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Gudja United beat Sta Lucia to secure Premier League safety


Nagamatsu 51, 83; Plut 78 pen.



G. Zammit-6, J. Bolanos-6, J. Mintoff-5.5 (89 J. Attard), T. Nagamatsu-8 (90 S. Attard), V. Plut-6, J. Arthur-6, N, Micallef-6, K. Micallef-6, M. Muchardi-7, N. Navarrette-6.5, F. Zuniga-5.5


M. Calleja Cremona-4, S. Rier-5 (46 R. Hehedosh-4), Y. Fonesca-5, R. Bairam-5, K. Nwoko-4 (75 J. Carbone), L. Bah-4, J. Tanti-6 (75 D. Xuereb), J. Pisani-5, F. Farias-4, R. Soares-4, Y. Terzi-5 (59 M. Alba). 

Referee: Matthew De Gabriele.

Yellow card: Tanti, Nagamatsu, Bairam.

BOV player of the match : Tatsuro Nagamatsu (Gudja United).

Gudja struck three times in the second half to virtually seal their Premier League safety with a 2-0 win over struggling Santa Lucia.

Two goals from Tatsuro Nagamatsu, and another from Vito Plut all but guaranteed a fifth successive season in the top flight football for Gudja.

On the other hand, Santa Lucia remained second from bottom and have some work to do to move out of the relegation zone.

Andrea Agostinelli was forced to field a makeshift defence after he lost Andrè Prates and Hubert Vella due to suspension.

But against the odds, it was Gudja who carved out the opening chance when a dreadful miskick from Matthew Calleja Cremona let in Nagamatsu, who burst goalwards but his low drive flashed across the face of goal.

Calleja Cremona looked to have regained his composure when he blocked Pluto’s stinging shot.

However, Nagamatsu looked well offside as he raced for the rebound and Calleja Cremona floored the Japanese midfielder. Referee Matthew Degabriele first pointed to the spot, then reversed his decision when the flag went up.

Despite some decent runs, Santa Lucia failed to threaten the Gudja defence with any decent shots in a dour first half.

Gudja made a better start after the break with Plut shooting wide. But Nagamatsu finally broke the deadlock in the 51st minute when he found space in the box to rattle in a shot behind Calleja Cremona, to give the Blues the lift they needed.

Vincenzo Potenza brought on Robert Hehedosh and Miguel Alba in a bid to come up with fresh ideas in attack.

On 68 minutes, Alba surged down the right flank and clipped a probing cross into the Gudja box but the defence cleared away.

Ten minutes later, Matias Muchardi made a mazy run, going infield from the left before falling to the turf after being challenged by Rodolfo Soares. From the penalty spot, Vito Plut hit the ball past Calleja Cremona.

Seven minutes from time, Muchardi played the ball to Nagamatsu and the Japanese midfielder blasted a swerving low shot into the bottom corner.

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