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Sta Lucia beat rivals Gżira United to move out of relegation zone

Santa Lucia secured a crucial victory as they fight for survival in the BOV Premier League. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi

Birkirkara slip to sirens draw

SANTA LUCIA        2       

Moreira 3, 33

GŻIRA UNITED       1       

Boadu 74

Santa Lucia claimed three important points in the battle against relegation as they defeated Gżira United 2-1 at the Tony Bezzina Stadium on Sunday.

This win enabled Alessandro Zinnari’s side to leapfrog Mosta into the tenth place, one point ahead of Mosta and one behind the Maroons.

Santa Lucia had a perfect start, taking the lead after just three minutes when Carlos Gabriel Moreira de Oliveira beat goalkeeper Darien Zarkov with a great curling shot that gave the Gżira custodian no chance.

The Maroons replied with a long-distance effort from Gabriel Bohrer which was blocked by Celio da Paz, Jackson Mendoza heading the ball over the bar off the rebound.

Thaylor Aldama tested the Santa Lucia goalkeeper with a fine shot from the right four minutes later but Da Paz turned the ball into a corner. Gżira maintained the pressure and a Bohrer freekick ended just over the bar on 23 minutes.

Santa Lucia had Aleksa Mrdja concluding a good run on the right with a shot hitting the side netting on 31 minutes. One minute later however, Mrdja was floored inside the area by Farid Romero Zuniga and referee Ishmael Barbara ordered a penalty which Carlos Moreira converted.

In the second half, the Maroons went all out in search of a goal which would reopen the game and a Thaylor effort from close range was blocked into a corner by Jurgen Pisani on 50 minutes.

Goalkeeper Da Paz then performed a good save on an Ewertton Silva cross-shot from the left on 76 minutes and ten minutes later, Thaylor concluded a good solo effort with a shot from the edge of the area that finished over the bar.

Gżira finally pulled one back three minutes from time thanks to substitute Dacosta Boadu who hit home off the rebound after the ball had hit the upright.

However, this goal was not enough for the Maroons to earn the points they needed to secure their status.

Kwasi Donsu scored a late equaliser to earn Sirens a draw which saw Birkirkara slip behind Naxxar in the race for fifth place.

The Stripes took just five minutes to take the lead with a perfectly worked goal by Paul Mbong. The Malta striker cut in from the left before drilling home the opener.

But the Birkirkara defence made an uncertain start to the game when Degran Jackson seized on the chance, his low shot hitting the back of the net behind Marcel Zapytowski.

Birkirkara continued to push forward in the second half and it was a precise move that led to Simon Zibo’s brilliant volleyed lead, the Ghanaian midfielder striking the ball behind Ini Akpan.

But the Stripes were made to regret a number of half chances when Kwasi Donsu lit up the stadium with a bullet shot that ripped past Zapytowski.

Standings provided by Sofascore

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