Two goals early in the second half enabled Valletta to extend their winning streak in the BOV Premier League as they beat Tarxien Rainbows 2-0 at the Hibernians Stadium. Thanks to this eleventh consecutive win, the Citizens remain unbeaten in eighteen matches.
The Rainbows controlled their opponents well during the first half although Valletta eventually increased the pressure, taking the lead after the break.
Valletta welcomed back Roderick Briffa but lacked Romeu Romao and Claudio Pani. Tarxien, on the other hand, lacked Sergio Fernandez Prendes while Alex da Paixao Alves returned after serving a three-match ban.
One minute before half-time, Andrea Cassar performed a spectacular save on Jhonnattann after saving partially an effort by Falcone. In added time, a header by Jhonnattann beat Cassar bt Zerafa cleared the ball off the goal line.
The Citizens however managed to take the lead three minutes in the second half when off a cross by Abdelkarin Nafti from the left, Federico Falcone flciked the ball in style past goalkeeper Andrea Cassar.
Two minutes later, Valletta doubled the score thanks to a great goal by Abdelkarim Nafti from the left whose fine rising shot gave the Tarxien goalkeeper no chance.
Valletta were awarded a penalty on the 67th minute when Jhonnattann was brought down inside the area by Zerafa but Rafael Ledesma hit the foot of the post from the penalty spot.
VALLETTA Henry Bonello, Jonathan Caruana, Ryan Camilleri, Juan Cruz Gill, Roderick Briffa, Rafael Rodriguez Ledesma (75′ Michael Mifsud), Federico Falcone (91′ Ian Azzopardi), Llywelyn Cremona, Uchenna Calistus Umeh, Jhonnattann Benites da Conceicao, Adelkarim Nafti (74′ Jean Borg).
Subs not used: Nicky Vella, Diego Balbinot, Jurgen Suda, Nicholas Pulis.
Coach: Paul Zammit
TARXIEN Andrea Cassar, Ebiabowei Baker, Manuel Caruana, Timothy Tabone Desira, Triston Caruana, Ayrton Azzopardi (72′ Brandon Muscat), Luke Montebello, Daniel Zerafa (72′ Matthew Tabone), Alex da Paixao Alves, Joao Pedro Oliveira Santos, Claudio Frances.
Subs not used: Sean Mintoff, Bruno Giglio de Oliveira, Alex Nilsson, Carlos Menendez Hevia, Ryan Spiteri.
Coach: Jacques Scerri
Referee: Malcolm Spiteri
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Chris Francalanza
Additional Assistant Referees: Alan Mario Sant, Philip Farrugia
Fourth Official: Roberto Vella
Yellow Cards: Zerafa, Gill, Camilleri, Pedrinho, T. Caruana
Scorers: 48′ Federico Falcone, 50′ Abdelkarim Nafti
BOV Player of the Match: Abdelkarim Nafti
Meanwhile at the Victor Tedesco Stadium, Sliema Wanderers returned to winning ways as they beat Pembroke Athleta 2-0.
The Wanderers managed to take the lead on the 18th when off an assist by Gary Muir, Jean Paul Farrugia tapped the ball home from close range.
Sliema sealed the issue one minute from time when off a cross by Aiden Friggieri, Jean Paul Farrugia headed the bal down for Denni Rocha dos Santos to dribble a defender and slam the ball at the back of the net.
PEMBROKE Mario Muscat, Zoran Levnaic (88’ Terrence Agius), Owen Bugeja, Miguel Attard, Gustavo Villalobos, Kyle O’Brien, (69’ Siraj Eddin Arab), Manolito Micallef, Paltemio Barbetti, Gustavo De Paulo Da Nobrega (57’ Obinna Obiefule), Ariel Laudisi, Alex Cini
Subs not used: Matthew Farrugia, Sunday Eboh, Rennie Tanti, Tyron Fenech.
Coach: Winston Muscat
SLIEMA Entonjo Elezai, Alex Muscat, Mark Scerri, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Marko Potezica, Peter Xuereb (69’ Aiden Jake Friggieri), Johann Bezzina (60’ Armando Dos Santos Tarlaziz), Denni Dos Santos Rocha (90+2’ Omar Elouni), Gary Muir, Jean Paul Farrugia, Luke Dimech.
Subs not used: Glenn Zammit, Haruna Shola Shodiya, Sebastian Perdomo Esiquivel, Michele Sansone,
Coach: Alfonso Greco
Referee: Glen Tonna
Assistant Referees: Jurgen Spiteri, Thomas Debono
Fourth Official: Marco Borg
Yellow cards: Mandinho, Muir, Farrugia, Friggieri
Scorers: 18’ Jean Paul Farrugia, 89’ Denni Dos Santos Rocha
BOV Player of the Match: Denni Dos Santos Rocha
Renato Vella reporting from the Victor Tedesco Stadium