Day 08: Valletta 0 Floriana 0 Published on: 27-11-2010
Valletta and Floriana share the spoils in a goalless resultFloriana halted Valletta’s winning run after holding their rivals to a goalless draw in
low-key match at the National Stadium.
Boasting a four-point lead at the top going into the derby, Valletta were regarded
as favourites to take the three points but their cause was undermined by the early
sending-off of Brazilian defender Ramon.
Yet, despite their numerical superiority, Floriana refused to throw caution to the wind as they
seemed happy to settle for a draw.
The first capital derby of the 2010/11 season enticed a sizeable crowd to the National Stadium,
especially Valletta fans who not only thronged their section inside the enclosure but also filled
half of the Millennium Stand.
A boisterous roar filled the air as the two teams trudged onto the pitch for kick-off. While a cloud
of green smoke engulfed the Floriana side, those of Valletta waved thousands of red and white flags.
After just four minutes, Valletta captain Gilbert Agius, who retained his place in the centre of midfield
after his positive display in the 4-0 victory of Sliema Wanderers, passed to Denni whose grounder
was easily saved by Lofti Saidi, the Floriana goalkeeper.
On eight minutes, Agius sent in a fine cross towards Terrence Scerri who nodded wide of the far post.
Valletta were the more vibrant side in the early stages but Floriana stood firm. There was a notable
drop in the rate of scoring chances but Floriana gained a boost on 33 minutes when Valletta’s Brazilian
defender Ramon was sent off. Having earned a caution for shoving Ivan Woods, Ramon received his
second booking for another foul on the Floriana striker who was running on to Christian Caruana’s gem
of a pass from deep.
Jesmond Zerafa, the Valletta coach, quickly modified his team’s tactical approach as Steve Borg was
switched to centre-half and Roderick Briffa, who started on the right of midfield, moved to right-back.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, it was Valletta who threatened to go ahead six minutes when
Denni released Briffa inside the box but the latter’s belated shot came off the sliding Brian Said.
Valletta had another chance to take the lead but Scerri headed over from Briffa’s right-wing cross.
The first 20 minutes of the second half were marked by a dearth of scoring chances as the two
grew somewhat sloppy.
The fear of losing the derby weighed heavily on the minds of the players who struggled for inspiration in a
disappointing second half.
It was not before the last minute of regular time that either team created a notable chance. This fell
to Valletta as Briffa made a scurrying run on the right before sending in a cross that that was
deflected towards Denni whose first-time volley was pushed away by Saidi.
The game ended on a somewhat controversial note as referee Adrian Azzopardi sounded the final
whistle as Floriana were preparing to take a corner.
Valletta midfielder Jamie Pace was voted BOV player of the match.
|VALLETTA: A. Hogg, G. Agius (E. Agius), K. Sammut (O. Temile), J. Caruana (D. Falzon), I. Azzopardi, S. Borg, R. Dos Santos, J. Pace, D. Rocha Dos Santos, T. Scerri, R. Briffa.|
|FLORIANA:: L. Saidi, D. Pisani, T. Farrugia, B. Said, M. Micallef, J. Borg (C. Borg), C. Cassar, P. Dofo, M. Mecerod (M. Gauci), I. Woods, C. Caruana (R. Darmanin).|
BOV Premier 2010/11
Date: 27-11-10 Time: 16:00 Venue: National Stadium
Red Cards: R. Dos Santos
Man of match: J. Pace (Valletta)
Referee: Adrian Azzopardi