After beating Valletta last week, Santa Lucia continued where they had left with another positive result as they earned a point in a goalless draw with Gzira United at the National Stadium on Friday despite playing for the last sixteen minutes in ten men.
For the Maroons, this was yet another disappointing result as they were held in a second consecutive goalless draw.
Despite the fine win over the champions, Santa Lucia had four changes as Kevin Pinheiro Correa, Maycon de Jesus Santana, Camilo del Castillo Escobar and Omar Elouni replaced Daniel Agius, Diego Mosquera Segura, Farid Zuniga and Rei Tachikawa.
The Maroons, on the other hand, had Arthur Oyama, Zachary Scerri and Andrew Cohen making way for Sacha Borg, Juan Corbalan and Martin Davis.
After a quiet start, Jefferson concluded a solo effort with a low shot which was saved by Caruana on the 23rd minute. Four minutes later, Haber performed a good save on a Wilkerson Junnior Batata freekick.
Four minutes from the end of the first half, in a swift counter-attack, Maycon Santana served Kevin Ante Rosero whose close-range effort was saved at point blank by Haber. A minute later, a long-distance shot by Ante Rosero was saved by the Gzira goalkeeper.
The Maroons had a goal disallowed for an offside on the 61st minute and on the 74th, Santa Lucia were reduced to ten men after having Jacob Walker sent off as he received two yellow cards.
On the 81st minute, Andrew Cohen missed a good chance following a cross by Martin Davis and three minutes later, the latter hit high off a Zach Scerri assist. However deep into stoppage time, Ante Rosero served substitute Nick Borg on the left but the latter’s conclusion was high.
SANTA LUCIA Ryan Caruana, Gabriel Bohrer Mentz, Kevin Pinheiro Correia (53′ Daniel Agius), Jackson David Usuga Mendoza, Maycon de Jesus Santana, Kevin Ante Rosero, Jacob Walker, Omar Elouni (65′ Nick Borg), Jamie Zerafa, Camilo del Castillo Escobar, Wilkerson Junnior Gomes (80′ Lee Galea).
Subs not used: Dorian Bugeja, Neil Micallef, Jamie Magri Overend, Neil Spiteri.
Coach: Oliver Spiteri
Asst. Coach: Brian Chetcuti
GZIRA Justin Haber, Fernando Barbosa, Gianmarco Conti, Nikolai Muscat (86′ Luca Brincat), Rodolfo Soares, Juan Carlos Corbalan, Hamed Kone (46′ Zachary Scerri), Sacha Borg, Amadou Samb (46′ Andrew Cohen), Martin Davis, Jefferson de Assis.
Subs not used: Jurgen Borg, Didier John Muscat, Christian Sammut, Romario Camilleri.
Coach: Giovanni Tedesco
Referee: Fyodor Zammit
Assistant Referees: Duncan Sultana, Theodore Zammit
Fourth Official: Darryl Agius
Yellow Cards: Zerafa, Walker, Haber, Soares, Agius, Borg, Davis, Barbosa, Scerri
Red Cards: 74′ Jacob Walker
BOV Player of the Match: Kevin Ante Rosero