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Crucial victory for Europa against St Joseph’s

The evening match on Saturday had St Joseph playing Europa in what could be a title decider. Both teams had entered the match unbeaten and in good form. A nervy start did not make the first half something which would be remembered by, except for the band in the terraces supporting Europa. With both teams needing to secure points the first half did not see too many opportunities. Both teams canceling each other out most of the time. Play centered across the centre part of the park.
St Joseph’s had the better chances in the first half but found themselves facing a very alert Dayle Coeling.
The blues were to be dealt a heavy blow when Europa struck just two minutes from half time. Robba caught out by a shot across goal which even at full stretch he could not reach.
St Joseph’s came back into the second half with all guns blazing. First they were to see a goal disallowed for offside. Within a minute St Joseph struck with a corner ball going over a stretching Coeling and floating down at the far post.
Europa found their way back into the lead through a good run down the left flank and a well struck diving header by Jayce Olivero beating Robba.
With the unrelenting noise of the band in the stands and both sides in a tense battle to claim superiority in possession it was a tense encounter in which referee Jason Barcelo had to show a few yellow cards.
The match saw the return of Ayew on the field in the second half after a period excluded from the first eleven due to late arrival to training after a Christmas.
The rain held back throughout most of the match but the coldness between both sides was evident with few tackles being pulled back.
As the match entered its final stages St Joseph’s found themselves mainly playing from within their half.
Ethan Jolley was also to return substituting Jack Sergeant. The young back lately not a favorite choice although having had a phenomenal season last year.
Europa’s continued prodding at St Joseph’s aided them to keep St Joseph from mounting any real concerted attempt at equalizing.
Instead St Joseph found themselves 3-1 behind after Mouelhi was judged to have brought down a Europa player from a corner play. Walker scoring from the penalty spot.
This was St Joseph’s first defeat of the season. Europa securing their top spot in the league with their 3-1 victory. St Joseph ended with ten men in injury time after two yellows.

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