Maxi Velasco and Luke Montebello scored two goals each as Valletta defeated Mosta 4-0 at the National Stadium on Sunday. A win which enables them to keep the pace with Balzan and Hibernians while moving four points clear of fourth-placed Floriana.
Although the Citizens were a better side right from the start, it was only once coach Paul Zammit included Luke Montebello as a substitute that they managed to break the deadlock.
Valletta had two changes from the team which defeated Sliema as Jean Borg and Ryan Camilleri replaced Jonathan Caruana and the suspended Steve Borg. Mosta, on the other hand, had five changes with Yenz Cini, Tyrone Farrugia, Njongo Priso, Pedrinho and Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza replacing Andreas Vella, Heron Miranda, Cesar Romero, Zach Brincat and Josue Ahoure.
The Citizens took the lead on the 37th minute when Luke Montebello advanced on the right before releasing Maxi Velasco on the left and the latter advanced into the penalty area and slotted the ball past Cini despite Onwudinjo’s desperate attempt to clear into safety.
Two minutes from half-time, Valletta doubled the score when Santiago Malano served Luke Montebello on the right and the latter beat the Mosta goalkeeper with a diagonal shot.
Valletta made it 3-0 on the 68th minute when off a cross by Uchenna Umeh from the left, Maximiliano Velasco tapped the ball home.
Seven minutes from time, Valletta scored the fourth goal when off a cross by substitute Michael Mifsud, on his return after a long period on the side-lines, Luke Montebello tapped the ball home from close range.
MOSTA Yenz Cini, Adrian Caruana, Mario Toth, Tyrone Farrugia, Chinatu Onwudinjo, Kurt Magro, David Fenech, Njongo Priso, Lucky Victor Oseghale (58’ Kemmu Degran Jackson), Pedro dos Santos Calcado (77’ Kyle Frendo), Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza (46’ Cesar Romero).
Subs not used: Andreas Vella, Neil Frendo, Luke Galea, Jurgen Grech.
Coach: Zsolt Hornyak
VALLETTA Dziugas Bartkus, Ryan Camilleri, Santiago Malano, Jean Borg, Llywelyn Cremona, Claudio Pani, Uchenna Calistus Umeh, Leandro Aguirre, Maximiliano Velasco (74’ Michael Mifsud), Rowen Muscat (34’ Luke Montebello), Romeu Pericles Romao.
Subs not used: Nicky Vella, Jonathan Caruana, Russell Fenech, Shaun Dimech.
Coach: Paul Zammit
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Asssistant Referees: Jurgen Spiteri, Luke Portelli
Fourth Official: Mario Apap
Yellow Cards: Fenech, Aguirre, Romero
BOV Player of the Match: Maxi Velasco