Citizens extend positive run with fine derby win

Valletta scored twice in the first half to beat eternal rivals Floriana 2-0 and extend their positive run on top the BOV Premier League table.

The Greens, on the other hand, suffered the third defeat in four matches and remain in fourth place, fourteen points behind the leaders.

Owen Bugeja, Duncan Pisani and Christian Caruana were missing for Floriana. Valletta welcomed back Michael Mifsud, Edmond Agius and Roderick Briffa but Alfred Effiong was suspended.

The Citizens went out in search of an early goal and after a few seconds, Zongo served Denni whose close-range effort was deflected into a corner. Two minutes later, Zongo released Michael Mifsud whose shot from the right was blocked by goalkeeper Patrick Jansen. Ont he other side of the pitch, Mintoff served Ivan Woods whose close-range effort was blocked by Hogg into a corner on the 10th minute.

Valletta managed to take the lead on 13 minutes thanks to a great freekick by William Barbosa which gave goalkeeper Patrick Jansen no chance.

Three minutes later, Jonathan Caruana headed just wide off a Denni corner from the left. Ousseni Zongo was then unlucky to hit the foot of the upright with a long-distance shot on 26 minutes.

The Citizens doubled the score on 27 minutes when Ousseni Zongo served Denni Rocha dos Santos inside the area and the latter pulled to the left and slotted the ball past goalkeeper Patrick Jansen.

Pablo Doffo could have pulled one back for Floriana twelve minutes from time but his freekick missed the target. On the other side of the pitch, Denni hit just wide from inside the area.

Another freekick by Pablo Doffo was partially saved by Hogg on the 85th minute and off the rebound, Ivan Woods hit high.

Denni Rocha dos Santos was voted BOV Player of the Match.

Photo: Copyright ©

VALLETTA Andrew Hogg, Jonathan Caruana, Steve Borg, Saidou Mady Panandetiguiri, Ian Azzopardi, Roderick Briffa (86′ Roderick Bajada), Edmond Agius, Ousseni Zongo (70′ Gilbert Agius), Denni Rocha dos Santos, William Barbosa, Michael Mifsud (82′ Terence Scerri).
Subs not used: Yenz Cini, Aleksandars Cekulajevs, Nahuel Pulitano Jimenez, Filippo Andrea Scozzese.
Coach: Leonard Farrugia
Asst. Coach: Jesmond Zerafa

FLORIANA Patrick Jansen (58′ Manuel Bartolo), Malcolm Licari, Manolito Micallef, Eric Akoto, Thomas Paris, Pablo Doffo, Joseph Borg, John Mintoff, Ivan Woods, Onome Sodje, Ryan Darmanin (59′ Andre Grabowski).
Subs not used: Manuel Bartolo, Tyrone Farrugia, Francesco Guzman, Luigi Farrugia, Brooke Farrugia, Clyde Borg, Andre Grabowski.
Technical Director: Joe Brincat

Referee: Clayton Pisani
Assistant Referees: Konrad Borg, Ingmar Spiteri
Fourth Official: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Yellow Cards: Mintoff, E. Agius, Doffo, S. Borg, J. Borg
Scorers: 13′ William Barbosa, 27′ Denni Rocha dos Santos

Meanwhile Birkirkara and Sliema Wanderers earned a point each as they shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw.

The Stripes, therefore move two points ahead of Floriana, on 26 points. Sliema lie in fifth place on 20 points.

The Wanderers lacked Cleavon Frendo and Anicet Eyenga while Shola Shodiya Harun was missing for Birkirkara.

The Wanderers forged ahead on the 9th minute when off a Ryan Fenech corner from the right, Josef Mifsud headed the all home past goalkeeper Reuben Gauci.

A freekick from the right by Shaun Bajada was parried by Henry Bonello on the 12th.

Birkirkara levelled matters two minutes later when off a cross by Ryan Scicluna from the right, Jorge Santos Silva managed to beat Bonello with a shot from the edge of the area.

Eight minutes in the second half, Birkirkara were awarded a penalty after Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza was brought down inside the area. However Mifsud Triganza’s effort from the penalty spot was neutralised by Bonello and off the rebound, Jorge Santos Silva hit just wide.

Substitute Trevor Cilia then missed a fine opportunity when served by Ryan Fenech from the right on 76 minutes. A minute later, Ryan Fenech had a shot from close range blocked by Gauci.

A cross shot by substitute Michael Camilleri from the right for Birkirkara then hit the upright ten minutes from time.

Two minutes in added time, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino received a second yellow card and was therefore sent off by referee Malcolm Spiteri.

Henry Bonello was voted BOV Plyaer of the Match.

B’KARA Reuben Gauci, Ryan Scicluna, Nikola Vukanac, Joseph Zerafa, Shaun Bajada (77′ Michael Camilleri), Gareth Sciberras, Rodrigo Pereira, Paul Fenech (38′ Rowen Muscat), Angus Buhagiar, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza, Jorge Santos Silva.
Subs not used: Karl Magri, Ryan Camenzuli, Andre Cassar, Alan Tabone, Fabian Zammit.
Coach: Paul Zammit
Asst. Coach: Peter Pullicino
SLIEMA Henry Bonello, Alex Muscat, Nikola Bogdanovic, Josef Mifsud, Ryan Grech, Mark Scerri, Daniel Mitev (46′ Clifford Gatt Baldacchino), Ryan Fenech, Andrew Decesare (44′ Steve Bezzina), Jeremiah Ani (70′ Trevor Cilia), Emiliano Lattes.
Subs not used: Anthony Curmi, Rumen Galabov, Keane Cutajar, Beppe Muscat.
Coach: Danilo Doncic
Asst. Coach: Saviour Debono Grech

Referee: Malcolm Spiteri
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Christopher Francalanza
Fourth Official: Paul Caruana
Yellow Cards: Gatt Baldacchino, Pereira, Bogdanovic, Sciberras
Red Cards: 90+2′ Clifford Gatt Baldacchino
Scorers: 9′ Josef Mifsud (S); 14′ Jorge Santos Silva (B)
Attendance: 3,373