Malta Football Association
Prestigious UEL home win for Balzan over Slovan Bratislava
Jul 26, 2018
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UEFA Europa League 2018/19
Second Qualifying Round 1st leg
Centenary Stadium, Ta’ Qali, Malta


BALZAN                           2

(HT 1-0)

1-0 Kaljevic 16, 2-0 Ljubomirac 67, 2-1 Savicevic 73)

Balzan claimed a prestigious 2-1 home win over their more quoted opponents Slovan Bratislava in the first leg of their Europa League second qualifying round tie at the Centenary Stadium on Thursday.


It was a much-deserved victory as, although Slovan had more possession, Balzan created the best chances and kept the Slovakian rearguard busy throughout the match. The danger came mainly from Brazilian duo Lecao and Kadu who never stopped running.

In comparison with the away match against Keshla in the second leg of the first qualifying round match, Balzan coach Marko Micovic opted to leave Malta forward Alfred Effiong on the bench, adding Lecao in midfield. Serbian forward Andrija Majdevac, who scored an important goal for Balzan in Azerbaijan, is suspended as he sas sent off in stoppage time.


During the first 15 minutes, Balzan goalkeeper Steve Sultana intercepted a few dangerous crosses from the visitors, giving a good account of his abilities.


Balzan took a surprising lead with a powerful strike of Bojan Kaljevic which left Slovan goalkeeper Michael Sulla helpless.


In the 29th minute, Uros Ljubomirac failed to connect with a good pass from Kaljevic in the middle of the box.


Until the half-time whistle, Slovan held the initiative without creating any real goal scoring opportunities. It was in fact Balzan who had the best chance via Kadu’s shot in the 44th minute which Sulla saved fot a corner.


On the stroke of half-time, Mohamedd Rharsalla’s shot from just outside the right side of the box missed the target.

In the second half, centre-back Kenan Bajri’s header from a corner ended widein the 54th minute.


Ten minutes later, Balzan had another opportunity to double thir lead but it was Kadu who fired wide with the goalkeeper already beaten.

In the 67th minute Balzan went 2-0 ahead. The referee did well to apply the advantage rule after a foul on Lecao in midfield. Kadu picked up the ball and passed perfectly to Uros Ljubomirac who beat Sulla with an angled shot from just outside the box.

Slovan now started to press even more which resulted in an important away goal for the Slovaks in the 73rd minute.


Substitute Vukan Savicevic reduced the deficit with a shot from just outside the box which appeared to take a deflection as it sailed past Sultana.


An important goal for the visiting side ahead of next week's second leg.

A header by striker Andriaz Sporar just missed target with one minute to go. It was the last chance of the match, another wonderful result by Balzan in Europe, who now play the return match next Thursday in Slovakia.


S.Sultana, I.Bozovic, E.Serrano, M.Johnson, S.Bezzina, N.Slivic, M.Lepovic, Kadu Mendes, (D.Camilleri 82), U.Ljubomaric, A.Lecao,(R.Correa 76), B.Kaljevic, (A.Effiong 63).


M.Sulla, M.Apau, K.Bjaric, V.Bozhikov, A.Sukhotskiy, D.Holman, (V.Savicevic 46), I.Rabiu, (D.Drazic 71), J.A.Nono, M.Rharsalla, A.Sporar, A.Cavric, (B.Cmiljanic 71).

Referee: Jens Maae (Denmark)


Attendance: 558


Yellow card: Rabiu (SB)

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