Vieira 29, Zammit Lonardelli 66
SANTA LUCIA 1
SIRENS J. Debono-7, H. Motta-6, C. Borg-5.5 (61 D. Jackson), K. Reid-6, B. Gavrila-6 (77 C. Flores), D. Albanese-6, J. Walker-6.5, C. Zammit Lonardelli-6.5 (78 A. Effiong), A. Cini-6, C. Riascos-6, V. Vieira-6.5.
SANTA LUCIA C. Farrugia-6, A. Prates-6, J. Pisani-6, N. Pulis-6, P. Silva Mota-6, V. Plut-6, A. Da Souza-6.5, V. Prestes Filho-6.5, J. Zerafa-6 (80 M. Valpoort), D. Xuereb-6 (90 M. Vella), L. Mckay-6 (71 J. Tanti).
Referee Malcolm Spiteri
Yellow Cards D. Albanese, C. Riascos
BOV Player of the Match Jonathan Debono
Sirens came from behind to beat Santa Lucia 2-1 to register a fourth consecutive positive result and move fifth in the BOV Premier League table.
The St. Paul’s Bay side, in fact, leapfrogged Balzan, Valletta, and Gzira but Balzan still have a game in hand. It was a fine display by Winston Muscat’s side after earning a point in the previous match against leaders Hibernians.
Santa Lucia, on the other hand, could have earned something from the game. They played a good game, creating several goal-scoring opportunities but found Sirens goalkeeper Jonathan Debono in excellent form. Santa Lucia, who were led by assistant coach Brian Chetucti following the departure of Oliver Spiteri, remain second from bottom.
Chetcuti made three changes from the team which lost to Gudja as goalkeeper Christopher Farrugia deputised for the injured Justin Haber while Victor Luis Prestes Filho and Liam Mckay replaced Meghon Valpoort and Jan Tanti.
Sirens, on the other hand, had Henrique Marcelino Motta making his debut in the absence of the suspended Adrian Borg while Vitor Vieira was preferred to Alfred Effiong.
Santa Lucia went close with an Alan da Silva effort, served on the left by Prestes Filho, which was blocked by Jonathan Debono on 8 minutes. Sirens replied with an angled shot by Vitor Vieira which just missed the target.
On 27 minutes, Santa Lucia opened the score. Da Souza Silva tried to serve Plut but the ball was deflected by a defender with Albanese trying to head in the direction of the goalkeeper but the ball was intercepted by Vito Plut who lobbed the ball over Debono.
However, their joy was short-lived as two minutes later, Sirens equalised. Kemar Reid concluded a good move on the left by serving Vitor Vieira who hit the ball in the bottom left corner.
Nicholas Pulis almost restored the lead for Santa Lucia on 36 minutes but Debono tipped the ball into a corner.
Santa Lucia kept pushing in the second half and on 61 minutes, a diagonal shot by Alan da Silva just missed the target and two minutes later, the Brazilian had a freekick turned into a corner by Debono who also managed to block the resulting corner by Silva Mota.
Sirens, however, forged ahead on 66 minutes. Vieira entered the area from the right and hit low with Liam Mckay blocking his attempt but Carlo Zammit Lonardelli hit home off the rebound.
Alan Da Silva tried his luck with another freekick on 72 minutes but Debono neutralised his attempt and finally, in added time, Jurgen Pisani had a powerful drive ending just wide.