The Malta Independent 17 February 2020, Monday

BOV Premier League: Citizens register ninth positive result and move third

Simon Farrugia Monday, 20 January 2020, 21:31 Last update: about 27 days ago
Photo: Domenic Aquilina
Photo: Domenic Aquilina

Valletta                  2

Sliema W.              1

Valletta :  Y. Cini, J. Caruana (N.Pulis 63’), R. Camilleri, M.Picciolo (S.Malano 88’), S. Dimech, J. Borg, E. Pena Beltre, R. Muscat, M. Alba (B. Kaljevic 63’), T. Caruana, M.Fontanella


Sliema W. :  A. Elezaj, A. Stelitano, K. Shaw,  J. Pearson, M. Scerri, F. Vasilchik, C. Zappa (A.Satariano 55’), J. Cisotti, E. Agius, A. Oyama, G. Adamovic

Referee:    Glen Tonna

Asst refs     Roberto Vella, Mark Ciantar

4th official:    Etienne Mangion

Yellow Cards:  Agius, Borg

Scorers:   Muscat 62’ , Fontanella 85’, Vasilchik pen. 88’

BOV Player of the Match:   Enmy Pena Beltre

TMI Top 3 :  1.   E. Pena Beltre             2.    R. Muscat               3.   M. Fontanella

Valletta registered a deserved win against Sliema Wanderers, beating them by the odd goal in three. The reigning Champions were by far the superior outfit but failed to convert and it was only late on that they scored their second goal.

As for Sliema they once again failed to reach the desired level and this defeat will inflict more misery on them in a season which is turning sour.

This was a must win match for both teams. Valletta couldn’t afford to lose more ground at the expense of the leading pack especially leaders Floriana. On the other hand Sliema are in deep trouble since they form part of a group off four teams who are presently fighting against relegation.

The Citizens started the second round badly, held to a 2-2 by Santa Lucia. The same team that had inflicted defeat on them back in August. But they also went into this match on a positive run of eight unbeaten matches and wanted to keep on adding to this streak.

As for Sliema they have suffered back-to-back defeats against Floriana and Balzan following three consecutive wins which had put their season back on track.  

Steve Borg and Claudio Pani were missing for Valletta and Sliema respectively serving a one match suspension. Also missing for Valletta was international goalkeeper Henry Bonello.

The first round matches between these two sides ended with the reigning Champions defeating the Wanderers by three goals to one.

The first threat came from Valletta on 22 minutes with a Matteo Piciollo shot on the turn which just missed the target.

Eleven minutes from the end of the first half a good run by Pena Beltre and his low cross was anticipated on time by the Blues defence  before Rowen Muscat could connect.

On resumption it was Valletta who went near with Mario Fontanella testing Elezaj who was on the alert and saved. The Sliema goalkeeper was once again in the thick of action in the 54th minute turned a Shaun Dimech drive onto a corner.

Valletta kept piling on the pressure and three minutes late a Rowen Muscat shot ended wide. But just past the hour the international midfielder made no mistake when his low drive made it’s way past the Italian goalkeeper for Valletta’s opener.

The Champions sealed the issue five minutes from the end with a perfect lob by Mario Fontanella, his tenth of the season.

With Sliema reducing the gap in the final minute when Jean Borg brought down Juri Cisotti and from the spot Ivan Vasilchik converted.

But it was too little too late.

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