Fine win for Valletta in entertaining clash

Valletta moved three points clear on top the BOV Premier League table as they defeated Hibernians 4-2 in an entertaining clash.

The Citizens took the lead but two goals early in the second half put the Paolites 2-1 ahead. However Valletta made a good comeback to score three and take home the three points.

Captain Gilbert Agius was back for Valletta after skipping the last two games through suspension but foreigners Njongo Priso and Declan O’Brien started on the bench. Hibernians had a new foreign striker Miguel Lopes De Pina making his debut. Etienne Barbara returned for the Paolites after serving a one-match ban while Christian Callejas was back after recovering from an injury.

Valletta took the lead on the 18th minute when off a cross from the right, Gilbert Agius controlled before hitting past goalkeeper Mario Muscat.

On 39 minutes, a powerful drive by Terence Scerri ended just over the bar. A minute later, Scerri hit just wide off a cross by Dyson Falzon. In added time, the same Valletta striker had a rising shot from the edge ending high.

Hibernians levelled matters two minutes in the second half when off an Andrew Cohen corner from the right, Jonathan Caruana headed home from close range.

Two minutes later, off a cross from the right by Etienne Barbara, Andrew Cohen placed the ball at the back of the net with another header to put Hibernians 2-1 ahead.

Valletta went close to equalising on 62 minutes when Roderick Briffa released Gilbert Agius inside the area with an intelligent pass but the latter’s effort was blocked by a defender.

The Citizens restored equilibrium on the 70th when off another fine pass by Roderick Briffa, Gilbert Agius slammed the ball home from close range.

Valletta regained the lead on 76 minutes when off a freekick from the left, Gilbert Agius served Kevin Sammut who managed to beat Mario Muscat whith a shot half-height from the left.

Three minutes later, Valletta made it 4-2 thanks to an angled shot by substitute Njongo Priso from the left.

Gilbert Agius was voted BOV Player of the Match.

HIBS Mario Muscat, Edward Herrera, Adrian Pulis, Jonathan Caruana (87′ Chris Camilleri), Miguel Lopes De Pina (77′ Ben Camilleri), Aaron Xuereb, Jonathan Pearson (84′ Ryan Camilleri), Rumen Galabov, Christian Callejas, Etienne Barbara, Andrew Cohen.
Subs not used: Daniel Balzan, Triston Caruana, Yan Cauchi, Matthew Tabone.
Coach: Mark Miller Asst Coach: Edmond Lufi

VALLETTA Andrew Hogg, Steve Bezzina, Steve Borg, Luke Dimech, Kenneth Scicluna, Gilbert Agius (82′ Declan O’Brien), Kevin Sammut (86′ Edmond Agius), Jamie Pace, Roderick Briffa, Terence Scerri, Dyson Falzon (59′ Njongo Priso).
Subs not used: Nicky Vella, Dylan Grima, Jordi Cruijff, Cleavon Frendo.
Coach: Ton Caanen Team Manager: Henk Thenissen

Referee: Alan Mario Sant
Asst. Referees: Ingmar Spiteri, Konrad Borg
Fourth Official: Kevin Azzopardi
Yellow Cards: Sammut, Dimech, Muscat, Priso, Xuereb