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Nine Man Sliema Make Comeback against All the Odds to take a Point


This game showed what a united team Sliema has under the guidance of Coach Danilo Doncic. Playing for practically the whole of the second half with nine men, the Sliema players fought for every ball and were rewarded for their positive attitude and hard work with a hard earned draw.

With the referee showing a red card to Sliema striker Eyenga in the first half, Balzan immediately capitalized on this and went ahead minutes later when they netted from a direct freekick. Also, in the first half, Mark Scerri was shown a yellow card for a tackle and which later proved to be costly as he was to obtain a second yellow at the start of the second half.

The referee also ruled out a goal for the Sliema team when from a Ryan fenech corner in the first half, Galabov headed into the net but was deemed to have fouled the goalkeeper. Sliema also had a big blow when Bulgarian star player Dani Mitev, limped off towards the end of the first half after a nasty challenge from a Balzan defender.

This was a game that the Blues had to win in order to challenge for the all-important European spot. The Blues were without injured Captain Alex Muscat together with Josef Mifsud and Beppe Muscat all ruled out together with the suspended Ryan Grech. Doncic opted for a new system with Lattes employed as a wing back on the right and Mark Scerri was partnered with Ryan fenech and cleavon frendo in the Sliema midfield with Mitev and Eyenga up front.

Sliema drew level with 9 men on 57minutes when Trevor Cilia had a shot which went through the legs of Balzan goalkeeper. However, the lead wasn’t to last for long when Pedrinho of Balzan got to end of a counter attack of Balzan. Minutes later, the Blues got the draw when Francica fouled Trevor Cilia in the box as the Sliema winger outpaced him. Lattes made no mistake from the spot.

Minutes later, Pedrinho again was the protagonist for Balzan when he left the Sliema goalkeeper stranded when he shot into the bottom corner with a low shot. Bogdanovic got the draw for the Blues when he stabbed home a loose rebound in the box.

At the death, Jerry Ani had a chance to seal the match for the blues but his effort was blocked by a Balzan defender. This should be considered a point won for the blues and a great comeback with Great Spirit and determination. It augurs well for future matches as the Blues try to secure the all-important European place.


Blues Man of the Match: Bogdanovic
Sliema: Bonello, GATT Baldacchino, Eyenga, Mitev, (Bogdanovic), Galabov, Fenech, Lattes, Caligari (Cilia) Scerri


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