Sliema Wanderers returned to winning ways as a goal four minutes from time by Alex Satariano handed them a narrow win over Santa Lucia at the Centenary Stadium on Friday.
Sliema, who were coming from three successive defeats, join Gzira United in third place.
Santa Lucia should consider themselves unlucky to leave Ta’ Qali empty-handed after holding the initiative throughout the ninety minutes but they failed to score, ending up conceding a goal in the dying minutes.
Victor Luiz Prestes Filho was unlucky to hut the crossbar with a shot from outside the area late in the first half and five minutes in the second half, the same player hit the crossbar with a corner from the right.
Alan da Silva Souza then missed a good opportunity as he advanced all alone but his conclusion was deflected by Jake Galea into a corner.
On the 80th minute, Sliema were reduced to ten men after having John Mintoff sent off.
However, on the 86th minute, following a freekick from the right, the Santa Lucia defence failed to clear the ball into safety and Alex Satariano rounded a defender before slotting the ball past goalkeeper Miguel Montfort.
SANTA LUCIA Miguel Montfort, Timothy Tabone Desira, Andre Fausto Prates Rodrigues, Kevin Correia, Adam Magri Overend (63’ Michael Camilleri), Alan da Silva Souza, Kevin Ante Rosero, Victor Luiz Prestes Filho, Jamie Zerafa, Augusto Caseres, Rei Tachikawa.
Subs not used: Christopher Farrugia, Jacques Vella Critien, Liam Mckay, Andreas Vella, Kieran Xuereb, Jeremy Delmar.
Coach: Oliver Spiteri
SLIEMA Jake Galea, Alex Satariano, Kurt Shaw, Alessandro Milesi, John Mintoff, Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro, Juri Cisotti, Edmond Agius, Gabriel Aquilina (83’ Michele Sansone), Jean Paul Farrugia (24’ Myles Beerman), Dejan Vukovic.
Subs not used: Timothy Aquilina, Jake Engerer, Danny Holla, Riki Kakinuma, Arthur Cunha.
Coach: Andrea Pisanu
Referee: Matthew De Gabriele
Assistant Referees: Duncan Spencer, Darko Stankovic
Fourth Official: Andrea Sciriha
Yellow Cards: Shaw, Tachikawa, Agius, Vukovic, Satariano, Zerafa, Prestes Filho, Cisotti
BOV Player of the Match: Victor Luiz Prestes Filho