Stoppage-time goal sinks Valletta

A goal by Jason Oswell one minute in added time enabled Welsh side Newtown AFC to beat Valletta 2-1 at Latham Park in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League first qualifying round.

After going one goal down, the Citizens had managed to restore equilibrium mid-way through the second half through Jhonnattann but after having a player sent off late in the game, Valletta conceded a second goal.

At this point, to reach the next stage and set up a clash with Danish giants FC København, Valletta have to beat Newtown 1-0 or register a win with a two-goal difference.

New Valletta coach Paul Zammit named the returning Dyson Falzon and Luke Montebello in the starting line-up along with new signings Juan Cruz Gill, Maxim Focsa, Uchenna Umech and Claudio Pani while Jhonnattann was included as a substitute. Zammit, in fact, could not count on the suspended Jonathan Caruana and Roderick Briffa, Shaun Bajada and new signings Oleksandr Musiyenko and Njongo Priso.

The hosts managed to take the lead five minutes from the end of the first half through Luke Boundford.

Early in the second half, Paul Zammit made two changes as he replaces Luke Montebello with Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza and Uchenna Umeh with Jhonnattann. And it was the Brazilian striker who managed to notch the equaliser on the 73rd minute.

Five minutes from time, Valletta were reduced to ten men after Ian Azzopardi received a second yellow card.

One minute in added time, Newtown notched the winner thanks to Jason Oswell.

The second leg will be played on July 9 at the Hibernians Stadium, kick-off at 20:45.

NEWTOWN David Jones, Steffan Edwards, Kieren Mills-Evans, Shane Sutton (90+3′ Gavin Cadwallader), Craig Williams, Matty Owen (78′ Sean Evans), Matthew Hearsey, Tom Goodwin, Luke Boundford, Jason Oswell, Neil Mitchell (70′ Jamie Price).

VALLETTA Nicky Vella, Ian Azzopardi, Ryan Camilleri, Dyson Falzon, Juan Cruz Gill, Maxim Focsa, Uchenna Callistus Umeh (62′ Jhonnattann Benites da Conceicao), Llywelyn Cremona, Abdelkarim Nafti (87′ Daniel Camilleri), Luke Montebello (54′ Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza), Claudio Pani.

Referee: Vladimir Vnuk (SVK)
Assistant Referees: Tomas Vorel, Peter Bollo (SVK)
Fourth Official: Pavol Suniar (SVK)
Yellow Cards: Cremona, Goodwin, Azzopardi, Mitchell, Williams, Gill, Price
Red Cards: 87′ Ian Azzopardi