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Plut, Prates haunt Santa Lucija as Gudja take second spot

Gudja United's Vito Plut moves past his marker against Sta Lucija. Photo: Domenic Aquilina


Farias 88


Plut 29, 65; Prates 55

SANTA LUCIA D. Ciappara-5, Y. Soares-5, M. Johnson-5.5, R. Bairam-5(59 R. Saito), A. Valpoort-4, A. Blah-4 (81 E. Camilleri), D. Francarolli-5, D. Xuereb-5 (81 L. Mckay), J. Pisani-5 (69 B. Agius), F. Rodrigues-6, M. Alba-.

GUDJA UNITED G. Zammit-6, J. Bolanes-7, A. Prates-7, V. Plut-8, J. Arthur-7, N. Micallef-6, K. Micallef-7 (82 F. Zuniga), J. Bezzina-6 (67 M. Muchardi), N. Tabone-6.5, S. da Mata-7.5 (79 H. Vella), N. Navarrete-7.5

Referee Malcolm Spiteri.

Yellow card Alba, Saito,

Red card Miguel Alba (Santa Lucia) 79

BOV player of the match Vito Plut (Gudja United)

Gudja United moved up to second above Birkirkara in the Premier League after Vito Plut and Andre Prates came back to haunt their former club Santa Lucia.

Andrea Agostinelli’s clan went into the game fresh from their best start of the season ever, with three victories and a draw.

And it showed as they hit the ground running. But despite Santa Lucia coach Pablo Cortes Sanches setting his stall out by trying to get as many men behind the ball as possible, there was a sense of the inevitable when Gudja made the early breakthrough.

On 28 minutes, Nicolas Navarrete caused havoc as he surged forward on the left before Samuel da Mata Gomes saw his header blocked by the Santa Lucia goalkeeper Dylan Ciappara.

However, moments later, the goalkeeper could not hold onto Karl Micallef’s long-range shot at goal and Vuto Plut was on hand to hit the rebound.

The Slovenian striker showed tremendous reactions and agility, to deftly nod the rebound past the helpless goalkeeper from close range.

Just before half-time, Santa Lucia nearly undid their good work to equalise on stroke of half-time as a defensive mix-up allowed Navarrete a shot at goal which Michael Johnson hoofed off the line.

Andrea Agostinelli’s side showed their ruthless streak after 55 minutes when André Prates claimed his first goal for Gudja against his former side when the Brazilian linked up to a Juan Bolanes’ flick-on to poke the ball past Ciappara.

Gudja continued to prise open the Santa Lucia defence with Naverrete playing Johann Bezzina but Ciappara made a good save.

Naverrete was again involved as Plut completed Santa Lucia’s misery, latching onto the Italian midfielder’s pass and despatching a sweet strike into the corner.

And Ciappara needed to be at his best to block substitute Matias Muchardi’s late effort as Gudja eased to victory.

Santa Lucia finished with 10 men after Miguel Alba was sent off after picking up a second card for a late sliding tackle on Neil Tabone. But there was just enough time for Francisco Rodrigues Farias to fire home a consolation goal for Santa Lucia after the Brazilian’s brilliance zipped open the defence as he deposited the ball into the net.

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