Comfortable win puts Citizens back on track

Two goals towards the end of the first half paved the way for a comfortable win for Valletta as they returned to winning ways, defeating Hibernians 4-1. A win which puts the Citizens on top the BOV Premier League table, one point ahead of the Paolites.

Valletta had their latest signings – Luke Dimech and Demba Toure making their debut after the club released Ricardo Filho and Leandro Almeida. Yenz Cini replaced in the goal the suspended Manuel Bartolo. Hibernians, on the other hand, lacked Marcelo Dias who was also serving a suspension.

Photos: Copyright © www.stephengatt.com

The two teams shared the exchanges in the early stages with the two goalkeepers hardly being tested.

Valletta however took the lead on 35 minutes when goalkeeper Mario Muscat failed to hold a cross from the right by Ian Zammit, Rodolfo Soares incredibly failed to clear the ball into safety and Denni Rocha dos Santos placed the ball at the back of the net.

A minute later, Soares floored Denni inside the area. Referee Adrian Azzopardi ordered a penalty and from the penalty spot, Ian Zammit made no mistake to double the score.

Two minutes in the second half, Valletta increased the lead when Ryan Camilleri lost possession to Ryan Fenech who advanced before crossing the ball into the direction of Denni who hit home from close range.

Hibs went close on 67 minutes when off a cross from the left, there was a header by Ryan Camilleri and Allan Kardeck’s low pass was cleared off the goal line by a defender.

Valletta were awarded another penalty on 71 minutes following a duel between Ryan Camilleri and Ian Zammit. From the penalty spot, William Barbosa made no mistake to make it 4-0.

Substitute Johann Bezzina reduced the gap for the Paolites with a fine rising shot which gave goalkeeper Yenz Cini no chance on 86 minutes.

In stoppage time, Hibernians were reduced to ten men after Rodolfo Soares was sent off by referee Adrian Azzopardi.

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

VALLETTA Yenz Cini, Jonathan Caruana, Jason Lee Vandelannoite, Ryan Fenech (86’ Edmond Agius), Ian Azzopardi, Roderick Briffa, Luke Dimech, Denni Rocha dos Santos (73’ Joao Gabriel da Silva), William Barbosa, Ian Zammit (73’ Gilbert Agius), Demba Toure.
Subs not used: Reuben Debono, Kurt Magro, Shaun Bajada, Joseph Jo Jo Ogunuppe.
Coach: Mark Miller
Asst. Coach: Keith Fenech

HIBS Mario Muscat, Ryan Camilleri (74’ Steve Pisani), Rodolfo Soares, Bjorn Kristensen, Zoran Levnajic, Andrew Cohen (70’ Johann Bezzina), Jackson di Lima Siqueira, Allan Kardeck dos Santos, Clayton Failla, Adrian Pulis, Jean Paul Farrugia (53’ Udo Nwoko).
Subs not used: Daniel Balzan, Anderson Mendes Ribeiro, Ayrton Azzopardi, Scott Chircop.
Coach: Michael Woods
Asst. Coach: Darren Abdilla

Referee: Adrian Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Duncan Sultana, Roberto Vella
Fourth Official: Glenn Tonna
Yellow Cards: Kristensen, Soares, Fenech, Allan Kardeck, Denni, Dimech, Muscat
Red Cards: 90+1’ Rodolfo Soares
Scorers: 35’ Denni Rocha dos Santos; 38’ Ian Zammit (pen), 47’ Denni Rocha dos Santos, 72’ William Barbosa (pen); 86’ Johann Bezzina
Attendance: 2,054

Photos: Copyright © www.stephengatt.com

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Melita registered their third win in the BOV Premier League as they beat Hamrun Spartans 1-0 to join them in tenth place.

For Hamrun, this was the eighth consecutive defeat.

The Spartans were a depleted side following the release of the remaining Bulgarian players, namely Angel Yoshev, Adrian Ivanov, Anton Vergilov and Lyubomir Vitanov and the unavailability of Andrea Cassar and Terence Vella who were both suspended. Melita, on the other hand, had a new player in squad – Spanish striker Jorge Veloso Lourido who replaces Jovan Vukanic who is no longer with the club.

The Spartans had the first attempt at goal on the 5th minute going close with a Massimo Grima header off a freekick by David Camilleri. Melita replied with a corner by Jean Pierre Attard from which Ivan Tufegdzic’s header hit the foot of the post.

The Amateurs managed to take the lead on the 33rd minute thanks to a direct freekick by Daniel Cabanillas Ayllon which gave goalkeeper Anthony Curmi no chance.

Melita went close to doubling the score on the 75th minute with a Luke Micallef effort which was cleared into safety by a defender. On the other side of the pitch, Adrian Borg failed to connect off a David Camilleri corner three minutes later.

In added time, Hamrun went close to equalising but after having an attempt blocked by Tufegdzic, Massimo Grima’s effort was cleared off the goal line by Manuel Ramon Sierra Camacho.

David Camilleri was voted BOV Player of the Match.

HAMRUN Anthony Curmi, Roderick Fenech, Gianluca Calbretta, Ryan Spiteri, Ayrton Micallef (83’ Rodney Refalo), Massimo Grima, Adrian Borg, David Camilleri, Luke Grech, Daniel Zerafa (50’ Christian Cassar), Glenn Azzopardi.
Subs not used: Jean Claude Debattista, Melvin Busuttil, Dylan Busuttil, Duane Azzopardi, Gianluca Debattista.
Coach: Stefan Sultana
Asst. Coach: Atanas Marinov

MELITA Guillermo Gabilondo Garcia, Manuel Ramon Sierra Camacho, Ivan Tufegdzic, George Gribbon, Matthew Borg, Andrew Caruana Scicluna, Luke Micallef (82’ Marc Attard),, Michael Martin, Jean Pierre Attard, Daniel Cabanillas Ayllon (87’ Jorge Veloso Lourido), Tobias Terpougoff (69’ Kris Vella Petroni)
Subs not used: Andrew Abela, Rudi Alhinho, Luke Sammut, Luke Bianco
Coach: Patxi Salinas
Asst. Coach: Alejandro Martinez Lopez

Referee: Alan Mario Sant
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Eman Grech
Fourth Official: Glenn Tonna
Yellow Cards: Tufegdzic, Spiteri, Camilleri
Scorers: 36’ Daniel Cabanillas Ayllon