Santa Lucia secured a historic promotion to the Premier League after defeating St. Andrews 4-1 in the BOV Premier League Play-Off at the Hibernians Stadium. St. Andrews, on the other hand, were therefore relegated to Division 1 after spending the last four years among the elite.
After placing third in Division 1, Santa Lucia were the first team to win the Premier League Play-Off as in the past four years, the Premier League clubs had always emerged as winners. Santa Lucia therefore join champions Sirens and runners-up Gudja United in the Premier League – three clubs who will experience top level football for the first time in their history.
St. Andrews went close to taking the lead on the 10th minute when off a cross by Martin Davis, Aidan Friggieri’s goal-bound shot was cleared off the goal line by Dejan Vukovic. The clearance led to a swift counter-attack for Santa Lucia with the ball reaching Patrick Jean Texeira Maia who anticipated Calleja Cremona with a shot from the right with the ball ending at the back of the net to put Santa Lucia ahead.
Two minutes later, St. Andrews levelled matters thanks to Martin Davis whose diagonal shot from the right beat goalkeeper Ryan Caruana.
On the 16th minute, Jurgen Suda had a fine free kick turned into a corner by Calleja Cremona and from the resulting corner by Suda, attempts by Magri Overend and Ante Rosero were blocked and the ball reached Jackson David Usuga Mendoza whose low shot from outside the area beat the St. Andrews goalkeeper to restore the lead for Santa Lucia.
Seven minutes in the second half, Santa Lucia goalkeeper Ryan Caruana came to the rescue turning into a corner a Joseph Farrugia effort.
However, on the hour, Santa Lucia increased the lead when off a Jurgen Suda corner from the right to a Jackson Usuga Mendoza header which beat the St. Andrews goalkeeper.
St. Andrews threatened with a Joseph Farrugia effort on the 68th minute but Ryan Caruana turned the ball into a corner.
Santa Lucia sealed the issue with a fourth goal on the 75th minute. Referee Etienne Mangion ordered a penalty after Travis Blagrove floored Diego Luis Mosquera Segura inside the area – a foul which cost the Jamaican defender a second yellow card – and from the penalty spot, Patrick Jean Texeira Maia made no mistake.
ST. ANDREWS Matthew Calleja Cremona, Ricardo Martin, Travis Blagrove, Aidan Jake Friggieri, Joseph Farrugia, Kurt Magro, Adrian Borg, Jacob Walker (82′ Adam Magri Overend), Martin Davis, Luke Sciberras (67′ Dejan Debono), Matthew Woo Ling (64′ Kemar Reid).
Subs not used: Sebastian Spiteri, Alex Satariano, Jordan Kelly, Jamie Sixsmith.
Coach: Johann Scicluna
SANTA LUCIA Ryan Caruana, Jeremy Busuttil, Jackson David Usuga Mendoza, Jurgen Suda (83′ Keith Vella), Kevin Duvan Ante Rosero (79′ Nick Borg), Jamie Magri Overend (85′ Neil Micallef), Karl Pulo, Dejan Vukovic, Patrick Jean Texeira Maia, Lee Galea.
Subs not used: Duane Carabott, Manuel Guillari, Paul Lapira, Kevin Camilleri.
Coach: Marko Glumac
Team Manager: Oliver Spiteri
Referee: Etienne Mangion
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Thomas Debono
Fourth Official: Fyodor Zammit
Yellow Cards: Busuttil, Blagrove, Texeira, Magro, Friggieri
Red Cards: 74′ Travis Blagrove