SANTA LUCIA 2
Conti 25; Alan 34 pen.
J. Archibald-6, A. Prates-6, J. Pisani-6.5, N. Pulis-6, G. Conti-6.5 (87 A. Vella), P. Silva-6, V. Plut-6 (71 F. Farias), Alan-6.5 (66 J. Tanti), V. Filho, J. Zerafa-6 (66 K. Xuereb), D. Xuereb-6.5.
D. Fernandes-5.5, E. Pepe, Y. Yankam-5 (46 K. Bevis), L. Montebello-5.5, P. Mbong-5 (46 C. Bonanni), F. Falcone-5 (46 R. Scicluna), C. Attard-6.5, O. Carniello-5.5 (90 J. Valletta), L. Aguirre-5.5, J. Macedo-6 (79 N. Borg), D. Venancio-6.5.
Referee: Philip Farrugia.
Yellow cards: Zerafa, Pepe, Alan, D. Xuereb, Filho, Carniello, Archibald.
Red cards: Pepe (B) 42; Filho (SL) 56.
BOV Player of the Match: Alan (Santa Lucia FC).
Santa Lucia registered their first win of the campaign as they scored twice in the first half to beat Birkirkara 2-0.
A win that enables Oliver Spiteri’s side to leapfrog Gudja and Sliema and move to just one point behind Gżira and Mosta.
Birkirkara, on the other hand, dropped two important points in the battle for honours after losing to Sirens and earning a point in a draw with Hibernians in the previous two outings.
Vito Plut and Victor Prestes Filho were back for Santa Lucia at the expense of Jan Tanti and Kieran Xuereb.
Birkirkara, on the other hand, welcomed back Yannick Yankam and Diego Venancio.
The Stripes had the first two attempts at goal with a free-kick by Venancio deflected into a corner.
Then an angled shot by Luke Montebello, who before the game was presented with the BOV Player of the Month for October, was also blocked into a corner.
Santa Lucia replied with a Jamie Zerafa effort which was turned into a corner by Daniel Fernandes on 10 minutes.
Eight minutes later, Falcone tested Archibald with a header from the edge of the area and on 19 minutes, Jurgen Pisani’s powerful drive was neutralised by the Birkirkara goalkeeper.
Six minutes later, Santa Lucia forged ahead thanks to Gianmarco Conti who headed the ball home off an Alan corner from the right.
Santa Lucia doubled the score on 34 minutes. Plut was brought down inside the area by Enrico Pepe and Alan made no mistake from the spot.
To make matters worse for Birkirkara, Enrico Pepe received a second yellow card for a foul on Plut and was therefore sent off, leaving his side in ten men.
At the start of the second half, Birkirkara coach Andre Paus made three substitutions, but this only made a slight difference as on 54 minutes, Santa Lucia almost scored a third with an Andre Prates header but Montebello came to the rescue, clearing the ball off the line.
Two minutes later, Filho was also dismissed after receiving a second yellow card for a foul on Montebello.
The Stripes, however, only had two attempts at goal by Venancio – a freekick ending just over the bar on 66 minutes and a freekick from the left which was parried by Archibald as the Santa Lucia rearguard kept their opponents under control to take home the three points.
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