Posted on 20 March, 2016

Balzan shared the spoils with Sliema Wanderers in an entertaining match

19th March 2016 : Balzan came back from two goals down to earn a point in a 3 – 3 draw with Sliema Wanderers. A draw which leaves Balzan in third place, two points behind second-placed Hibernians. Arab Samir was missing for Balzan, serving his last game suspension from three, but Dylan Grima was back from suspension.  On the other hand Sliema lacked suspended Marko Potezica.

In the first half Balzan came out looking for an early goal. They created a lot of chances but were unable find the net. Sliema, on the other hand, operated with swift counterattacks and in fact they managed to take the lead in the 42nd minute. Following a free-kick, an effort by Peter Xuereb’s shot was blocked by defender Elkin Serrano Valero, the ball fell into Njongo Priso’s path whose shot at goal was partially saved by goalkeeper Christian Cassar but JEAN PAUL FARRUGIA made no mistake from the rebound.

Just after the beak a direct free kick taken by Pedro Calcado finished just over the crossbar.

Balzan levelled matters two minutes into the second half when Peter Xuereb deviated the ball into his own net as he tried to push the ball away from the advancing Alan Da Silva Souza.

This goal boosted Balzan as they insisted with their attacks, however on the 54th minute Sliema regained the lead as JEAN PAUL FARRUGIA received a through pass, dribbled past two defenders and managed to beat the Balzan goalkeeper, for the second time, with a curling shot.

On the 61st minute Balzan found themselves two goals down when a fine direct free-kick from an acute angle taken by DENNI DOS SANTOS ROCHA surprised goalkeeper Christian Cassar.

Two minutes later, Balzan reduced the gap when ALEKSANDAR VUJACIC, who had just came in for Pedro Calcado, managed to reduce the score with a backheader which gave goalkeeper Glenn Zammit no chance to save.

The game gained momentum as both teams continued with several attacks. On the 66th minute Njongo Priso Doding missed a good opportunity as he shot wide from a good position, after being set by Denni Dos Santos Rocha.

In the 78th minute, Balzan restored equilibrium after Lydon Micallef dribbled past a defender hitting low past the goalkeeper with the ball finishing home after Peter Xuereb, in a bid to clear to safety, deflected it into his own net.

Two minutes later, Sliema suffered a setback when Doding Njongo Priso was sent off after persistent protests with the referee.

With a player less on the pitch, Sliema resisted the pressure from Balzan and managed to take home the point.