SANTA LUCIA 1
Da Silva Souza 90
BALZAN J. Galea-6, M. Djuric-6, P. Fenech-6.5, N. Gulan-5 (36 A. Loof-6), U. Ljubomirac-6, M. Zlatkovic-6, G. Camilleri-6 (88 M. Grima), M. Mijic-6, A. Andrejic-6.5, B. Kaljevic (69 A. Daniels), S. Cipriott-6 (69 N. Frendo).
SANTA LUCIA J. Haber-6.5, J. Pisani-6, N. Pulis-6, G. Conti-6.5, P. Silva Mota-6.5 (78 J. Tanti), V. Plut-6, M. Valpoort-6, V. Prestes Filho-6.5, J. Zerafa-6 (65 A. Da Silva Souza), D. Xuereb-6, L. Soares Fonseca-6.5.
Referee Matthew De Gabriele
Yellow Cards P. Silva, N. Gulan, A. Da Silva
BOV Player of the Match Justin Haber (Santa Lucia)
A late goal handed Santa Lucia three precious points in the battle against relegation as they defeated Balzan 1-0 in a clash between the teams lying second and third from bottom in the table.
Knowing that they will be playing among the bottom six teams in the second phase of the BOV Premier League, both sides needed the three points in their bid to stay away from relegation but in the end, it was Santa Lucia who claimed the three points at stake to move to just one point behind the same Balzan and ten ahead of bottom-placed Sliema Wanderers.
Both coaches made minimal changes to their line-ups after both suffered narrow defeats in their previous outings. Balzan, who were coming from a 0-1 defeat to Hibernians, had goalkeeper Jake Galea deputising for Vukasin Vranes and Nikola Gulan replacing the suspended Michael Johnson while Santa Lucia, had Jamie Zerafa replacing Andre Prates who was also serving a one-match ban.
Balzan had the first attempt at goal after just four minutes with Santa Lucia goalkeeper Justin Haber coming to the rescue as he blocked a Milan Djuric effort from outside the area, blocking Bojan Kaljevic’s shot off the rebound.
Santa Lucia replied with an angled shot by Meghon Valpoort which was parried by Jake Galea on six minutes and two minutes later, the Balzan custodian performed a good save on a Lorenzo Soares Fonseca header off a Patrick Silva Mota freekick. The Balzan goalkeeper was prominent once again on 23 minutes with a save on a long-distance shot by Gianmarco Conti.
Balzan threatened once again with a Milos Mijic diagonal shot which scraped past the post on 36 minutes.
The two teams continued to share the exchanges during the second half and on 51 minutes, Aleksa Andrejic had a shot from outside the area ending over the bar.
On the hour, Santa Lucia missed a good opportunity as Conti sent Plut through on the left but the Slovenian forward stumbled on the ball as he was about to conclude. In a swift counter-attack for Balzan, Andrejic, served by Kaljevic, tested Haber with a good shot from inside the area.
The game seemed heading for a goalless draw but on 90 minutes, Santa Lucia scored the all-important goal as substitute Alan da Silva Souza received the ball in midfield and advanced before beating Jake Galea with a fine rising shot.