Valletta kept the pace with leaders Balzan as they defeated Hibernians 2-1 at the National Stadium on Sunday. The Citizens, in fact, move one point behind the leaders and six ahead of third-placed Gzira United.
The Paolites, for the first time under the guidance of Neil Zarb Cousin and Mario Muscat, therefore suffer a second consecutive defeat and continue to share the sixth place with Sliema on the 36 point mark, six points behind Gzira.
Valletta took the lead on the 25th minute when off a cross by Enmy Pena Beltre, Santiago Malano slotted the ball past goalkeeper Andrew Hogg.
Five minutes later, the Citizens doubled the score when Santiago Malano headed the ball in the diretion of Albert Prosa who scored from close range.
Hibernians pulled one back on the 43rd minute when Jackson Lima served Jurgen Degabriele whose fine shot gave goalkeeper Henry Bonello no chance.
The Paolites were unlucky not to equalise on the 90th but Jurgen Degabriele hit the upright.
Photo: Copyright © Andrew Grima[gallery_bank type=”images” format=”masonry” title=”true” desc=”false” responsive=”true” display=”all” sort_by=”random” animation_effect=”bounce” album_title=”true” album_id=”127″]
VALLETTA Henry Bonello, Steve Borg, Ryan Camilleri, Santiago Malano (86′ Jean Borg), Matteo Piciollo, Enmy Manuel Pena Beltre, Joseph Zerafa, Raed Ibrahm Saleh, Rowen Muscat, Miguel Angel Alba (64′ Claudio Pani), Albert Prosa (76′ Kyrian Nwoko).
Coach: Danilo Doncic
HIBS Andrew Hogg, Dunstan Vella, Martin Kreuzriegler, Jackson Lima, Rodolfo Soares, Clayton Failla (70′ Joseph Mbong), Johann Bezzina (34′ Jurgen Degabriele), Andrei Agius, Jorge Pereira da Silva, Giorgi Gorozia (65′ Arlindo Oliveira Neto), Timothy Tabone Desira.
Coach: Neil Zarb Cousin, Mario Muscat
Referee: Alan Mario Sant
Assistant Referees: Roberto Vella, Paul Apap
Additional Assistant Referees: Fyodor Zammit, Etienne Mangion
Fourth Official: Thomas Debono
Yellow Cards: J. Lima, A. Agius, J. Mbong (H), E. M. Pena Beltre (V)
BOV Player of the Match: Santiago Malano