The Malta Independent 21 March 2019, Thursday

BOV Premier League: Valletta sole leaders after struggling to beat Mosta

Henry Brincat Wednesday, 13 March 2019, 22:01 Last update: about 7 days ago
Photos: Joseph Galea
Photos: Joseph Galea

Mosta            0
Valletta         1

Mosta: YS Moto, G. Cuomo, J. Brincat (Z. Brincat 69), D. Bonnici, D. Xuereb, R. Morisco, D. Angan, T. Farrugia, F. Franchini, A. Roach, J. Cisotti

Valletta: H. Bonello, J. Caruana, S. Borg, R. Camilleri, A. Monticelli (N. Pulis 85), S. Malano, J. Zerafa, M. Alba (J. Borg 74), B. Gavrila (E. Pena Beltre 68), B. Kaljevic, M. Fontanella

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Referee: T. Farrugia Cann

Asst refs: T. Debono, T. Zammit

4th official: M. Apap

Scorers: M. Alba 5

Yellow cards: A. Roach 37, A. Monticelli 73

BoV Player of the Match: M. Alba

TMI Top 3: 1. M. Alba, 2. B. Gavrila, 3. R. Morisco

Attendance:  555

Valletta became sole leaders of the Premier League yesterday evening after struggling to beat mid-table placed Mosta.

Miguel Alba gave them the perfect start with an early goal following a mishap by debutant goalie Moto. At the end, that was the only difference between the two teams.

The three points enabled them to overtake previous leaders and now 2nd placed Hibernians. Valletta now have 50 points and the Paolites are on 48.

Valletta played with their regular formation, although Antonio Monticelli was making his first start since joining the citizens in the January transfer window.

Mosta made use of two debutants in the form of goalkeeper Yves Stephane Moto from Gabon and striker Davy Angan from Ivory Coast.

In the first half, Valletta took command after scoring an early goal, but failed to increase their tally despite the chances which came their way.

On their part, Mosta offered strong opposition and also had their moments up front creating some scoring chances which, however, went abegging.

In the second half, Valletta were a shadow of their usual selves as they were forced to defend but their opponents who did their utmost to score an equaliser.

It was when Miguel Alba and Bogdan Gavrila were substituted that they really started struggling, even though they had already been mostly disappointing.

The Citizens took an early 5th minute lead. A cross from the left was mishandled by Mosta goalie Moto and Miguel Angel Alba had no difficulty in planting the ball into the net.

Mosta replied with a header by James Brincat which did not find the target as desired.

At the other end, on 17 minutes, a Gavrila low cross was palmed out by the diving Moto before Fontanella could conclude.

Valletta almost scored a second in the 29th minute when a Bogdan Gavrila fine inswinger deserved better than just missing the target.

Valletta again went close in the 41st minute. From a Gavrila cornerkick, Bojan Kaljevic saw his header landing on the crossbar before going dead.

Immediately afterwards, at the other end, Mosta missed a good chance when Duane Bonnici squared low for James Brincat who hit well over the bar from a favourable position.

Then it was goalie Moto who blocked a shot from Alba. The rebound went to Fontanella who hit an overhead kick just wide.

In the 57th minute, Mosta's Roach tried his luck from just outside the area, but his effort flew well over the bar.

In the 64th minute, Fontanella tested goalie Moto with a low shot, but the Mosta goalie saved confidently.

Till the end, Mosta kept pressing on the City fort, but to no avail as somehow or other Valletta always managed to clear their lines.

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