Newly-promoted Zejtun Corinthians earned a point in a 2-2 draw with Santa Lucia at the Centenary Stadium on Saturday in a match which kicked-off the BOV Premier League 2020/21.
The Corinthians were a better side during the first half but ironically, Santa Lucia managed to take the lead. In the second half, the two teams shared the exchanges and all in all, a draw was a fair result.
Both sides had several players making their debut – Diego Albanese, Lucao, Kemar Reid, Gianluca Bugeja, Fernandinho and substitute Edward Herrera for Zejtun; Andreas Vella (I), Andre, Leandro Motta, Victor Luiz, Michael Camilleri, Andreas Vella (II) and substitutes Liam Mckay, Kieran Xuereb and Jeremy Delmar for Santa Lucia.
Zejtun held the initiative in the early stages going close with a Fernandinho first-time effort from outside the area and with a close range effort by Roberio.
However against the run of play, Santa Lucia managed to take the lead on the 34th minute when Izaias sent Kevin Ante Rosero through on the left and the latter beat goalkeeper Christian Cassar with an angled shot.
Two minutes from half-time, Jurgen Suda was unlucky to hit the crossbar for Zejtun.
Sixteen minutes in the second half, a fine rising shot by Rei Tachikawa for Santa Lucia ended just over the bar.
The Corinthians equalised on the 66th minute through Kemar Reid who received an assist on the right by Muniz and hit low past the Santa Lucia goalkeeper.
Zejtun went 2-1 ahead on the 75th minute thanks to Fernando Jose Gomes Junior who received an assist by Jurgen Suda on the left and beat Vella with an angled shot.
However a minute later, Santa Lucia restored equilibrium as Kevin Ante Rosero hit home from the edge of the goal area following a good move by Rei Tachikawa on the left.
ZEJTUN Christian Cassar, Diego Albanese, Lucas Gama Moreira, Kemar David Reid, Jurgen Suda, Roberío do Nascimento Santos, Marcelo Pereira Muniz, Gianluca Bugeja (80’ Edward Herrera), Fernando Jose Gomes Junior (90’ Christian Grech), Gillmore Azzopardi, Anderson de Barros (57’ Dylan Agius).
Subs not used: Daniel Grima, Keelan Azzopardi, Nicholas Fava, Alessio Cassar.
Coach: Orosco Anonam
SANTA LUCIA Andreas Vella I, Andre Fausto Prates Rodrigues Junior, Izaias Junio Duarte da Silva, Kevin Correia Pinheiro, Leandro Wallace Motta dos Santos (75’ Jeremy Delmar), Kevin Ante Rosero, Victor Luiz Prestes Filho, Michael Camilleri (78’ Liam Mckay), Jamie Zerafa, Andreas Vella II (65’ Kieran Xuereb), Rei Tachikawa.
Subs not used: Christopher Farrugia, Romario Camilleri, Jacques Vella Critien, Brady Agius.
Coach: Oliver Spiteri
Referee: Alex Johnson
Assistant Referees: Mitchell Scerri, Ivan Galea
Fourth Official: Glen Tonna
Yellow Cards: Fernandinho, Albanese, Vella II, Muniz, Zerafa
BOV Player of the Match: Kevin Ante Rosero