ŻEJTUN CORINTHIANS 2
STA LUCIA 2
Ante Rosero 33, 76
The opening match fromt he 2020-21 BOV Premier League season turned out to be a fascinating duel between newly-promoted Żejtun Corinthians and Sta Lucia who traded four goals at the Centenary Stadium.
There was little to separate either side in a match which could have gone either way.
Żejtun will surely feel somewhat disappointed not to have returned home with the three points in the bag as they were too profligate in front of goal.
On the other hand, Sta Lucia had their star player Kevin Ante Rosero to thanks as the speedy forward again showed how important is for his team with two-well taken goals.
But surely, the Saints need to improve, particularly at the back or risk being significantly punished by more experienced opposition.
Żejtun Corinthians started brightly and after 11 minutes of play they should have taken the lead when Kemar Reid sped inside the area but was denied by the onrushing Andreas Vella.
The Corinthians remained on top, and on 15 minutes Jose Fernandes Gomes Junior picked up a short rebound but his drive flashed wide.
Żejtun’s best chance came on 20 minutes when Robeiro did well to turn past his marker but his angled drive was again blocked by the Sta Lucia no. 1.
Sta Lucia finally came to life on 25 minutes when from a Kevin Ante Rosero corner-kick, Kevin Correia anticipated goalkeeper Christian Cassar but headed over.
The Saints grew in stature and took the lead on 33 minutes. Izaias sent a fine pass towards Ante Rosero who burst inside the area to slid the ball past Cassar to put score the first goal of the 2020-21 BOV Premier League.
Żejtun, however, should have been level two minutes from the break when Robeiro played in Jurgen Suda but the young forward fired over with only Andreas Vella to beat.
On the hour mark, Victor Prestes Filho did well to create space for himself on the edge of the area but his curling drive flew over the bar.
Żejtun responded five minutes later when Dylan Agius, who had replaced Anderson, sent a dipping cross at the far poit towards the unmarked Jurgen Suda who, however, tapped the ball wwide.
But the Corinthians did manage to draw level on 67 minutes when Marcelo Pereira Muniz sent a fine pass towards Kemar Reid who blasted the ball past the onrushing Andreas Vella.
That goal inevitably gave more courage to Żejtun who added a second goal when Suda fed Fernandinho who fired home from a close angle.
But straight from kick-off, Sta Lucia restored the equilibrium when Rei Tachikawa broke free from the left and picked Ante Rosero who beat Cassar with a first-time shot.
It was anyone’s game and Żejtun created two good opportunities late on to restore their lead when on 84 minutes Reid saw his shot saved by the onrushing Vella. A minute later, Suda’s delivery from a corner was met by Diego Albanese who was again denied by the Saints’ no. 1 as the stalemate prevailed.