1′ Alan da Silva Souza, 26′ Bojan Kaljevic, 63′ Alfred Effiong
HAMRUN SPARTANS 1
42′ Luis Vergara Rodriguez
Leaders Balzan sent a clear warning to their rivals that their defeat against Birkirkara was just an isolated incident in an otherwise impressive start to their league commitments.
Ħamrun started life without Haruna Garba in a traumatic way when the game had barely started with Alan da Silva Souza scoring one of the quickest Premier League goals this season after 48 seconds.
Balzan attacked straight from the kick-off and the Brazilian bursting through from midfield, outsmarted Saturday Nanapere, before drilling a low shot past Matthew Farrugia, from a somewhat angled position.
Da Silva Souza’s goal get the tone for the match as the Brazilian ran far more confidence that any of his markers from the first whistle. Another neat interchange between Lydon Micallef and the effervescent da Silva Souza would have produced a second goal for Balzan inside the first two minutes but the post stood in his way.
The Spartans started to push forward in a bid to get back into contention and Jake Galea saw his first effort blocked by the sliding Dylan Grima, the U-21 midfielder was first on the rebound but dragged his effort just wide off Ivan Janjusevic’s far post.
But they had barely time to recover when Ħamrun found themselves 2-0 down. The goal came from a long pass, arriving from the feet of da Silva Souza, who found Bojan Kaljevic unmarked just outside the box before the Montenegrin striker drilled the ball low past Farrugia.
Hamrun’s heartening efforts to search for a goal by playing constructive football paid the desired dividends four minutes from half-time.
Leandro Wallace’s cross from the corner, sailed towards Patrick Teixeira Maia who rose above his marker to hit a firm header onto the post, the failure of Janjusevic to clear danger caused a goalmouth melee which was resolved by the Brazilian’s tap in.
Gaining confidence as the second half moved on, Janjusevic leapt on his right to block Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza’s effort. On the hour mark, it was Janjusevic who caught the attentions, replicating his previous effort when tipping away Leandro Wallace’s piledriver from the distance.
Yet Ħamrun’s failure to deal with the direct running of Balzan’s top guns upfront cost them dear as, three minutes later, the leaders went 3-1 up, Alfred Effiong flicking the ball home from point blank after receiving an excellent right-wing cross from Paul Fenech.
The score could have turned into humiliating proportion for Hamrun after 70 minutes when substitute Nafti, who was brought in for Effiong almost scored a fourth goal. Da Silva Souza squared the ball towards the Tunisian midfielder who shot first time with the ball flying just over the bar.
BALZAN Ivan Janjusevic, Samir Arab, Bojan Kaljevic (72′ Matteo Piciollo), Bruno Giglio de Oliveira, Steve Bezzina, Paul Fenech, Alfred Effiong (67′ Abdelkarim Nafti), Dylan Grima, Terence Agius (85′ Sean Cipriott), Alan da Silva Souza, Lydon Micallef.
Subs not used: Christian Cassar, Gary Camilleri, Paul Lapira, Jamie Zerafa.
Coach: Oliver Spiteri
HAMRUN Matthew Farrugia, Philip Chircop, Patrick Jean Teixeira Maia (60′ Massimiliano Giusti), Mark Anthony Borg, Luis Miguel Vergara Rodrigues, Saturday Nanapere, Luke Sciberras, Leandro Wallace Motta dos Santos, Jake Grech, Sergio Raphael dos Anjos Raphael, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza (82′ Daren Falzon).
Subs not used: Fredrick Tabone, Glenn Azzopardi, Trevor Cilia, Luke Grech, Christian Maldini.
Coach: Steve D’Amato
Referee: Fyodor Zammit
Luke Portelli, Sammy Attard
Matthew De Gabriele
Yellow Cards: Grima, Bezzina, Nanapere, Agius, Vergara, Micallef
BOV Player of the Match: Alan da Silva Souza
Images courtesy of Tonio Magro