Santa Lucia relegated as Mosta, Gzira and Balzan register wins

Santa Lucia were relegated to the Challenge League as Birkirkara notched a dramatic 2-2 equaliser while Mosta, Gzira United and Balzan emerged as winners in their respective matches, all decisive for the battle against relegation.

Balzan joined Hibernians in seventh place on 34 points, followed by Gzira United on 33, Mosta 31 and Santa Lucia 30. Valletta, Sirens and Gudja United had already been relegated.

While Balzan needed a draw against Marsaxlokk to secure their status, Gzira, Santa Lucia and Mosta all needed a win while a win for Gzira and Santa Lucia would have been enough to retain their Premier League status, Mosta had to hope that either Santa Lucia fail to win or Gzira lose to Floriana in order to avoid relegation.

At the National Stadium, Gzira United defeated Floriana 3-1. 

The Maroons took the lead on the 17th minute when goalkeeper Nemanja Andrijanic could only save partially a freekick by Gabriel Bohrer Mentz and Thaylor Aldama placed the ball at the back of the net off the rebound.

However one minute from the end of the first half, Lorenzo De Grazia equalised for Floriana thanks to an indirect freekick from the right.

Gzira regained the lead seven minutes in the second half thanks to a powerful drive by Gabriel Bohrer Mentz which gave the Floriana custodian no chance. 

Seven minutes from time, the Maroons sealed the issue with a third goal with Bohrer Mentz heading home from close range off a corner from the right.

>> Gzira United vs Floriana match card

At the Victor Tedesco Stadium, Balzan defeated Marsaxlokk 1-0.

Balzan opened the scoring five minutes from the end of the first half when Olivier Rommens beat goalkeeper Matthew Calleja Cremona with a fine rising  shot from inside the area ending in the top left corner following an assist from the right by Jan Busuttil.

>> Marsaxlokk vs Balzan match card

At the Tony Bezzina Stadium, Mosta registered a 2-0 win over Naxxar Lions.

Mosta took the lead one minute in added time before the end of the first half when following a good run by Chidera Henry Nwoga on the right, he served captain Zachary Brincat who beat goalkeeper Andre Fenech with a first time effort from the left. 

Substitute Gianluca Sciberras doubled the score three minutes from the end of the first half when he slammed the ball home off an assist by Nwoga from the right.

>> Mosta vs Naxxar Lions match card

On the other hand, at the Centenary Stadium, Santa Lucia were held in a 2-2 draw by Birkirkara.

Santa Lucia forged ahead on the half hour when Santiago Moracci received a long through ball on the right and went past a defender before beating goalkeeper Amara Sylla with an angled shot from inside the area.

Birkirkara levelled matters three minutes later thanks to Alessandro Coppola who beat goalkeeper Celio with a powerful shot from the edge of the area following a Paul Mbong corner from the right. 

Santa Lucia regained the lead three minutes from the end of the first half when direct from a corner from the left, Steve Pisani beat goalkeeper Amara Sylla.

However four minutes from time, substitute Kaiden Fenech restored the equilibrium for Birkirkara with a great shot from outside the area which gave the Santa Lucia goalkeeper no chance.

>> Santa Lucia vs Birkirkara match card