Ten-man Santa Lucia make impressive comeback to beat Lija by odd goal in five

Despite being reduced to ten men, Santa Lucia came back from two goals down to beat Lija Athletic 3-2 at the Centenary Stadium on Friday.

Santa Lucia therefore join Valletta in seventh place on 11 points while Lija remain joint-second from bottom on four points. 

Lija had a perfect start, taking the lead on the 3rd minute thanks to Erjon Beu who concluded a solo effort on the left with an angled shot which sailed past goalkeeper Christopher Farrugia.

On the 28th minute, Erjon Beu doubled the score thanks to a direct freekick which gave the Santa Lucia goalkeeper no chance.

Three minutes later, Santa Lucia were reduced to ten men after Jamie Zerafa was sent off following a rough tackle on Gonzalo Nicolas Virano.

Four minutes in the second half, Santa Lucia reduced the gap when substitute Leandro Motta sent Kevin Ante Rosero through and the latter slotted past goalkeeper Luke Bonnici.

On the 74th minute, Santa Lucia levelled matters thanks to Timothy Tabone Desira who hit low past the Lija goalkeeper when served by Victor Luiz Prestes Filho.

Five minutes in added time, Santa Lucia notched a dramatic winner as Andre Fausto Prates Rodrigues tapped the ball home past Bonnici following a corner from the left and an assist by Correia.

SANTA LUCIA Christopher Farrugia, Timothy Tabone Desira, Andre Fausto Prates Rodrigues, Kevin Correia, Adam Magri Overend (70’ Andreas Vella), Alan da Silva Souza, Kevin Ante Rosero, Victor Luiz Prestes Filho, Jamie Zerafa, Rei Tachikawa, Kieran Xuereb (46’ Leandro Motta).
Subs not used: Clyde Aquilina, Michael Camilleri, Jacques Vella Critien, Liam Mckay, Brady Agius.
Coach: Oliver Spiteri

LIJA Luke Bonnici, Carl Cassar, Pedro Luiz Soares Gusso, Leon Muscat, Daniel Scerri, Erjon Beu, Harry Wood, Miguel Perez Jimenez (83’ Ryan Darmanin), Juan Cruz Gill, Gonzalo Nicolas Virano, Carlos Manuel Flores (61’ Clayton Giordimaina).
Subs not used: Dylan Galea, McAllister Clinch, Ryan Dalli, Andre White, Gianluca Zammit.
Coach: Joseph Galea

Referee: Stefan Pace
Assistant Referees: Roberto Vella, James Muscat
Fourth Official: Emanuel Grech
Yellow Cards: Perez, Gill, Prestes, Wood, Motta, Beu
Red Cards: 31’ Jamie Zerafa
BOV Player of the Match: Erjon Beu