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Superior Gudja cruise past Sta Lucia in six-pointer tie

Gudja United took the spoils against fellow relegation-battlers Sta Lucia. Photo: Domenic Aquilina

STA LUCIA                  0

GUDJA UNITED          3

Friggieri 44, 52

Gusman 56

STA LUCIA J. Haber-7; A. Prates-5, J. Pisani-5, N. Pulis-5; P. Mota-5 (64 K. Xuereb), V. Plut-6.5, A. Souza-6, D. Valpoort-5 (77 B. Agius), J. Tanti-5 (64 A. Vella), J. Zerafa-6 (64 L. McKay), D. Xuereb-5 (82 E. Camilleri).

GUDJA UNITED G. Zammit-6; M. Muchardi-7, A. Friggieri-7 (90 K. Gatt), R. Soares-6, T. Gusman-6, L. Cremona-6 (90 T. Nagamatsu), G. Mensah-6 (85 H. Vella), A. Selemani-7 (76 N. Dzalamidze), N. Tabone-6 (85 N. Micallef), J. Bolanos-6, M. Dias-6.

Referee Ishmael Barbara.

BOV Player of the Match Aidan Friggieri (Gudja United).

An Aidan Friggieri brace and a Tensior Gusman goal handed Gudja United a 3-1 victory against fellow relegation strugglers Sta Lucia.

This victory lifted Gudja to 14 points, leaving Sta Lucia and Mosta behind with 11 points while Sliema Wanderers remain at the bottom of the table with just four points.

It was a well-deserved victory for the team led by coach Thane Micallef which will inject further confidence in them in their attempt to salvage their top-flight status.

For this game, the Gudja coach deployed Ahinga Selemani and Aidan Friggieri upfront with the tandem producing a commanding showing which helped the Blues dominate their opponents.

In the closing stages of the game, Gudja handed a debut to their latest arrivals – Japanese Tatsuro Nagamatsu and Georgian player Nika Dzalamidze.

On the other hand, this was a heavy blow for Sta Lucia’s chances of staying up. Not much because of standings, as they are just three points behind but for the performance they put on.

New signing Justin Haber was undoubtedly his team’s best player with his numerous saves that kept the score as low as possible.

Netherlands-born forward Davidy Valpoort, who signed for Sta Lucia in recent days, was in the starting formation.

Both teams gave life to a pulsating start with end-to-end opportunities which were not capitalised. Sta Lucia tried to draw first blood through Vito Plut but his header was halted by Gudja United’s goalkeeper before Jamie Zerafa let fly a strike that sailed over teh bar.

Gudja’s reply came from America player Ahinga Selemani which Justin Haber stopped on the goal line. Tensior Gusman miscued the rebound as he failed to hit the target.

Sta Lucia’s forward Plut remained his team’s main threat upfront and forced Glen Zammit into action with a header and shot but all in vain.

Aidan Friggieri of Gudja squandered a glorious chance to put his team ahead with a close-range effort which he surprisingly skied over the bar.

Nonetheless, the Gudja player made amends for his mistake with a low-drive strike which went past Haber.

After the restart, Friggieri doubled Gudja’s lead after capitalising on a well-engineered positive transition.

The Blues continued to push for a third which they managed to find through Tensior Gusman who headed home and wrap up the three points for his team.

Sta Lucia tried to stage a reaction but Gudja remained the better on the field with Haber denying the Blues on a number of occasions.

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