A goal twelve minutes from time enabled Santa Lucia to hold Hamrun Spartans in a 1-1 draw at the Centenary Stadium on Friday.
The Spartans therefore dropped another two precious points after being held in another draw by Birkirkara last week. They now join Sirens in third place on sixteen points but the St. Paul’s Bay side have a game in hand.
For Santa Lucia, on the other hand, this draw was a morale-boosting result after they failed to collect any points in their last two outings as they lost to Mosta and Hibernians. They join Balzan in ninth place on ten points.
Hamrun welcomed back Karl Micallef but lacked goalkeeper Manuel Bartolo and the suspended Nicola Leone.
The Spartans took a well-deserved lead on the 19th minute when Valdo Alhinho served Wilfried Domoraud inside the area and the latter slotted the ball past goalkeeper Ryan Caruana.
During the second half, Santa Lucia improved, threatening the Hamrun defence on various occasions. They notched the equaliser twelve minutes from time when Wilkerson Junnior Gomes addressed the ball towards goal with substitute Jamie Zerafa heading home from close range.
HAMRUN Jean Claude Debattista, Triston Caruana, Valdo Goncalves Alhinho, Jorge Ailton dos Santos Soares (72’ Darren Borg), Wilfried Domoraud, Clayton Failla, Soufiane Lagzir, Marco Criaco, Karl Micallef, Orestis Nikolopoulos, Mattia Cinquini.
Subs not used: Matthias Debono, Karl Luke Schembri, Cain Cutajar, Miguel Tabone, Ryan Darmanin, Bradley Schembri.
Coach: Manuele Blasi
SANTA LUCIA Ryan Caruana, Gabriel Bohrer Mentz, Kevin Pinheiro Correia, Jackson David Usuga Mendoza, Kevin Ante Rosero (87’ Lee Galea), Carlos Riascos Torres, Jacob Walker, Daniel Agius, Omar Elouni (58’ Adam Magri Overend), Rei Tachikawa (77’ Jamie Zerafa), Wilkerson Junnior de Souza Gomes.
Subs not used: Dorian Bugeja, Neil Micallef, Jamie Magri Overend, Neil Spiteri, Lee Galea.
Coach: Oliver Spiteri
Referee: Mario Apap
Assistant Referees: Mitchell Scerri, Ivan Galea
Fourth Official: Slobodan Petrovic
Yellow Cards: Nikolopoulos, Alhinho, Lagzir, Mendoza, Pinheiro, Riascos, Ante Rosero
BOV Player of the Match: Wilfried Domoraud