Hamza Barry scored twice as Valletta came back from two goals down to beat Qormi 3-2.
The final result was definitely a most disappointing result for Qormi as they enjoyed a comfortable two-goal lead with less than half an hour to go. This was the fourth defeat in five matches and have now gone eight matches without a win.
Valletta lacked Shaun Bajada and the suspended Jonathan Caruana and Roderick Briffa. Also missing for Valletta were Hugo Faria and Raphael Kooh Sohna who have been released and goalkeepers Yenz Cini and Manuel Bartolo who joined Gudja and Zebbug respectively on loan. Qormi, on the other hand, lacked Emerson Vella. Anderson Santos is no longer with the club after being released while Albert Bruce joined Naxxar Lions.
Qormi were the better side in the early stages, taking the lead on the 12th minute when Alfred Effiong sent Frank Temile through on the right with the latter slotting the ball past Nicky Vella from inside the area.
Zoran Levnajic doubled the score on 36 minutes when off a Frank Temile corner from the right, he headed the ball home past Vella.
Just before half-time, a fierce shot by Lateef Elford Alliyu hit the woodwork for Valletta.
Five minutes in the second half, Alfred Effiong stole a ball in midfield and advanced before trying his luck with a long-distance shot which Nicky Vella managed to turn into a corner.
Valletta reduced the gap on 67 minutes when off a corner by Abdelkarim Nafti, Elford-Alliyu’s header was blocked by goalkeeper Matthew Farrugia and off the rebound, Hamza Barry hit hard past the Qormi custodian.
The Citizens levelled matters nine minutes later when they were awarded a penalty after Mauricio Mazzetti floored Hamza Barry inside the area; from the penalty spot, Hamza Barry converted.
Nine minutes from time, Valletta notched the winner when the ball reached the unmarked Ian Azzopardi on the left and the latter’s fierce shot gave the Qormi goalkeeper no chance.
Abdelkarim Nafti could have made it 4-2 on the 90th but his powerful shot from the right was blocked into a corner by Matthew Farrugia.
QORMI Matthew Farrugia, Bjorn Bondin (87′ Joseph Chetcuti), Mauricio Matias Mazzetti Latini, Pietro Viggiani (58′ Ryan Micallef), Carmelo Farrugia, Alfred Effiong, Frank Temile, Zoran Levnajic, Duncan Pisani, Jonathan Bondin, Alessio Cassar.
Subs not used: Jurgen Cilia, Roderick Sammut, Karl Sciortino, Joshua Barbara, Gillmore Azzopardi.
Coach: Josef Mansueto
VALLETTA Nicky Vella, Ian Azzopardi, Steve Borg, Ryan Camilleri, Ryan Fenech, Hamza Barry (91′ Jean Borg), Luke Montebello (57′ Christian Caruana), Lateef Elford-Alliyu, Llywelyn Cremona, Abdelkarim Nafti (92′ Hamid Al Kamali), Luke Dimech.
Subs not used: Ryan Caruana, Tristan Nappa Licari, Mirco Vella, Ian Montanaro.
Coach: Gilbert Agius
Referee: Esther Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Mitchell Scerri, Roberto Vella
Additional Assistant Referees: Alan Mario Sant, Malcolm Spiteri
Fourth Official: Chris Francalanza
Yellow Cards: Fenech, Viggiani, Pisani, Mazzetti
Scorers: 12′ Frank Temile, 36′ Zoran Levnajic, 67′ Hamza Barry, 76′ Hamza Barry pen
BOV Player of the Match: Hamza Barry