Zach Muscat was sent off in the dying minutes of the nerve-wrecking encounter against Leixoes, as his Casa Pia side managed to hold their opponents at bay and claim a 1-0 victory that bolster their promotion challenge, as they remain in the top three places of the Portuguese second-tier.
The Malta international defender started as a right central defender in the usual three-man backline deployed by Casa Pia.
Casa Pia forged ahead on the 12th minute through captain Vasco Fernandes but his goal was disallowed after the Casa Pia player handed the ball into the net. Consequently, he was given a yellow card which would come to haunt him back very quickly in the first half.
Meanwhile, Muscat’s team did open the score a minute later when Neto fired from close-range after profiting from a Leixoes’ mistake at the back.
On the 19th minute, Fernandes was given a second yellow leaving Casa Pia with ten man while handing the captain’s armband to Muscat. Moments later, Muscat was also handed a yellow card.
After the change of ends, Leixoes’ chances of levelling terms were dealt a heavy blow when they remained with a man down as well.
Late in the game, Casa Pia showed a lot of resilience to halt Leixoes’ chances but had to finish the game with nine players after Muscat’s late sending off.
Nonetheless, the Lisbon-based side picked up the three points as they remain in contention for either the top two places which guarantee automatic promotion or the third spot, which would put them in the promotion play-off.
Muscat will now miss Casa Pia’s next game against Academico Viseu, on January 15.