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Balzan's good form earns the team victory

Photo: Jason Borg

Photo: Jason Borg

RABAT 0 BALZAN 2

Balzan continued their dazzling recent good form with a 2-0 victory over Rabat Ajax

Jamie Pace and Elton earned Ivan Zammit's side their first victory in three matches that kept them hot on the heels of Tarxien Rainbows in the seventh place with 15 points.

The opening exchanges were balanced but Manuel Fuster mustered two scoring opportunities in quick succession within the first ten minutes. The pace of the Spanish midfielder deployed in a quasi-striker role was the Ajax' major threat as he rounded off Yessous Camilleri but dragged his effort wide off the target. Few moments later, Muster had one-twoed neatly with Felice before he tried his luck with a speculative shot from the distance.

Pedrinho occasionally catching the eye with some attractive passing of the ball, lacking a cutting edge in the final third. Having said that, on the half hour mark, the Brazilian delighted the fans with some deft fottwork as he evaded the Rabat defence but onrsuhing Jonathan Azzoaprdi replacing Sean Mintoff, dived at his feet. One minute later, Elton wriggled free of two defenders in the box to fashion a chance from a tight angle but Azzopardi saved with his feet.

After a bright start the game deteriorated and became more phyiscal.

However, just before half-time, Caruana sent Elton crashing following a serious venture towards the Rabat area. The free-kick was awarded in perfect Pedrinho territory. But the Brazilian instead sent in a perfect cross to Jamie Pace in the inside right channel who coolly slotted in from close-range.

Rabat responded by upping the pace after restart and the momentum swung back in the magpies' direction. In the 50th minute, Felice stormed clear, rounded the onrushing Tabone but he was thwarted by a timely intervention of Camilleri. Two minutes later, Tabone palmed away Azzopardi's strike. From the ensuing corner, the ball dropped to Felice whose heder crashed agains the bar.

After 67 minutes, Muster was caught behind Balzan's defensive line by Azzopardi as he was allowed a free header which went agonisingly out.

Vella barely had an orthodox attacker at their disposal on the bench, so he threw youths striker Chris Vella into the fray.

Pedrinho remained a constant thorn in Rabat's side and should have doubled Balzan lead 76 minutes, but Azzopardi made a crucial intervention to thrawt the striker with the aid of the post.

Four minutes from time, Balzan made the posint safe. Pedrinho advanced towards the byline on the left before laying the ball for Elton who buried the ball under the body of Azzopardi.

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