The Malta Independent 21 January 2019, Monday

Late Fontanella strike hands Valletta twelfth Super Cup

Chris Cassar Thursday, 13 December 2018, 19:09 Last update: about 2 months ago
Photo: Domenic Aquilina
Photo: Domenic Aquilina

Valletta-Balzan                  2-1

Valletta: H. Bonello, J. Caruana, S. Borg, S. Malano, M. Picciolo, E. Pena Beltre, R. Saleh, R. Muscat, M. Alba (K. Nwoko 85’), B. Kaljevic (J. Borg 80’), M. Fontanella (N. Pulis 90’).

ADVERTISEMENT

Balzan: S. Sultana, J. Griolo (S. Bezzina 46’), D. Camilleri (A. Majdevac 76’), N. Sljivic, A. Da Paixao Alves, M. Johnson (L. Micallef 87’), A. Effiong, U. Ljubomirac, I. Bozovic, E. Serrano Valero, C. De Fiori Mendes.

Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann

Ass.referees: Alan Camilleri, Christopher Francalanza

Fourth Official: Stefan Pace

Scorers: M. Johnson 8’ og,  A. De Paixao Alves 37’, M. Fontanella 77’

Yellow cards: B. Kaljevic, A. De Paixao Alves, R. Muscat, C. De Fiori Mendes, M. Fontanella, I. Bozovic. E. Serrano Valero, M. Picciolo

Attendance: 2.241

A Mario Fontanella well taken goal thirteen minutes from time proved to enough for champions Valletta to lift yet another piece of silverware, winning the Super Cup for the twelfth time. It was a deserved victory, even though by recent standards the champions’ performance left much to be desired.

For Balzan another close shave as they once again failed to make history by winning their first ever competition, but on the day the champions were slightly the better team to take home another trophy to add to their vast collection.

It was a boring final, scrappy at times with practically no shot at goal, apart from the three goals scored in the whole ninety minutes. Valletta were always in control, but Balzan held their ground and were never boxed in their area.

Miguel Angel Alba was once again one of the best for his side with both Valletta goals coming from his crosses. Otherwise Valletta were as usual very solid at the back, even though Balzan’s equaliser came from an erratic pass from Pena Beltra.

Valletta had a good start forging ahead thanks to a gift own goal scored by Michael Johnson, but this mistake was reciprocated by the Citizens with Pena Beltre’s mistake putting through De Paixao Alves, who then scored a great goal.

In the second half Valletta held the initiative, but Sultana was never tested, and the winning goal scored by Fontanella was effectively the only shot on target in the second half.

Valletta went in front in their first real attack when from an Alba cross from the right, Balzan defender Michael Johnson, pressed by Kaljevic shot into his own net from close range. Balzan failed to react and Valletta controlled with ease and the match just failed to lift off.

On 21 minutes Steve Borg just failed to connect to a Miguel Alba freekick from the left. Six minutes later the same Alba had his effort direct at goal from another freekick going over the bar. On 37 minutes almost against the run of play, Balzan drew level when Valletta lost possession in midfield and Balzan had a swift break with Alex De Paixao Alves firing home a beauty from an angle.

Balzan were forced to change Grioli with Bezzina at the start of the second half but the match remained scrappy. The monotony was broken on 77 minutes when Alba floated a good cross from the right and in nipped Mario Fontanella to score a good goal from close range.

At the end Valletta were presented with the Super Cup to the delight of their loyal, but yesterday not so numerous supporters.

  • don't miss