UEFA Futsal Cup: Convincing Win For Balzan Despite Rocky Start

Friday, August 29, 2014, 10:18

by Stephen Azzopardi FMA

Balzan FC……………………5

Kobenhavn…………………3

(H.T 3-0)

A great performance by Romanian international players Tony Safar, Andrea Dan and Adrian Panzaru paved the way to Balzan’s first victory in the UEFA Futsal Cup to guarantee the second spot in Group F Preliminary Round.

Safar scored a brace and masterminded each action his team maneuvered while Panzaru provided some good assists for his team mates.

Balzan were a completely different side from yesterday’s defeat against Alumnus. Coach Gabriel Dobre opted for an attacking strategy that left their opponents unprepared and unable to absorb their continuous attacks.

While the Danish champions were not the same level as Alumnus they still gave a challenge to the Maltese champions especially in the second half.

On 4 minutes, Emil Raducu broke the deadlock after receiving from Dobre while Tony Safar doubled the score a few minutes later after a good corner from Raducu.

Kobenhavn keeper Emil Graulund performed a string of good saves on Boycho Marev and Andrea Dan to deny Balzan’s quest for more goals.

Despite all this, Gabriel Dobre scored the third for Balzan after a fierce shot that left no chance to Graulund to install a three goal lead before half time.

In the second half, Dobre made a tactical change as keeper Xerxen substituted Farrugia. The Gudja FC keeper reacted well to his opponents’ pressure that increased with time and produced some good saves to keep Balzan’s goal intact.

The Maltese champions continued to impose the game and scored another goal on 24 minutes through Tony Safar after a good counter attack.

Kobenhavn never lost hope and their coach Tai Regel Pundik opted for the flying keeper to exert more pressure on Balzan’s rearguard.
But in one of these attacks, Romanian Andrea Dan took advantage of an opponents’ blunder and scored another goal to make it 5-0 for Balzan.

Ten minutes from the end the Danish succeeded to find the net three times through a brace by Clement Cliford (30:31, 37:13) and Javier Sanz Caridad (32:23).

But it was too late for Kobenhavn to avoid succumbing to their first defeat of the tournament.

The end of the match brought scenes of jubilation among Balzan’s players, committee and supporters who succeeded to finish second in this tough group.

Balzan FC: Nicholas Farrugia, Matthew Xerxen, Gabriel Dobre, Giancarlo Sammut, Boycho Marev, Mark Zammit, Andrea Dan, Adrian Panzaru, Carlos Scicluna, Emil Raducu, Tony Safar, Zeljko Anicic, Nicola del Re, Glenn Bonello.

Coach: Gabriel Dobre

Kobenhavn: Emil Graulund, Nikolay Christensen, Nikolaj Kongsbirk, Jim Bothmann Hougard, Jens Lev Nytoft Berlin, Bilal Benarab, Ibrahim Al Faour, Nicolas Ullvius, Moussa Ajanne, Clement Cliford, Javier Sanz Caridad, Lasse Jensen, Christian Hjort Haberecht, Matthias Findalen Bickersteth.

Coach: Tai Regel Pundik.

Referee 1: Juan Gallardo (Spain)

Referee 2: Miguel Castilho (Spain)

Third Official: Tony Lehtinen (Finland)





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