Miranda 45 pen
Brincat 76, 90+1
J. Debono-6, J. Bondin-6, Z. Cassar-6, A. Friggieri-6.5, G. Mensah-7, A. De Barros-6.5, M. Jimenez-6.5 (82 J. Farrugia), P. Sammut-6 (51 J. Brincat), H. Vella-6, J. Bolanos-6, A. Miranda-6.
M. Farrugia-5.5, S. Olberkis-6, D. Debono-5.5, M. Micallef-5.5 (87 A. Spiteri), G. Virano-5.5 (46 J. Tanti), T. Marukawa-5.5, M. Todorovic, A. Do Nascimento-5, J. Micallef-5 (75 L. Grech), M. Dias.
Referee: Matthew De Gabriele
Yellow Cards: Sammut, Todorovic, Friggieri, Miranda, Debono, Bondin, Dias, Mensah, Vella
Red Cards: Todorovic, Dias
BOV Player of the Match: Gabriel Mensah
Gudja United extended their positive run of late as they came from behind to beat nine-man Senglea Athletic 4-1.
Ironically, Senglea had taken the lead although just before the end of a lacklustre first half, they had a player sent off and Gudja levelled matters. However the turning point was the dismissal of a second Senglea player just past the hour as Gudja forged ahead a few minutes later and from then onwards, never looked back to win the third game in four matches.
By claiming ten points from the last four matches, Gudja have now leapfrogged Mosta, Birkirkara and Senglea to move to the fourteen-point mark.
Gudja had five changes from the team which defeated Lija in the FA Trophy third round as they welcomed back goalkeeper Jonathan Debono, Jonathan Bondin, Zack Cassar and Hubert Vella while Peter Paul Sammut was handed a start. Rundell Winchester was ruled out as he was serving a one-match ban.
Senglea, on the other hand, also could not field their best formation due to the absence of Elvis Sakyi and Sean Cipriott. These were in fact the only two changes in the Senglea line-up following the fine win over Gżira United in the FA Trophy. They were replaced by Anderson Carneiro and Justin Micallef.
During the first half, shots at goal were few and far in between and after a most quiet start, Taisei Marukawa had an angled shot turned into a corner on 25 minutes.
Two minutes later, Senglea took the lead as Gonzalo Nicolas Virano’s free kick was deflected by a defender past goalkeeper Jonathan Debono.
Two minutes from the end of the first half, Gudja were however awarded a penalty after Mirko Todorovic pulled Jimenez down inside the area. Referee Matthew De Gabriele gave marching orders the Serbian defender who he had already been cautioned earlier in the game and from the penalty spot, Allan Ricardo Miranda converted to restore equilibrium.
Early in the second half, Gabriel Mensah tested Matthew Farrugia with a low shot for Gudja but substitute Jan Tanti hit the crossbar for Senglea a few minutes later.
Senglea were reduced to nine men on 63 minutes after Marcelo Dias was sent off for picking two yellow cards in less than five minutes.
Gudja took full advantage, going ahead on 72 minute. Substitute James Brincat released the ball for Gabriel Mensah to slot past Farrugia.
Four minutes later, Gudja increased the lead. Gabriel Mensah entered the area from the right and despite having a first attempt blocked, he still managed to deliver a cross for James Brincat to head home from close range.
Gudja were now comfortably in control and following an assist by James Brincat, shots by Jurgen Farrugia and Aidan Friggieri were blocked with Farrugia finally hitting wide.
In the dying minutes, Gudja could have increased the lead further. On 89 minutes, Matthew turned a fine Gabriel Mensah effort into a corner and from the resulting corner, the ball reached Aidan Friggieri who hit the upright after a first attempt was partially saved by the goalkeeper.
Howeer, Gudja were not to be denied as one minute in added time, Friggieri sent James Brincat through and the latter rounded the goalkeeper before placing the ball at the back of the net.
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