Yuri Messias produced a stunning performance to propel Gudja United to a convincing victory over Balzan at the Centenary Stadium on Friday.
The Brazilian forward was the star of the show for the southerners as he netted an extraordinary hat-trick that took the fight off a Balzan side who looked helpless to contain the nippy forward.
Gudja were off to flier and inside the second minute they were already a goal ahead.
Yuri Messias took possession some 25 metres out and unleashed a powerful drive that flew past a helpless Balzan goalkeeper Vukasin Vranes.
Balzan hit back strongly and managed to draw level on seven minutes.
Paul Fenech seized possession in midfield and quickly diverted the ball into the path of Uros Ljubomirac. The Serbian winger quickly unleashed a powerful low drive that had the better of goalkeeper Glenn Zammit.
From then on the match remained evenly balanced with neither side managing to hold the edge.
In fact, Gudja needed a second moment of magic from Messias to seize the initiative.
The former Valletta forward again took possession some 20 metres out and hit another rasping drive that gave no chance to Balzan goalkeeper Vranes.
After the break, Gudja kept the initiative and managed to add a third on 56 minutes when Gabriel Mensah stormed inside the area and chipped the ball towards Messias who blasted the ball home with a scissors kick.
Balzan managed to score a consolation goal in stoppage time when substitute Alfred Effiong beat Zammit with a low drive.