Valletta Sterling won back their spurs to beat Otters Nivea 12-10 in the second First Division semi-final play-off yesterday and thus force a decider.
The winners not only came from behind but also overcame the adversity of having to play for four minutes with a man less after Shaun Meli was expelled for violent play.
The Gozitan team took a two-goal advantage only for some slack play to allow Valletta to draw level. The City team, without Simon Cachia, were more alert in the second quarter.
Their 3-2 lead was neutralised before they went 5-3 ahead. Otters managed to cut the leeway to 5-4 before ends were changed.
The third session was marked by Meli’s incident followed by a red card to Valletta coach Anthony Farrugia.
Meanwhile, three goals by Otters had made it 7-6 for them. However, they failed to exploit their prolonged man-up advantage. This allowed Valletta to draw level at 8-8.
Valletta plucked up courage in the last session as they turned a 9-8 deficit into a 12-8 lead with David Zoltan bringing up his tally to five goals. Otters’ last two goals were not influential.
Wednesday: First Division play-off SF (3) 18.00 Otters vs Valletta. Premier Division play-off final (1) 19.15 Neptunes vs Sliema.