Michael Mifsud was the hero for Valletta as he notched a hat-trick in a comfortable 3-0 win over rivals Floriana in the BOV Super Cup final.
The Citizens were clearly a better side right from the start and besides scoring the three goals, Mifsud was also unlucky to hit the posts twice.
The champions were not in full strength as Jamie Pace and Terence Scerri were both ruled out through suspension and Ramon Dos Santos is still recovering from an injury. Floriana had two players making their debut – goalkeeper Manuel Bartolo and midfielder John Mintoff who joined the club on loan from Msida and Sliema respectively.
The Citizens, who were claiming their ninth Super Cup success, made their intentions clear right from the start and after going close with a close-range shot by William da Silva which was blocked by Manuel Bartolo following a cross by Ryan Fenech, Michael Mifsud hit the upright with a good shot from the left just past the first minute.
Valletta went close once again on fourteen minutes with consecutive shots by Denni and William da Silva which were blocked by Bartolo and the Floriana defence.
The Greens’ reaction consisted of a Christian Caruana effort which was neutralised by Hogg on 32 minutes. On the other side of the pitch, two minutes later, a diagonal shot by Michael Mifsud from the right scraped past the post.
Michael Mifsud was however not to be denied on 36 minutes when he received a perfect through pass by Gilbert Agius and slotted the ball past goalkeeper Manuel Bartolo from inside the area.
Floriana went close to equalising on 41 minutes with a header by Tyrone Farrugia, off a Pablo Doffo corner, which was held on the goal line by Hogg. One minute from the end of the first half, an Ivan Woods freekick from the left was deflected into a corner and in stoppage time, Woods had another freekick ending just wide.
Four minutes in the second half, Mifsud headed wide off a Ryan Fenech cross from the right. On 55 minutes, the Citizens went close once again with a Michael Mifsud effort which hit the crossbar when served on the right by Effiong. Gilbert Agius then concluded a good move with a shot from outside the area ending just wide two minutes later.
An Ivan Woods freekick was saved in two attempts by Andrew Hogg on 63 minutes.
Valletta were awarded a penalty on 68 minutes after Michael Mifsud was brought down inside the area by Pablo Doffo. Mifsud’s first attempt beat Bartolo but referee Chris Lautier ordered a re-take. However once again the Valletta striker made no mistake from the penalty spot to double the score.
Off another cross by Fenech from the right, Michael Mifsud headed just wide on 73 minutes. On the other side of the pitch, substitute Joseph Borg had a powerful shot from the right deflected into a corner by Andrew Hogg on the 80th. One minute later, a cross shot by Christian Cassar was tipped into a corner by the Valletta custodian.
However in a swift counter-attack for Valletta on 81 minutes, Roderick Briffa served Michael Mifsud who rounded Owen Bugeja before hitting low past Bartolo.
Substitute Dyson Falzon almost added another on 83 minutes when he received a cross from the right but his close-range effort hit the crossbar. Falzon had a dangerous freekick partially saved by Manuel Bartolo before the ball was cleared into a corner a minute later.
In stoppage time, Ivan Woods hit the crossbar for Floriana and then Christian Cassar had a shot from outside the area deflected into a corner by Hogg.
After the game, captain Gilbert Agius was presented with the BOV Super Cup by MFA President Norman Darmanin Demajo.
VALLETTA Andrew Hogg, Jonathan Caruana, Edmond Agius, Roderick Briffa, Ian Azzopardi, Gilbert Agius, Steve Borg, Denni Rocha Dos Santos (23’ Alfred Effiong), Ryan Fenech (74’ Dyson Falzon), William Barbosa da Silva, Michael Mifsud (82’ Ousseni Zongo).
Subs not used: Yenz Cini, Kenneth Scicluna, Llywelyn Cremona, Samir Arab.
Coach: Nardu Farrugia
Assistant Coach: Jesmond Zerafa
FLORIANA Manuel Bartolo, Duncan Pisani, Manolito Micallef, Tyrone Farrugia, Owen Bugeja, Pablo Doffo, Christian Cassar, Christian Caruana (78’ Joseph Borg), John Mintoff (57’ Clyde Borg), Thomas Paris (69’ Ryan Darmanin), Ivan Woods.
Subs not used: Jurgen Borg, Andrew Spiteri, Jermain Brincat, Luke Agius.
Coach: Michael Woods
Assistant Coach: Frank Schembri
Referee: Chris Lautier
Assistant referees: Ingmar Spiteri, Thomas Debono
Fourth official: Andre Arciola
Yellow Cards: E. Agius, P. Doffo, J. Borg, D. Falzon
Scorers: 36’ Michael Mifsud, 68’ Michael Mifsud (pen), 81’ Michael Mifsud