Valletta beat Qormi to take sole leadership

Qormi FC vs Valletta FC 0-2 (HT 0-0)

Thanks to two second-half goals, Valletta made sure registered the fourth win in five matches as they defeated Qormi 2-0 to take sole leadership on top the BOV Premier League.

Valletta always had an edge over their opponents but Qormi defended well, keeping them at bay for over an hour. This was the first defeat for Qormi after three wins and a draw.

Missing for Ton Caanen’s side were Jordi Cruyff and Dyson Falzon with Geert den Ouden regaining a place in the starting line-up.

The Citizens had the first attempt at goal, going close with Kevin Sammut after just four minutes. On the other side of the pitch, Alfred Effiong sent Camilo Da Silva through but Luke Dimech brought him down outside the area on 25 minutes. Massimo Grima hit high from the resulting freekick.

Valletta replied with a fine header by Geert den Ouden hitting the crossbar following a cross from the left by Njongo Priso on 35 minutes. A minute later, Roderick Sammut anticipated Kevin Sammut following an inviting pass by den Ouden from the right. On 41 minutes, Matthew Farrugia managed to deflect a freekick from the right by Steve Bezzina.

However one minute from the end of the first half, Qormi almost took the lead when Camilo Da Silva Sanvezzo’s pass from the right was intercepted by Luke Dimech but risked committing an own goal as the ball scraped past the post ending into a corner.

Two minutes in the second half, Joseph Farrugia tried to surprise Andrew Hogg with a shot from outside the area with the latter neutralising. Geert den Ouden then headed high off a cross by Kevin Sammut from the right on 53 minutes.

Valletta were now clearly in commmand but the Yellow Blacks were defended well. On 62 minutes, Geert den Ouden had a powerful shot from outside the area deflected into a corner by goalkeeper Matthew Farrugia.

The Citizens managed to break the deadlock on 64 minutes when off a Gilbert Agius cross from the right, Kevin Sammut flicked the ball past goalkeeper Matthew Farrugia.

An inviting cross by Njongo Priso for Geert den Ouden could have led to a second goal for Valletta but the Dutch striker was anticipated by a defender and the ball was cleared into safety two minutes later. On the other side of the pitch, Camilo Da Silva Sanvezzo headed just wide off a Massimo Grima freekick from the right on 72 minutes. A good shot from the left by Njongo Priso was deflected into a corner by a defender.

Valletta doubled the score eleven minutes from time when off a corner from the left by Gilbert Agius, the ball reached Jamie Pace who slotted the ball past the Qormi custodian.

On the 85th minute, Terence Scerri went close to adding another but his diagonal shot from the left ended just wide.

QORMI Matthew Farrugia, Ramon Dos Santos, Massimo Grima, Keith Fenech (84′ Sharlon Pace), Joseph Farrugia (60′ Steve Meilak), Camilo Da Silva Sanvezzo, Jonathan Bondin, Stephen Wellman, Roderick Sammut, Joseph Chetcuti (74′ Ryan Deguara), Alfred Effiong.
Subs not used: Jurgen Cilia, George Chircop, Kenneth Spiteri, Ryan Cauchi.
Coach: Vince Carbonaro
Team Manager: Jesmond Zerafa

VALLETTA Andrew Hogg, Steve Bezzina (90′ Justin Grioli), Roderick Briffa, Luke Dimech, Kenneth Scicluna, Jamie Pace, Gilbert Agius (86′ Stefan Giglio), Kevin Sammut (83′ Ian Zammit), Njongo Priso, Geert den Ouden, Terence Scerri.
Subs not used: Nicky Vella, Edmond Agius, Dylan Grima, Steve Borg.
Coach: Ton Caanen
Team Manager: Nicky Saliba

Referee: Alan Mario Sant
Assistant Referees: Ingmar Spiteri, Alan Camilleri
Fourth Official: Paul Caruana
Yellow Cards: Chetcuti, Dimech, den Ouden
BOV Player of the Match: Njongo Priso
Scorers: 64′ Kevin Sammut
79′ Jamie Pace