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Sliema pass Marsaxlokk test as Sta Lucia earn further relief

Santa Lucia edged past Naxxar Lions on Sunday. Photo: Dominic Borg


Messias 10


Da Mata 20, Adukor 60

MARSAXLOKK M. Drobnajk, K. Micallef, J. Ghio (75 N. Portelli), F. Brener (65 A. Obonogwu), Y. De Jesus, S. El Anabi (65 J. Walker), L. Aguirre, N. Raden, R. Scicluna, S. Akinbule, J. Junior.

SLIEMA R. Al Tumi, J. Borg, J. Minala, V. Plut (81 J Arthur), S. Da Mata (71 D. Kondrakov), M. Beerman, G. Alcino, C. Kouao (71 N. Frendo), J. Adukor (80 E. Agius), B. Freire, G. Acheampong (90 J.Engerer)

Referee: Malcolm Spiteri

Yellow cards: Da Mata, Raden Scicluna, Minala, Aguirre, Adukor.

Samuel Gomes and Joachim Adukor were on target as Sliema came from behind to beat Marsaxlokk and strengthen their grip on third place in the Premier League.

Sliema gifted Marsaxlokk an early goal when Rashed Al Tumi, lost concentration, and sent a woeful ball straight at Yuri Messias who controlled the ball before firing it into the net.

The Blues levelled almost immediately with Gomes ran in behind Sami El Anabi to turn Christ Kouao’s cross past Marko Drobnajk with a fine header.

Vito Plut had a glorious opportunity to put Sliema in the lead two minutes later thanks to a pass from Gomes. But his attempt to hit the ball behind the onrushing goalkeeper went agonisingly wide.

The Blues put Marsaxlokk under pressure with Plut setting up Joachim Adukor but Drobnajk was well-positioned to block his effort. The ball fell into the path of Geoffrey Acheampong who raced through but hit the ball wide.

Acheampong was back in action immediately after the break when some neat footwork from Adukar saw him carve out an opportunity for the Ghanian midfielder, who hit a swerving shot against the crossbar.

But Sliema eventually went ahead when Acheampong teed up Adukar who carefully placed his shot past Drobnjak.

On 70 minutes, Marsaxlokk finally showed some sense of urgency when Jose Junior Gomes, took advantage of some slack defending to race through on goal only to be denied by a last-ditch block by Al Tumi.

Naxxar fall to Saints to head to awkward position


Evandro 68


Santa Lucia continued to boost their hopes of avoiding the drop when they edged past Naxxar Lions 1-0.

Brazilian forward Evandro was again the Saints hero when he fired home the all-important goal on 68 minutes to hand his team a vital victory.

In fact, Santa Lucia have now joined Valletta and Gżira United on the 18-point mark at fourth-from-bottom, just one adrift of Balzan.

On the other hand, Naxxar remain on 21 points but the defeat leaves them facing a relegation fight if they don’t rediscover their winning touch immediately.

SANTA LUCIA F. Celio, M. Ellul, D. Letherby (88 G. Virano), S. Xerri, J. Pisani, S. Pisani, E. Gomes, S. Moracci (90 L. Sena), A. Mrda, A. Piazza (82 Patrick).

NAXXAR LIONS M. Debono, R. Cassar, N. Micallef, J. Moura (75 R. Blandon), Elizeu, N. Pace Cocks (81, D. Falzon), F. Barbosa, W. Marcilio, Pablo, E. Farias.

Referee: Philip Farrugia.

Yellow cards: Bradshaw, Yamaguchi, Pace Cocks, Vitor.

Standings provided by Sofascore

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