Posted on 20 April, 2016

Balzan managed to qualify for the FA Trophy semi-finals for the first time in history.

Tuesday 19th April 2016 – Balzan managed to qualify for the semi-finals of FA Trophy by defeating a brave Tarxien Rainbows side with a goal in the extra time by Lydon Micallef.

Balzan opted to defend for long stretches and operate with counterattacks. On the other hand Tarxien opted to attack by opening on the flanks. In the first half Tarxien had the edge over Balzan but most of the game was played in midfield and there very few shots at goal. As time got by Balzan increased their rhythm and in the extra time they took the initiative, which gave fruit on the 107th minute.

Inside the first ten minutes, Ivan Janjusevic made a spectacularly save to corner over a  Joao Pedro Oliviera Santos’s  effort.

On the other side, in the 15th minute Andrea Cassar made a good save over a shot by Pedro Dos Santos Calcado.

After 25 minutes, an angled shot by Alex Da Paixo Alves finished incredibly wide, as the Janjusevic left his place to narrow the angle.

Just after the break, Pedro Calcado created Balzan’s first chance of the match when his corner kick was providentially deflected into corner by Ebiabowei Baker.

The match increased in the rhythm with both teams doing their best to filtrate the compact defences. On the hour Alfred Effiong had a good chance to break the deadlock when he managed to beat the defence but his shot finished off target.

The game finished in a goalless draw and went into extra time.

Six minutes into extra-time, Andrea Cassar made an incredible save on Effiong’s high-riser, which looked like a certain goal.

Balzan finally managed to break the deadlock in the second minute of the second half, of the extra time. Following a corner kick taken by Ryan Fenech which was partially blocked by goalkeeper Cassar, Paul Fenech connected the rebound and crossed towards LYDON MICALLEF who immediately tapped the ball home past the defenders.

Two minutes later Lydon Micallef had to leave the pitch after being shown a red card for a second caution, for wasting time when he was going to be substituted.

Three minutes from time, Balzan could have doubled the score when, in a swift counterattack, Alfred Effiong made his way into the box and in his conclusion, the ball was handled by Bruno Giglio de Oliviera. The defender was sent off and a penalty was awarded.

The game finished with Alan Da Silva Souza failing to transform the penalty but however Balzan made it through to the semi-finals for the first time in their history.