Balzan continued on a negative note as they failed to win their last four games including the elimination from the IZIBET FA Trophy.

Evandro Pinto Gomes was the inspiration for Santa Lucia producing a battling performance to overcome Balzan 1-0 and clinch the three important points that will boost their hopes to avoid relegation.

With this win Santa Lucia opened the battle against relegation wide.

Although they are still third from bottom, they move to just two points behind Mosta, three from Gzira and Valletta and four behind Balzan.

In the 10th minute, Balzan had a corner taken by Triston Caruana with the ball falling to Andre Prates who saw his low shot saved by goalkeeper Francisco Celio Filho Da Paz Silva, finishing into another corner.

In the 14th minute, Santa Lucia were unlucky as Daniel Letherby’s shot hit the post and finished out.

In the 23rd minute, Santiago Moracci saw his free-kick finish over the crossbar.

At the beginning of the second half, Santa Lucia made a triple substitution where Alessio Piazza, Fabian Moracci Santiago and Daniel Letherby were replaced by Abraham Temitope, Nicolas Virano Gonzalo and Lucas Sena Silva.

These substitutions gave fruit as, in the 74th minute, Evandro Pinto Gomes set up the winner when he robbed possession on the right flank, went on a run and cut the ball to unmarked substitute LUCAS SENA SILVA who slotted the ball home after hitting the underside of the bar.

Balzan reacted and during the added time, in their last effort to salvage a point, substitute Aguek Manyluak saw his attempt saved with difficulty by the goalkeeper Francisco Celio.

This one-goal lead gave a bit of breathing space to Santa Lucia, who desperately needed points to escape the danger area of the league table.

Balzan: Rudy Briffa, Nicola Zerjal, Samir Arab, Nikola Braunovic (Manyluak Aguek 80’), Andre Prates, Triston Caruana, Olivier Rommens, Ryohei Michibuchi (Oluwatobiloba Dimeji Awosanya 68’), Jan Busuttil (Aleksa Andrejic 76’), Han Euigwon (Benjamin Hili 68’), George Henry Raymond Blackwood (Aleksandar Katanic 68’).

Santa Lucia: Francisco Celio Filho Da Paz Silva, Matthias Ellul, Ayefouni Basile Ogouvide (Ramos Patrick de Oliviera 91’), Daniel Letherby (Nicolas Gonzalo Virano 46’), Adam Bradshaw, Jurgen Pisani, Aleksa Mrdja (Jed Valletta 95’), Santiago Fabian Moracci (Lucas Sena Silva 46’), Alessio Piazza (Abraham Ojo Temitope46’), Sven Xerri, Evandro Pinto Gomes.

Referee: Fyodor Zammit.

BOV Player of the game: Evandro Pinto Gomes.