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Santa Lucia secure playout spot despite Mosta defeat

Mosta's Clayton Failla pushes past Santa Lucia's Francisco Rodrigues. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

MOSTA            2         

Okoh 59

Brincat 70

SANTA LUCIA   1         

Soares 11


I. Akpan-5.5, R. Briffa-6 (67 F. Dore), C. Ememe-6.5, C. Failla-6, K. Yamazaki-6, B. Diarra-5.5 (75 S. Kingue), T. Farrugia-5.5 (75 G. Sciberras), M. Okoh-6 (82 W. Legault), J. Akrong-5.5, Z. Brincat-6.5, R. Ekani-5.5 (82 N. Agius).


M. Calleja Cremona-6, T. Rier, N. Pulis-6 (68 E. Camilleri), L. Mckay-5.5, J. Tanti-6, J. Pisani-6 (69 M. Vella), F. Rodrigues-5.5 (65 J. Carbone), R. Soares-6, M. Alba-5.5, Y. Terzi-6 (65 S. Mizzi), R. Hehedosh-6.5 (65 K. Nwoko).

Referee: Slobodan Petrovic

Yellow Cards: T. Rier, T. Farrugia, M. Calleja Cremona

Red Cards: T. Rier

BOV Player of the Match: Christ Ememe (Mosta)

Mosta ended their commitments on level points with Hibernians and Balzan in fourth place as they came from behind to beat ten-man Santa Lucia 2-1.

The Blues, however, will not make it to a possible decider for fourth place since they have an inferior record to Hibs and Balzan in the direct encounters.

Meanwhile, despite this defeat, Santa Lucia finished third from bottom to secure the play-off spot and will be facing the team placing third in the BOV Challenge League – Tarxien Rainbows or Żejtun Corinthians – on Friday.

Mosta went out in search of an early goal, going close with a Zachary Brincat effort from the edge of the area ending just wide.

On 11 minutes, Yevhenii Terzi anticipated the onrushing Ini Etim Akpan and served Robert Hehedosh but with the open goal at his mercy, the latter’s shot was deflected by Failla into a corner. From the resulting corner from the right by Hehedosh, Rodolfo Soares headed home to put Santa Lucia ahead.

This goal stunned the Blues and Santa Lucia threatened once again with an angled shot by Jurgen Pisani, served on the left by Hehedosh, but Akpan blocked his attempt.

Mosta replied with a Clayton Failla freekick from the left but Christ Ememe headed just wide from close range on 15 minutes. Two minutes later, Kaishu Yamazaki served Michael Chidera Okoh on the left whose deflected shot was saved by Calleja Cremona.

Robert Hehedosh had a shot from outside the area neutralised by Akpan on 20 minutes, but Mosta went close once again with a freekick by Ememe which ended just over the bar three minutes later. Attempts by Zachary Brincat and Yamazaki were parried by Calleja Cremona.

Six minutes from the end of the first half, Santa Lucia received a major setback as Thomas Sebastian Rier received a second yellow card for a reckless tackle on Boubakary Diarra.

Just before the end of the first half, Tyrone Farrugia went close to equalising with a header from close range off a corner from the left.

Mosta showed greater determination in the second half and on 50 minutes, Yamazaki was unlucky to hit the upright with a shot from outside the area which hit the upright.

The Blues were not to be denied on 59 minutes. Zachary Brincat released Ememe on the right and off the latter’s cross, Okoh slotted the ball home from close range.

Mosta were now comfortably in control and a powerful drive by Failla on 63 minutes was saved by Calleja Cremona.

Mosta went 2-1 ahead on 70 minutes. Brincat received the ball just outside the area and with a fine volley, he managed to beat the Santa Lucia custodian.

In the remaining minutes, the Blues could have added another on 77 minutes but Ememe’s low shot following a solo effort was neutralised by Calleja Cremona.

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