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Late penalty saves Gżira against Santa Lucia

Santa Lucia's Bahia (centre) shoots at goal against Gżira United. Photo: Domenic Aquilina

SANTA LUCIA  1         

Conti 11

GŻIRA UNITED         1         

Maxuell 84 pen

SANTA LUCIA: J. Archibald-6, A. Prates-6, J. Pisani-6, N. Pulis-5.5, G. Conti-6.5, P. Silva-5.5, A. Da Silva-6.5, F. Farias-5.5 (85 V. Plut), J. Tanti, V. Filho-6, K. Xuereb-5.5 (61 J. Zerafa).

GŻIRA UNITED: J. Haber-6, G. Bohrer Mentz-6, S. Borg-6, N. Muscat-5.5 (46 Z. Scerri), S. Pisani-5.5 (46 J. De Assis), M. Davis-6.5, N. Portelli-5.5 (77 E. Mbong), R. Correa-6 (65 C. Gauci), M. Maia-6.5, T. Espindola-6, J. Mendoza-6.

Referee: Stefan Pace

Yellow Cards: J. Tanti, Z. Scerri, T. Espindola, P. Silva Mota, V. Plut

Red Cards: 83’ J. Tanti

BOV Player of the Match: Maxuell Maia

After losing to Hibernians in their first outing, Gżira United managed to rescue a point thanks to a penalty late in the game for a 1-1 draw with Santa Lucia on Sunday.

For Santa Lucia, this was another positive display following a good display against Floriana last week.

Santa Lucia had Gianmarco Conti making his debut, replacing Vito Plut in the starting line-up. The Maroons, on the other hand, had two changes from their last outing as Nikolai Muscat and Nevin Portelli replaced Zachary Scerri and Dexter Xuereb.

The team led by Oliver Spiteri held the initiative in the early stages, going close with a Francisco Farias header which was neutralised by Haber after just six minutes.

Five minutes later, Santa Lucia took the lead when off a cross from the left by da Silva, Gianmarco Conti’s effort hit the crossbar before ending at the back of the net.

The Maroons replied with a cross by Martin Davis on 14 minutes from which Maxuell had a shot from close range saved by Julani Archibald.

A Ricardo Correa effort on 31 minutes ended just wide and six minutes later, Maxuell entered the area but his conclusion was parried by the Santa Lucia goalkeeper.

For the beginning of the second half, Gżira coach Darren Abdilla made two changes including Zach Scerri and Jefferson de Assis in their bid to restore equilibrium.

Thiago Espindola tried his luck with a cross-shot which was parried by Archibald on 58 minutes and seven minutes later, a corner from the left created havoc inside the area with Clive Gauci’s header cleared off the goal line by a defender.

Six minutes from time, the Maroons levelled matters. Jefferson de Assis was brought down inside the area by Jan Tanti who received a second yellow card and was therefore dismissed. From the penalty spot, Maxuell duly converted.

In added time, Gżira pushed for a dramatic winner, going close with a Martin Davis effort from the edge of the area which was blocked by a defender, and then with a Maxuell first-time effort which was turned into a corner by the Santa Lucia goalkeeper.

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