SENGLEA ATHLETIC 1
LIJA ATHLETIC 3
Brandan 23; Jimenez 50
SENGLEA ATHLETIC: M. Farrugia-5.5, S. Uyi-5, Z. Cassar-5, A. Abela-5.5, F. Gnindokponou-6 (80 J. Attard), S. Buhagiar-5, D. Fava-5.5, D. Abela-5.5 (59 D. Xuereb), D. Diwoto-6, D. Kukic-6 (74 W. Gomes), L. Brincat-5 (59 R. Song)
LIJA ATHLETIC: L. Bonnici-6, C. Cassar-6, P. Gusso-6, I. Borg-6, N. Micallef-6 (89 G. Falzon), F. Brandan-6.5, W. Serrano-6.5, M. Jimenez-6.5 (90 B. Antignolo), J. Gill-6, G. Virano-6.5 (71 D. Scerri), C. Flores-6.
Referee: Malcolm Spiteri.
Yellow cards: Z. Cassar, F. Brandan, D. Kukic
BOV Player of the Match: Fernando Brandan (Lija Athletic).
Lija Athletic returned to winning ways as they beat Senglea Athletic 3-1 in the clash between the bottom two teams in the BOV Premier League table.
However, this win enables Joseph Galea’s side to move third from bottom as they leapfrog Tarxien.
From their last four matches, Lija managed to collect seven points which enable them to maintain hopes of avoiding relegation.
Senglea, on the other hand, remain in a freefall as they suffered their eleventh consecutive defeat and the eighteenth defeat in 20 matches.
Lija went close after just ten minutes with Neil Micallef’s first-time effort ending just wide.
However, on 23 minutes, Lija managed to take the lead. Ismael Borg intercepted a clearance by Sergio Uyi and served Walter Serrano who passed the ball to Fernando Brandan and the latter rounded a defender and pulled to the right before beating goalkeeper Matthew Farrugia with a fine shot from outside the area.
Senglea equalised three minutes later. Daniel Abela delivered a free-kick from the left and Dibola Diwoto Junior headed home past goalkeeper Luke Bonnici.
Diwoto could have added another eight minutes from the end of the first half when Freud Gnindokponou advanced all alone and served the striker from Cameroon who, however, failed to connect.
Five minutes into the second half, Lija regained the lead. Carl Cassar delivered a great cross from the right and Miguel Jimenez headed the ball home in style.
On 59 minutes, Dibola Diwoto Junior was unlucky to hit the upright.
However, Lija continued to hold the initiative and on 71 minutes, they made it 3-1. Pedro Luiz Gusso headed the ball home off a corner from the left by Gonzalo Virano.
In the remaining minutes, Lija continued to dictate matters, controlling their opponents without particular difficulty to take home the three points.