STA LUCIA 1
V. Vranes-7, A. Loof-6, S. Arab-6, P. Fenech-6, S. Pisani-6, M. Johnson-6.5 (52 G. Camilleri), A. Effiong-6 (77 E. McWoods), U. Ljubomirac-7, S. Dimic-5 (77 Weverton), S. Cipriott-5.5 (65 M. Grima), M. Kamara-5.
C. Farrugia-6, T. Tabone Desira-6, A. Prates-6, K. Correia-6.5, A. Magri Overend-5 (58 Glaucio-6), A. Da Silva Souza-7 (85 M. Camilleri), K. Ante Rosero-6, V. Luiz-5, J. Zerafa-5, R. Tachikawa-6, K. Xuereb-6.
Referee Glen Tonna.
Yellow cards Arab, Camilleri, Pisani.
Red card: Camilleri (SL) 90.
BOV Player of the match Alan Da Silva Souza (Sta Lucia).
Balzan and Sta Lucia took a point each in a hard-fought encounter at the Hibs Stadium.
Sta Lucia created the first chance of the match when in a swift break Kevin Ante Rosero moved past his marker but his curling shot finished over.
The Saints threatened again on 17 minutes when they were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area and his inswinger was somehow kept out by Vukasin Vranes and Sean Cipriott reacted faster to deny Alan Da Silva Souza from the rebound.
However, it was Balzan who took the lead on 28 minutes. They were awarded a free-kick and Steve Pisani’s delivery was met by the unmarked Michael Johnson who headed past Chris Farrugia.
But Balzan’s joy was shortlived as Sta Lucia took just three minutes to draw level. From a Tachikawa corner kick, Kevin Correa anticipated his marker to head home.
Sta Lucia were now in ascendancy and on 35 minutes they should have taken the lead. Victor Filho sent a fine cross towards Tachikawa who failed to make contact with the ball and Adam Magri Overend fired over from close in.
Balzan had a huge opportunity to restore their lead on 54 minutes when Uros Ljubomirac powered forward on the right and served Dimic inside the small box but the Serbian fluffed his lines and Sta Lucia cleared.
Balzan goalkeeper Vranes kept his team level on 74 minutes when he produced a spectacular one-hand save to deny substitute Glaucio.
Sta Lucia threatened again ten minutes from time when Glaucio picked Ante Rosero inside the area but the Colombian scuffed his shot.
Two minutes from time, Sta Lucia had the ball into the net when Ante Rosero fired home from close in following a cross by Michael Camilleri, but the ‘goal’ was annulled for offside.
In stoppage time, Camilleri was shown two quick yellow cards by referee Glen Tonna and was dismissed as the match ended in a stalemate.