Valletta joined Hibernians on top the BOV Premier League table as they came from behind to beat them 2-1 in this weekend’s big match at the National Stadium on Sunday.
The Citizens therefore brought to an end the Paolites’ unbeaten run of ten matches. This was the eleventh win in thirteen matches for Valletta.
With Steve Borg ruled out through suspension, Valletta coach Danilo Doncic named Matteo Piciollo in the starting line-up. On the other hand, Hibs coach Stefano Sanderra named an unchanged line-up with new signing Marco Sahanek being included as a substitute just past the half-hour.
The Paolites took the lead on the 6th minute when the referee waved play on despite the presence of Taylon Correa in a dubious offside position who served Jurgen Degabriele whose shot was partially saved by Bonello but off the rebound, Tiago Adan Fonseca placed the ball at the back of the net.
Valletta equalised two minutes in the second half when off a freekick from the left, Santiago Malano headed the ball home past Hogg.
Hibernians were reduced to ten men on the 55th minute after Isaac Ntow received a second yellow card and was therefore sent off by referee Philip Farrugia. Hibs coach Stefano Sanderra was also dismissed by Farrugia.
Seven minutes from time, the Citizens were awarded a penalty after Mario Fontanella was adjudged by the referee to being fouled by Jurgen Degabriele. From the penalty spot, Miguel Angel Alba converted.
HIBS Andrew Hogg, Dunstan Vella, Nemanja Radojevic, Joseph Mbong, Marcelo Dias, Jurgen Degabriele, Bjorn Kristensen, Isaac Ntow, Taylon Nicolas Correa Marcolino, Andrei Agius, Tiago Adan Fonseca (32’ Marco Sahanek).
Subs not used: Rudy Briffa, Timothy Tabone Desira, Andreas Vella, Daneel Abela, Connor Zammit, David Xuereb.
Coach: Stefano Sanderra
Asst. Coach: Ryan Pulis
VALLETTA Henry Bonello, Jonathan Caruana, Ryan Camilleri, Santiago Malano, Matteo Piciollo (74’ Bogdan Gavrila) Enmy Pena Beltre, Joseph Zerafa (65’ Jean Borg), Rowen Muscat, Miguel Angel Alba (86’ Kyrian Nwoko), Bojan Kaljevic, Mario Fontanella.
Subs not used: Yenz Cini, Shaun Dimech, Kyrian Nwoko, Nicholas Pulis, Jeremy Micallef.
Coach: Danilo Doncic
Asst. Coach: Gilbert Agius
Referee: Philip Farrugia
Assistant Referees: Luke Portelli, Mitchell Scerri
Fourth Official: Emanuel Grech
Yellow Cards: Muscat, Radojevic, Ntow, Piciollo, Kaljevic, Mbong, Caruana
Red Cards: 55’ Isaac Ntow
BOV Player of the Match: Santiago Malano