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BOV Premier League

Farias the hero as Santa Lucia stun Pietà Hotspurs to clinch first win

Francisco Farias struck late to hand Sta Lucia the win over Pieta Hotspurs. Photo: Christine Borg

PIETÀ HOTSPURS 1

Ghio 20

SANTA LUCIA 2

Pulis 23, Farias 86

PIETÀ HOTSPURS

S. Alampasu-6, S. Okoh-6, C. Bangura-5.5, O. Temitope-5 (46 Y. Morita-6), D. Zerafa-6 (74 S. Mizzi), J. Ghio-6 (62 A. Camara), T. Agius-6, L. Abedel-5, A. Schembri Wismayer-6.5 (68 K. Leonardi), Z. Leonardi-5, A. Ogungbe-5.5

SANTA LUCIA

M. Calleja Cremona-6, Y. Fonesca-6, N. Pulis-7, R. Bairam-5 (46 E. Moreno-6), D. Valpoort-6 (90 M. Johnson), A. Bah-5, D. Francarolli-6, D. Xuereb-6, J. Pisani-6.5, F. Farias-6.5, Z. Jie-5.5 (70 R. Saito).

Referee: Etienne Mangion.

Yellow cards: Morita, Francarolli,

BOV player of the match: Nicholas Pulis (Santa Lucia)

Francisco Farias was the hero as his late goal saw Santa Lucia come from behind to beat Pietà Hotspurs and clinch their first win of the season.

After a bright opening by Santa Lucia, it was the Hotspurs, who had the first real attempt on goal when Daniel Zerafa picked the ball up in midfield forced his way through before squaring for Terence Agius. The midfielder was given space and time but his radar was slightly off as he dragged his shot wide.

Neither side was giving much away and chances were at a premium.

On 20 minutes, Pietà surged into the lead. David Schembri Wismayer whipped in a cross from the right and as the Santa Lucia defence slept, Atanda Ogungbe headed the ball into the path Jake Ghio who sneaked in and prodded into the net.

The Santa Lucia supporters were soon on their feet, as three minutes later, their team were back on level terms. Nicholas Pulis hit a low drive as Davidy Valpoort got in the way to divert the ball past Sunday Dele Alampasu.

If the first half was even, Santa Lucia began to dominate possession after the break.

But the Hotspurs tried to punish the Saints’ flat-out approach. On 69 minutes, substitute Amadou Camara shot across the face of goal after a typical run on the right flank. 

On 80 minutes, Andres Moreno thought he had won it for the Saints when he hit home but the referee’s whistle had already sounded for an earlier foul.

The decision left the Santa Lucia bench furious as referee Etienne Mangion left hardly any time for advantage to be played.

Moments later, with Pietà having already used their substitutions, they were forced to continue playing with ten men after Sheldon Mizzi abondoned the pitch with an eye-injury.

Four minutes from time, Santa Lucia struck on the break, when Francisco Rodrigues Farias was picked out in the box and the Brazilian fired home.

In added time, Valpoort looked out of sorts for Santa Lucia as he wasted a string of chances to put the Yellows out of sight.

The Dutch striker first failed to get a final touch to put the ball beyond Alampasu and then saw an effort turned around by the foot of the Pietà goalkeeper.

But that little mattered as the Saints held on for the win.

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