Sliema Wanderers vs Valletta FC 0-1 (HT 0-0)
Valletta maintained their hundred per cent record on top the BOV Premier League as they defeated Sliema Wanderers 1-0 to register the third win in three matches. The Premier League was resuming following a four-week break due to the Council’s decision to suspend the competition temporarily until the investigation on the two cases of corruption involving Vittoriosa Stars and Marsaxlokk was concluded.
Sliema Wanderers, on the other hand, remain at the bottom of the table without any points after two matches since they were coming from a defeat to Qormi.
Making his debut for Valletta was Kevin Sammut making his debut with both Dyson Falzon and Geert den Ouden being left out of the starting line-up. Ian Zammit was not part of the Citizens’ 18-man squad. Sliema, on the other hand, welcomed back Mark Scerri who missed the game against Qormi but foreigners Maicon Lima and Henry Isaac started on the bench. The latter was included as a substitute.
Valletta went close after just two minutes with a fine shot from the edge of the area by Terence Scerri, following a cross from the left, with Simon Agius turning the ball into a corner. Sliema replied with a good move by Ivan Woods who served Alex Muscat whose low shot was parried by Andrew Hogg. A freekick from the right by Clayton Failla was neutralised by the Valletta custodian on the 20th. Four minutes later, Alex Muscat served Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza from the left but Kenneth Scicluna came to the rescue clearing the ball into a corner. From the resulting corner, Ian Azzopardi headed wide.
Lucian Dronca tried his luck with a long-distance shot which was tipped into a corner by Hogg on 32 minutes. Ryan Fenech hit just wide from the resulting corner. Jamie Pace then had a shot from outside the area which was slightly deflected by Simon Agius into a corner on 36 minutes, just after the Citizens had appealed for a penalty when Terence Scerri ended on the gound inside the area.
One minute from the end of the first half, Luke Dimech released Kevin Sammut on the right and off the latter’s cross, Terence Scerri’s goal-bound shot was ironically blocked off the goal-line by Njongo Priso and the ball was cleared into safety by the Sliema rear-guard.
After a quiet start for the two teams in the second half, Valletta managed to break the deadlock on 70 minutes when Gilbert Agius concluded a good move by serving Terence Scerri inside the area and the latter hit past goalkeeper Simon Agius.
The best chance for Sliema occurred five minutes from the end with a cross shot from the left by Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza which was saved by Hogg. Two minutes later, the Citizens missed a good opportunity with Kevin Sammut hitting wide when served by Njongo Priso from the right.
SLIEMA Simon Agius, Alex Muscat (85′ John Mintoff), Ian Azzopardi, Ryan Fenech, Mark Scerri, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Ivan Woods, Lucian Dronca, Ian Ciantar (75′ Henry Isaac), Clayton Failla (81′ Matthew Bartolo).
Subs not used: Michael Gustavo Siscoutto Lima, Josef Mifsud, Noel Turner, Miguel Ciantar.
Coach: Stephen Azzopardi
Team Manager: Rupert Perry
VALLETTA Andrew Hogg, Steve Bezzina, Roderick Briffa, Kenneth Scicluna, Luke Dimech, Jamie Pace (93′ Dylan Grima), Gilbert Agius, Kevin Sammut (87′ Edmond Agius), Terence Scerri, Jordi Cruyff, Njongo Doding Priso (91′ Dyson Falzon).
Subs not used: Nicky Vella, Geert den Ouden, Stefan Giglio, Justin Grioli.
Coach: Ton Caanen
Team Manager: Nicky Saliba
Referee: Alan Mario Sant
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Paul Apap
Fourth Official: Clayton Pisani
Yellow Cards: Cruyff, Gatt Baldacchino, Failla, Dimech, Sammut, Isaac
BOV Player of the Match: Gilbert Agius
Scorers: 70′ Terence Scerri