Enmy Manuel Pena Beltre scored deep into stoppage time to rescue a point for St. Andrews in a 1-1 draw with Tarxien Rainbows at the Victor Tedesco Stadium on Saturday.
Led by new coach Jesmond Zerafa, the Rainbows seemed heading for victory but although they missed a penalty, the Saints still managed to notch the equaliser three minutes in added time.
Zerafa named Kurt Zammit and the returning Emerson Marcelina and Ebiabowei Baker in the starting line-up in lieu of Triston Caruana, Claudio Frances and the suspended Daniel Zerafa. St. Andrews had three changes from the team which lost to Floriana as replaced Nenad Belacevic and the suspended Michael Johnson and Karlo Kesinovic.
The Rainbows managed to take the lead on the 19th minute thanks to a great goal as Alex da Paixao Alves advanced on the left and served Marcelina Emerson who headed the ball down for Julian Galea who slotted the ball past goalkeeper Jake Galea.
Nine minutes from time, St. Andrews could have equalised when they were awarded a penalty after Matthew Tabone brought Ivan Edgardo Paz down inside the area. However Joseph Farrugia’s effort from the penalty spot hit the crossbar.
However three minutes in stoppage time, St. Andrews levelled matters thanksto Enmy Manuel Pena Beltre whose fine curved shot from the left gave goalkeeper Andrea Cassar no chance.
In a desperate attempt to regain the lead, Ebiabowei Baker went close with a volley from the left but the ball hit the crossbar.
TARXIEN Andrea Cassar, Julian Galea (90+1′ Matthew Brincat), Daniel Ponce de Leon Garcia (77′ Dylan Micallef), Alex Nilsson, Emerson Marcelina, Sergio Fernandez Prendes, Ebiabowei Baker, Alex da Paixao Alves, Matthew Tabone, Kurt Zammit, Sacha Borg (60′ Andrew Agius).
Subs not used: Philip Schranz, Luke Zahra, Christian Galdes, Matthew Degiorgio.
Coach: Jesmond Zerafa
ST. ANDREWS Jake Galea, Enmy Manuel Pena Beltre, Ante Bakmaz, Dale Camilleri, Bong Won Che, Joseph Farrugia, Godwin Mckay (83′ Jacob Walker), Felix Udoh Okon (63′ Nenad Belacevic), Ziga Kastrevec (63′ Ryan Darmanin), Ivan Edgardo Paz, Kyrian Nwoko.
Subs not used: Dean Sciberras, Jamie Magri Overend, Mark Scicluna, Liam Grech.
Referee: Malcolm Spiteri
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Sammy Attard
Fourth Official: Sandro Spiteri
Yellow Cards: none
BOV Player of the Match: Emerson Marcelina