Valletta claimed the three points they needed in a narrow win over Balzan to move back two points behind leaders Birkirkara ahead of next Saturday’s decisive clash for the BOV Premier League title.
On Saturday, Valletta have to beat Birkirkara in order to claim the title. On the other hand, a draw is enough for the Stripes to retain the title.
Photo: Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar
Roderick Briffa was missing for Valletta as he served a one-match ban. Balzan, on the other hand, lacked Fabio Vignaroli and Luke Sciberras.
The Citizens held the initiative throughout the first half but Balzan controlled their opponents well.
Valletta managed to break the deadlock six minutes in the second half thanks to Denni dos Santos who slotted the ball past Bartolo following a cross from the right by Alan da Silva Souza.
Pedro dos Santos Calcado was sent off for Balzan in added time after receiving a second yellow card after an incident with Ryan Fenech.
VALLETTA Nukri Revishvili, Jonathan Caruana, Steve Borg, Ryan Fenech, Luke Montebello (77′ Edmond Agius), Alan da Silva Souza (76′ Lateef Elford-Alliyu), Shaun Bajada, Denni Rocha dos Santos, Irakli Maisuradze, Abdelkarim Nafti, Luke Dimech.
Subs not used: Yenz Cini, Ian Azzopardi, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza, Kurt Borg, Luke Scicluna.
Coach: Andre Paus
BALZAN Manuel Bartolo, Justin Grioli, Steve Bezzina, Andrew Scicluna, Lucas Ramon dos Santos, Kurt Magro, Dylan Grima (69′ Ryan Darmanin), Edison Bilbao Zarate, Pedro dos Santos Calcado, Lydon Micallef (77′ Firas Aboulezz), Jose Luis Armario Negrin.
Subs not used: Jacob Cipriott, Sean Cipriott, Mark Spiteri, Gianfranco Micallef, Luke Pace.
Coach: Jesmond Zerafa
Referee: Paul Caruana
Assistant Referees: Duncan Sultana, Jurgen Spiteri
Fourth Official: Chris Lautier
Yellow Cards: Grioli, Dimech, Magro, Pedrinho
Red cars: 90′ Pedro dos Santos Calcado
Scorer: 51′ Denni Rocha dos Santos
BOV Player of the Match: Alan da Silva Souza