With this 3-0 win over Balzan, Santa Lucia’s moved away from the relegation zone for the first time this season as they leapfrogged the same Balzan to join Mosta in third place in the Play-Out table, leaving Balzan in further trouble second from the bottom.
Balzan made their usual bright start but failed to take any of their early opportunities.
A low cross by Bojan Kaljevic found Augustine Loof whose shot was turned away by Justin Haber.
Santa Lucia took notice of the early warning and proceeded to play the better football in what was an entertaining opening period which was mostly carried out in midfield.
However, in the 30th minute, Santa Lucia took the lead. Following a corner kick taken by Jamie Zerafa, Vukasin Vranes made a fine reflex save to stop Vito Plut from finding the net. However, from the rebound, ANDRE PRATES was the first to react to reach the ball and hit home.
Santa Lucia gained confidence with this goal and Dexter Xuereb almost doubled their advantage only to see his brilliant volley blocked by Vukasin Vranes.
After the break, Balzan switched to a back three formation in order to increase the attacking power by replacing defender Augustine Loof with midfielder Milan Duric.
However, this did not bear fruit as Balzan’s defense could not cope against the fast-forward trio of Vito Plut, Davidy Valpoort, and Gianmarco Conti.
In the 50th minute, Santa Lucia doubled the score. A freekick taken by GIANMARCO CONTI was deflected by defender Michael Johnson to finish at the back of the net.
In the 67th minute, Aleksa Andrejic had an opportunity to get Balzan back into the match but his attempted header was thwarted by Santa Lucia goalkeeper Justin Haber.
In the 73rd minute, Balzan decided to replace midfielder Paul Fenech with another striker Suleiman Jalu to increase the number of strikers on the pitch to five but also forced to substitute goalkeeper Vukasin Vranes with Rudy Briffa in order to have the nine foreigners quota on the pitch.
To punish further Balzan, in the 75th minute, Santa Lucia sealed the issue with a third goal when Victor Luis Prestes Filho served VITO PLUT on the left flank who placed his spinning shot past goalkeeper Rudy Briffa.
Before the final whistle, during a fast counter-attack, substitute Alan da Souza Silva was denied by the post as Balzan were spared further embarrassment.
BALZAN: Vukasin Vranes (Rudy Briffa 72’), Augustine Loof (Milan Duric 46’), Paul Fenech (Suleiman Jalu 72’), Michael Johnson, Uros Ljubomirac (Adam Bradwshaw 89’), Milos Zlatkovic (Marcus Grima 88’), Neil Fendo, Gary Camilleri, Milos Mijic, Aleksa Andrejic, Bojan Kaljevic.
SANTA LUCIA: Jusin Haber, Andre’ Fausto Rodrigues Prates, Jurgen Pisani (Liam Mckay 90’), Nicholas Pulis (Emerson Camilleri 90’), Gianmarco Conti, Vito Plut (Alan Da Silva Souza 80’), Dmeghon Davidy Aryton Valpoort (Jan Tanti 77’), Victo Luiz Prestes Filho, Jamie Zerafa (Kieran Xuereb 80’), Dexter Xuereb, Lorenzo Yoel SoaresFonesca.
Referee: Ishmael Barbara
BOV player of the match: Gianmarco Conti (Santa Lucia).