The Malta Independent 20 October 2019, Sunday

BOV Premier League: More woes for Valletta as Maroons prevail

Simon Farrugia Thursday, 3 October 2019, 21:01 Last update: about 16 days ago
Photo: James Galea
Photo: James Galea

More woes for Valletta as Maroons prevail

Valletta                 1

Gzira Utd.             3


Simon Farrugia

Valletta:   H. Bonello, J. Caruana, S. Borg, B. Kaljevic (K. Tulimieri 67’) , M. Piciollo, J. Borg, E. Pena Beltre, D. Packer (K.Nwoko 67’) , R. Muscat, M. Fontanella, Y. Messias (S. Dimech 54’)

Gzira Utd.:    J. Haber, F. Barbosa, G. Conti, N. Muscat, Z. Scerri, R. Soares, H. Kone (A. Cohen 79’), S. Borg, A. Samb, M. Davis, J. De Assis

Referee:  Trustin Farrugia Cann

Asst refs:  Alan Camilleri, Ivan Galea     

4th official:   Stefan Pace

Yellow Cards:   Muscat

Scorers:  Samb 39’ , Jefferson 59’, 68, Fontanella 69’

BOV Player of the Match:    Jefferson De Assis (Gzira Utd.)

TMI Top 3 :  1.  Jefferson De Assis         2.     H. Kone                   3.    F. Barbosa

Attendance: 1, 142

Gzira registered their second consecutive win and scored as many as they had in the previous five matches when they beat Valletta by a 3-1 scoreline. It was a well deserved win for the Maroons who were the better team, the most clinical and motivated to grab the maximum points.

For Valletta this was another negative result and continued to add more misery following a   difficult start to the season.

Valletta’s mentor Darren Abdilla made three changes from their last match, the draw against Birkirkara, with defender Jonathan Caruana, midfielder Rowen Muscat and striker Matteo Piciollo handed a starting berth instead of Joseph Zerafa, Kevin Tulimieri u Irakli Dzaria.

Gzira effected one change from their win against Balzan with Zachary Scerri starting in place of Clifford Gatt Baldacchino.

The first half saw Valletta trying to impose their superiority but though they saw more of the ball they rarely caused danger to Haber in between the Maroons goal.

The latter were good on the break with the speedy Kone, Samb and Jefferson doing the damage.

The first action came from Gzira when on 10 minutes they were awarded a free kick but Kone’s shot just missed out.

A few minutes later Jefferson made his way past Steve Borg but his low shot was pushed away by  Bonello.

For long stretches play was restricted to the midfield area with neither team threatening and chances

Six minutes from the break the Maroons took the lead. Kone took possession and past towards Amadou Samb broke free. The Senegalese attacked calmly drafted the ball past Bonello.

And on the stroke of half time Bonello stretched himself to save a Scerri shot which was destined to end at the back of the net.

On resumption Gzira went near on 51 minutes when an Amadou Samb shot from outside the area sailed just over the bar. But just off the hour Gzira increased their lead. Conti put Jefferson De Assis through and after resisting Jonathan Caruana’s challenge sent his low shot past Bonello.

Gzira were now in cruise control and in the 68th minute they scored their third goal when Jefferson De Assis received a long ball and after rounding Bonello fired into the net.

But Valletta were handed a lifeline  just a minute later when a low shot by Fontanella beat Haber. And on 72 minutes an acrobatic shot by Tulimieri was turned in style into a corner by an agile Haber.

And a minute later Fontanella brought the best out of Haber who saved his low drive.  Four minutes from the end Valletta once again near when a Piciollo headed effort was cleared off the line by Muscat. And on 87 minutes a cross by Tulimieri from the right flank found Nwoko whose close range header ended over the bar.


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