Santa Lucia picked another valuable point in their quest to secure the play-out spot when they held champions Ħamrun Spartans to a 1-1 draw.
The Spartans were clearly a better side during the first half but Santa Lucia defended well and it had to be a penalty that enabled Ħamrun to take the lead.
However, during the second half, Santa Lucia tried to push forward and after creating a couple of good scoring opportunities, they managed to notch the equaliser.
With this result, Sta Lucia moved one point ahead of Żebbuġ Rovers and four clear of Pieta Hotspurs who were condemned to relegation after their defeat to Birkirkara on Friday.
The Spartans held the initiative right from the start, going close after just two minutes with a cross-shot by Luke Montebello from the left which ended just side.
Two minutes later, Ħamrun threatened once again with Elvis Mashike heading over from a Camenzuli cross.
Kalle Holmberg, served by Montebello from the left, had a close-range effort neutralised by Calleja Cremona on 17 minutes and a minute later, a powerful drive by Joseph Mbong was deflected into a corner.
On 21 minutes, Holmberg was again close but his close-range header was turned into a corner by the Santa Lucia goalkeeper.
Ħamrun finally managed to break the deadlock on 36 minutes. Referee Malcolm Spiteri pointed to the spot when Montebello was upended in the area by Matthias Vella. Mashike made no mistake from the spot.
Three minutes in the second half, Rodrigo Callegari went close with a fine volley that scraped past the post.
A long-distance effort by Montebello was parried by Calleja Cremona on 62 minutes and three minutes later, the Santa Lucia goalkeeper neutralised a fine effort by Roko Prsa.
With the inclusion of Miguel Angel Alba and Jan Tanti, Santa Lucia started to show greater determination and Ħamrun goalkeeper Santos came to the rescue on 71 minutes, turning into a corner from a Hehedosh effort.
However, on 79 minutes, Santa Lucia were not to be denied. Substitute Jan Tanti entered the area, beating Santos with a diagonal shot to level matters.
The goal shocked the Spartans although in added time, Dodo went close to restoring the lead with a cross shot from the left but his attempt was parried in style by Calleja Cremona.
SANTA LUCIA 1
ĦAMRUN S. 1
Mashike 36 pen.
M. Calleja Cremona-6.5, M. Vella-6, N. Pulis-6, R. Bairam-6, L. Ayad-6 (90+5’ D. Pacheco), D. Xuereb-6 (68’ M. Alba), J. Pisani-6, F. Rodrigues-6, R. Soares-6, Y. Terzi-6 (68’ J. Tanti), R. Hehedosh-7 (88’ J. Zerafa).
W. Santos-6, M. Guillaumier-6, L. Montebello-6 (80’ M. Mifsud), E. Mashike-6, R. Prsa-6.5, R. Callegari-6, K. Holmberg-6 (69’ Dodo), J. Mbong-6, E. Marcelina-6.5, R. Camenzuli-6, C. Barbosa-6 (68’ Jonny).
Referee: Malcolm Spiteri
Yellow Cards: R. Hehedosh, C. Barbosa.
BOV Player of the Match: Robert Hehedosh (Santa Lucia).
Full article, here.