Valletta extend positive run

BOV-Premier-LeagueValletta kept the pace with leaders Birkirkara thanks to a 3-2 win over Hibernians to extend their positive run to thirteen matches without defeats.

Hibs showed some good ideas early in the game but after taking the lead, Valletta soon gained control, taking a three-goal lead. However the Paolites hit back with a brace by Edison Luis dos Santos to reduce the gap although this was not enough to earn any points.

Valletta had the full squad at their disposal while Scott Chircop and Jonathan Pearson were missing for Hibernians.

The Paolites held the initiative in the early stages but ironically Valletta managed to take the lead on the 15th when off a cross by Shaun Bajada from the left, Alan da Silva Souza served Luke Montebello who beat Daniel Balzan with a beautiful shot from close range.

Four minutes later, Edison Luis dos Santos hit the crossbar with a rising shot from the edge of the area. However Valletta replied with a close-range shot by Alan da Silva which was blocked by Daniel Balzan and a rising shot by Steve Borg which just missed the target. On the 39th, Jean Paul Farrugia, served by Tarabai on the right, had a powerful shot hitting the upright.

Five minutes in the second half, Valletta doubled the score when off a cross from the left by Shaun Bajada, Alan da Silva Souza flicked the ball past the Hibs goalkeeper.

Abdelkarim Nafti then tested Daniel Balzan with a fine freekick on 54 minutes but the Hibs custodian performed a good save before the ball was cleared into safety.

The Citizens scored the third goal on the 57th when Roderick Briffa received an assist by Steve Borg from the right and slotted the ball past Balzan.

Hibernians reduced the gap on 76 minutes through Edison Luis dos Santos who managed to avoid a couple of defenders before beating Nukri Revishvili with a rising shot.

Daniel Balzan performed a good save on substitute Lateef Elford-Alliyu on 83 minutes.

One minute in added time, Jonathan Caruana floored Jurgen Degabriele inside the area. Referee Trustin Farrugia Cann ordered a penalty and from the penalty spot, Edison Luis dos Santos converted.

VALLETTA Nukri Revishvili, Jonathan Caruana, Steve Borg, Roderick Briffa, Luke Montebello (63′ Ryan Fenech), Hamza Barry, Alan da Silva Souza (83′ Edmond Agius), Shaun Bajada, Irakli Maisuradze, Abdelkarim Nafti (64′ Lateef Elford-Alliyu), Luke Dimech.
Subs not used: Yenz Cini, Ian Azzopardi, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza, Llywelyn Cremona.
Coach: Andre Paus

HIBS Daniel Balzan, Timothy Tabone Desira (74′ Andrew Cohen), Igor Radusinovic, Ryan Camilleri, Jackson di Lima Siqueira, Clayton Failla, Zoran Levnajic, Bjorn Kristensen (80′ Johann Bezzina), Obinna Obiefule, Edison Luis dos Santos, Jean Paul Farrugia (85′ Jurgen Degabriele).
Subs not used: Jurgen Borg, Matthew Bartolo, Brandon Muscat, Neil Falzon.
Coach: Branko Nisevic

Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Assistant Referees: Duncan Sultana, Jurgen Spiteri
Additional Assistant Referees: Andre Arciola, Philip Farrugia
Fourth Official: Alan Camilleri
Yellow Cards: Tarabai, Dimech
Scorers: 15′ Luke Montebello, 50′ Alan da Silva Souza, 57′ Roderick Briffa, 76′ Edison Luis dos Santos, 90+2′ Edison Luis dos Santos pen
BOV Player of the Match: Alan da Silva Souza
Attendance: 2,325