calistus (J. Suda), L. Aguirre, J. Benites, J. Caruana, F. Falcone (M. Mifsud), J. Cruz Gill.
BALZAN – I. Janjusevic, B. Kaljevic, B. Giglio De Oliviera, S. Bezzina, D. Grima (L. Micallef), A. Nafti (C. Brincat), P. Fenech, A. Effiong, J. Grioli, E. Serrano Valero, M. Piciollo (T. Agius).
Yellow Cards: J. Grioli (B), J. Gill Cruz (V)
Man of Match: B. Kaljevic (B)
Scorers: 16′ L. Aguirre, 47′ U. Calistus (V), 50′ B. Kaljevic , 57′ A. Nafti (B)
Referee: F. Zammit