Difficult more than expected for Valletta

Champions Valletta found it more difficult than expected to beat troubled Marsaxlokk 2-0 to move back on top the BOV Premier League table.

The Southseasiders, who are yet to appoint a new coach, lacked Malcolm Licari, who led the team from the bench in the game against Hamrun. Carlos Campagnoli and Florent Raimy were missing after being released by the club earlier this week.

Valletta, on the other hand, were in full strength with Ryan Fenech and Alfred Effiong making their return to the starting line-up.

The Citizens went in search of an early goal but after having a goal disallowed, Marsaxlokk went close through Obiefule with a shot from the edge of the area. Valletta replied with a Gilbert Agius effort, off a freekick by Edmond Agius, but goalkeeper Christian Cassar saved. On 29 minutes, Cassar performed a great save at point blank on Denni and off the rebound, William Barbosa’ shot hit the upright.

Valletta managed to break the deadlock thirteen minutes in the second half when off a pass by Ryan Fenech from the left, Gilbert Agius slotted the ball past goalkeeper Christian Cassar.

A rising shot by Alfred Effiong ended just over the bar on 75 minutes and a minute later a shot from outside the area by Edmond Agius was partially saved by the Marsaxlokk custodian.

Christian Cassar performed another fine save on a fine solo effort by Ousseni Zongo two minutes from time.

However on the 90th, Ousseni Zongo doubled the score for Marsaxlokk with an angled shot from the left which beat the Marsaxlokk custodian.

In added time, Carlo Mamo tested Andrew Hogg with a cross shot which was turned into a corner.

Christian Cassar was voted BOV Player of the Match.

M’XLOKK Christian Cassar, Modesto Valeriani (84’ Jean Claude Vella), Jonathan Xerri, Clive Brincat, Carlo Mamo, Sunday Eboh, Patrick Borg, Dylan Kokavessis (46’ Jean Paul Farrugia), Emiliano Lattes (77’ Sacha Borg), Gary Caruana, Obinna Obiefule.
Subs not used: Reuben Gauci, Darren Attard, Darrell Grech, Stefan Cutajar.
Team Manager: Andy Caruana

VALLETTA Andrew Hogg, Jonathan Caruana, Steve Borg, Ian Azzopardi, Roderick Briffa, Ryan Fenech (72’ Dyson Falzon), Edmond Agius, Gilbert Agius, Denni Rocha dos Santos (79’ Ousseni Zongo), William Barbosa, Alred Effiong.
Subs not used: Matthew Towns, Michael Mifsud, Siraj Arab, Jamie Pace, Ramon dos Santos.
Coach: Leonard Farrugia
Asst. Coach: Jesmond Zerafa

Referee: Paul Caruana
Assistant referees: Mariano Debono, Chris Francalanza
Fourth official: Malcolm Spiteri
Yellow Cards: Eboh, Fenech, Barbosa, Xerri
Scorers: 58’ Gilbert Agius, 90′ Ousseni Zongo
Attendance: 978