Despite a 2-1 defeat to B36 Tórshavn in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League first qualifying at the Gundadalur Stadion in Torshavn, Valletta secured a place in the second qualifying round thanks to the away goals rule as the aggregate score after the 180 minutes was 2-2. Federico Falcone, scorer of the only goal in the first leg, was the hero once again for the Citizens as he once again put his name on the scoresheet.
In the second qualifying round, the Citizens face Serbian giants FC Crvena zvezda, better known as Red Star Belgrade, with the first leg scheduled at Hibernians Stadium next week.
Valletta had one change from the team which won the first leg as Argentine Santiago Malano replaced Llywelyn Cremona.
The Citizens went close to taking the lead on the 8th minute with a direct freekick by Jhonnattann hitting the crossbar. A minute later, Federico Falcone had a close range effort blocked by the B36 custodian.
However on the 10th minute, the hosts managed to take the lead when Odmar Faerø sent Andrias Eriksen through on the left and off the latter’s assist, Hanus Thorleifsson slotted past Bonello.
Valletta, however, managed to level matters on the 24th minute when off a freekick by Romeu Romao from the right, Federico Falcone rose high to head the ball past Askham.
B36 held the initiative after the break and regained the lead on the 66th minute when off a throw in by Jonas Thor Naes from the right, Lukasz Cieslewicz hit low but the Valletta rear-guard failed to clear the ball into safety with Naes regaining possession and serving Høgni Eysturoy who headed the ball into the direction of substitute Hannes Angarsson who hit low past Bonello from close range.
Jhonnattann was unlucky once again on the 77th to hit the upright with a diagonal shot from the right following a solo effort.
VALLETTA Henry Bonello, Jonathan Caruana, Ian Azzopardi, Juan Cruz Gill, Santiago Malano, Roderick Briffa, Federico Falcone, Claudio Pani, Leandro Aguirre (93′ Jean Borg), Jhonnattann Benites da Conceicao (88′ Michael Mifsud), Romeu Pericles Romao.
B36 Trygvi Askham, Andrias Eriksen, Jonas Thor Naes, Odmar Faerø, Alex Mellemgaard (89′ Paetur Petersen), Hordur Askham, Jakup Á Borg (62′ Hannes Agnarsson), Roaldur Jakobsen, Lukasz Cieslewicz, Høgni Eysturoy, Hanus Thorleifsson (81′ Sebastian Pingel).
Referee: Roomer Tarajev (EST)
Assistant referees: Hannes Reinvald, Neeme Neemlaid (EST)
Fourth official: Kristo Külljastinen (EST)