The Malta Independent 25 February 2020, Tuesday

BOV Premier League: Precious win for Sta Lucia in direct relegation clash against Gudja

Henry Brincat Saturday, 1 February 2020, 18:12 Last update: about 23 days ago
Photo: James Galea
Photo: James Galea

Sta Lucia         2
Gudja              1                        

Sta Lucia: T. Aquilina, G. Bohrer, K. Correia, J. Mendoza, M. Maia da Silva (D. Segura 70), K. Ante Rosario, J. Walker, D. Agius, J. Zerafa, P. Santos de Azevedo (J. Magri Overend 78), L. Grech (L. Galea 83)

Gudja: J. Debono, J. Farrugia (J. Brincat 66), J. Bondin, A. Friggieri, EZ Bilbao, A. De Barros, M. Jimenez (R. Winchester 46), H. Vella, N. Rodrigues Ferreira, J. Grioli (G. Mensah 85), BI Gonzalez 

Referee: T.Farrugia Cann

Asst refs: T. Debono, I. Galea

4th official: S. Petrovic

Scorers: K. Ante Rosero 15, J. Mendoza 33, R. Winchester 71,

Yellow cards:  J. Grioli 64, T. Aquilina, 71, J. Zerafa 77, H. Vella 87

BOV Player of the match: K. Ante Rosero

 TMI Top 3: 1. K. Ante Rosero, 2. J. Mendoza, 3. A. Friggieri

Attendance: 548

Sta Lucia obtained three precious points as they defeated direct relegation rivals and neighbours Gudja United by the odd goal in three.

First half strikes by Kevin Ante Rosero and Jackson Mendoza enabled them to earn a good two-goal cushion which Gudja failed to recover despite a second half comeback which, however, only saw them reducing the gap.

Sta Lucia now join Sliema on the 17-point mark, two ahead of the same Gudja and Senglea, who remain on 15 points.

The two teams were looking for a precious win to improve their lowly placing in the standings.

But it was Sta Lucia who took command in the first half during which they scored the two goals which enabled them to control proceedings.

In fact, that 2-0 cushion at the interval was richly deserved as Gudja never appeared to be able to hit back and return into contention. The latter found it hard to penetrate the Saints defence and were only dangerous on one occasion.

In the second half, Gudja improved considerably as they fought back gallantly to get back in contention in their efforts to save at least a point.

They insisted until they finally got a reward on 71 minutes when substitute Renold Winchester found the net to give his side hope. From then onwards, it was an almost continuous assault on the Saints goal in search of an equaliser.

This never materialised as Sta Lucia defended with all their might to hold on successfully to their slender lead.

The match started on a quiet note, but on the 7th minute, Sta Lucia threatened through a Jamie Zerafa long distance shot which Gudja goalie Debono punched away with some difficulty.

Two minutes later, at the other end, a Friggieri freekick was headed by Miguel Jimenez straight into the waiting hands of Aquilina.

A minute later, it was Jackson Mendoza who entered the Gudja area only to see his cross-shot pass agonisingly in front of goal with Santos de Azevedo a second too late to connect.

Sta Lucia opened the score on 15 minutes and what a goal it was! From a Bondin clearance, Kevin Ante Rosero rose high (a la Ronaldo) to head beautifully past a helpless Jonathan Debono in the Gudja goal.

In the 22nd minute, Maxwell Maia da Silva set Ante Rosero in the Gudja area but Debono rushed out of his charge to anticipate the Saints' striker.

At the other end, on 23 minutes, Friggieri set Rodrigues Ferreira in the Saints area, but goalie Aquilina saved well.

Sta Lucia made it 2-0 on the 33rd minute when Jackson Mendoza beat Gudja goalie Debono with an unstoppable shot from about 25 metres.

In the 39th minute, Santos de Azevedo tried to set Ante Rosero in the Gudja area, but his pass was intercepted by goalie Debono.

At the end of the opening 45 minutes, it was a richly deserved 2-0 lead for the Saints.

On 55 minutes, Gudja threatened to reduce the gap through a Justin Grioli grounder which was saved with some difficulty by goalie Aquilina.

On the hour, at the other end, Gudja goalie Debono was a protagonist as he dived sideways to turn to corner an Ante Rosero rising shot.

In the 63rd minute, Gudja were somewhat unlucky not to score a goal when Edison Zarate Bilbao received a good ball in the area and lobbed the ball over the onrushing goalie Aquilina, but the ball just missed the post, ending on the roof of the net.

Gudja finally found the net in the 71st minute as Zarate set substitute Renold Winchester in the area, the latter scoring with a powerful rising shot.

Till the end, Gudja assaulted the Saints area almost continuously, but they failed to penetrate again as Sta Lucia went home with all the three points.

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