The Malta Independent 27 November 2021, Saturday

Premier League: Sliema finally register first win

Simon Farrugia Saturday, 20 November 2021, 19:10 Last update: about 5 days ago

Finally Sliema Wanderers registered their first win of the campaign after beating Valletta by the odd goal in three.

For Valletta this was a setback since after a rather bumpy start they were slowly climbing up the ladder, collecting seven points from a possible nine from their last three matches.

Valletta were the brighter team in the first period and deservedly went a goal up. But the Wanderers responded in the second period and turned the result in their favour with two goals courtesy of Vukovic and Holla.

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These three points gave Sliema a sigh of relief, moving them from the last place in the standings. On the other hand the Citizens missed the chance to chase and pile pressure on the leading duo, Hibernians and Birkirkara.

Valletta took an early lead when on 12 minutes Eslit Sala scored his second consecutive goal heading past the opposing goalkeeper.

Sliema tried to mount a reaction but Valletta were disciplined in defence and rarely were caught napping. In fact in one of their rare forays upfront a Myles Beerman volley was saved by Guarnone.

A few minutes late a long range shot by Berisha sailed over the bar. Sliema kept trying though never being of a serious threat.  Nearing the end of the first half Edmond Agius headed goalwards by the Valletta custodian saved.

And in the opposing half it was Triston Caruana’s turn to test Cassar but his effort was harmless.

Sliema immediately drew level on the change of end when a wonderful volley by Dejan Vukovic beat Guarnone all ends up.

Valletta’s reaction was immediate but Kevin Tulimieri’s low drive was deflected by Shaw before hitting the bar. And from the rebound Fontanella’s shot was deflected onto a corner.

Sliema kept piling on the pressure and Gui Inters testes Valletta’s Italian goalkeeper.  The same Guarnone was at his best to deny Shaw when blocking a close range shot.

Nearing the final whistle Ivan Curjuric was in the thick of action was consecutive shots which were saved by the Blues goalkeeper Cassar.

But it was Sliema who scored the winning goal five minutes from the end of the match. Danny Holla rifling a free kick past Guarnone to the delight of the Wanderers faithful.

Photo: Domenic Aquilina

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