Winning start for Mark Miller as new Valletta coach

Champions Valletta started the new season on a positive note as they defeated eternal rivals Floriana 2-1 in the first game from the Euro Cup.

With Mark Miller as their new coach, assisted by Gilbert Agius, Valletta had three new Brazilian players in their starting line-up namely Jusselio da Silva, Ricardo da Rocha Filho and Jhonnattann Benites da Conceicao.

Back in squad after spending last season, or part of lest season, on loan with other clubs were Ryan Fenech, Dyson Falzon, Kevin Sammut, Cleavon Frendo and Dylan Grima. Another new face on the bench was goalkeeper Manuel Bartolo, who played for Floriana last season.

Floriana, on the other hand, had no new players except for the returning John Agius, Sacha Borg and Jermain Brincat.

The Citizens took the lead after just 29 seconds when Jhonnattann Benites da Conceicao served William Barbosa who controlled the ball on the left before hitting low past goalkeeper Jurgen Borg.

The Floriana goalkeeper managed to turn into a corner a fine effort by Denni on the 22nd minute.

Denni Rocha dos Santos doubled the score on 34 minutes when he received an assist by Jhonnattann and with a diagonal shot, he beat goalkeeper Jurgen Borg.

Eleven minutes in the second half, the Greens went close to reducing the gap with a rising shot by Clyde Borg which hit the crossbar.

Floriana pulled one back on 76 minutes when off a cross by Brooke Farrugia, Ryan Darmanin headed the ball into the direction of Manolito Micallef who hit home from close range.

On the other side of the pitch, substitute Michael Mifsud hit high off an inviting cross by Denni. In stoppage time, a low shot by the Brazilian striker was turned into a corner by the Floriana goalkeeper.

FLORIANA Jurgen Borg, Joseph Borg, Tyrone Farrugis, Owen Bugeja (7′ Francesco Guzman), Manolito Micallef, Clyde Borg (58′ Brooke Farrugia), Thomas Paris, Andre Grabowski, Ivan Woods, Christian Caruana, Ryan Darmanin.
Subs not used: John Agius, Sacha Borg, Mark Spiteri, Jermain Brincat, Duncan Pisani.
Team Manager: Adrian Mifsud

VALLETTA Yenz Cini, Roderick Briffa, Steve Borg, Jusselio da Silva (46′ Jonathan Caruana), Ian Azzopardi, Ricardo da Rocha Filho (70′ Michael Mifsud), Jhonnattan Benites da Conceicao, Denni Rocha dos Santos, Ryan Fenech (12′ Edmond Agius), Dyson Falzon, William Barbosa.
Subs not used: Manuel Bartolo, Kevin Sammut, Cleavon Frendo, Dylan Grima.
Coach: Mark Miller
Asst Coach: Gilbert Agius

Referee: Andre Arciola
Assistant Referees: Duncan Sultana, Roberto Vella
Fourth Official: Adrian Azzopardi
Yellow Cards: J. Borg, T. Paris
Scorers: 1′ William Barbosa, 34′ Denni Rocha dos Santos, 76′ Manolito Micallef
Attendance: 1,037

Photo: Copyright