Malta Football Association
NEWS:
First for Balzan as they advance in Europa League
Jul 20, 2018
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BOV Premier League
Balzan FC will meet Slovan Bratislava in the second qualifying round of the Europa League. Photo: Joe Borg/MFA
Balzan FC will meet Slovan Bratislava in the second qualifying round of the Europa League. Photo: Joe Borg/MFA

KESHLA 2
BALZAN 1

(Balzan advance 5-3 on aggregate)

 

Balzan FC sealed their passage to the second qualifying round of the Europa League on Thursday after completing a 5-3 victory over Azerbaijan side FK Keshla over two legs.


The Reds lost the second leg in Baku 2-1 but their 4-1 home victory the previous week ensured their qualification to the next stage of the Europa League for the first time in the club’s history.

 

As was to be expected, a stern challenge awaited Balzan in Azerbaijan as Keshla stormed out of the blocks, pressing for goals to revive their hopes.

 

Cesar Meza Colli gave Keshla a dream start after opening the scoring on 11 minutes but Balzan held off Keshla for the remainder of the first half.

 

The game remained balanced in the second period but a goal by Slavik Alkhasov
on the stroke of time set up a dramatic finale.

 

Keshla needed another goal to go through but instead it was Balzan who struck deep into stoppage time through Andreja Majdevac. The Serbian striker blotted his copybook after being sent off for a second yellow card, albeit his dismissal had no impact on the game as the referee’s final whistle arrived shortly afterwards to the delight of the Balzan FC clan.

 

Balzan will face Slovan Bratislava in the second qualifying round of the Europa League.

 

BALZAN LINE-UP
Steve Sultana, Nenad Silvic, Steve Bezzina, Michael Johnson, Alfred Effiong (Justin Grioli 69), Uros Ljubomirac (Lecao 59), Ivan Bozovic, Elkin Serrano, Cadu, Bojan Kaljevic (Andrija Majdevac 85), Milos Lepovic.

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