Day 09: Valletta 2 Hamrun S. 0 Published on: 01-12-2010

Citizens grab another three points

Valletta opened a seven-point gap at the top after overcoming Hamrun Spartans
2-0 in the final match of the first round of the 2010/11 BOV Premier League.

Steve Borg and substitute Omonigo Temile scored the goals in the second half as Valletta extended their unbeaten run to nine matches.

The opening to the game was tepid as the two teams struggled for inspiration. Gradually, Valletta seized the initiative but the cautious Spartans stood their ground.

After 17 minutes, Denni lofted the ball towards Terrence Scerri but the Valletta striker failed to connect.

Omar Borg, the Hamrun Spartans goalkeeper, then blocked a central shot from Kevin Sammut as the Citizens remained on top.

Scerri had the ball in the Spartans’ net after reacting first to Denni’s inviting cross from the right but the ‘goal’ was chalked off as the City forward was offside when he touched the ball.

With 10 minutes of the first half remaining, Valletta fluffed a good chance to take the lead. Denni was central to Valletta’s piercing move as he darted past Mark Anthony Bonnici and into the box before crossing for the unmarked Edmond Agius but the latter miscued his volley.

Roderick Briffa was wide with a long-range effort but, five minutes from half-time, it was the Spartans who came closest to taking the lead when Massimo Grima’s header from Marcelo Pereira’s cross was tipped onto the crossbar by Valletta goalkeeper Andrew Hogg.

In first-half stoppage time, Ian Azzopardi’s penalty-box challenge on Pereira was met with shouts of ‘penalty’ from the Spartans fans but referee Chris Lautier allowed play to continue.

Valletta took the lead 11 minutes into the second half. Their goal came from an unlikely source as central defender Steve Borg was on hand to head Denni’s cross into the net.

The erstwhile cautious Hamrun now had no option but to push more men forward. Ryan Fenech supplied a dangerous cross-shot from a free-kick but Hogg pushed the ball away for a corner. David Camilleri’s cross from the ensuing corner reached Grima who hit wide.

Late in the game, Grima guided wide after getting on the end of David Camilleri’s long pass and substitute Peter Anizoba headed against the side-netting.

Hamrun suffered a blow when defender Martin Hrubsa was sent off after a foul on Scerri earned him
a second yellow card. But, four minutes from time, Valletta also ended with 10 men after Dyson
Falzon was dismissed after his late challenge on Ryan Fenech but the Citizens applied the killer blow two
minutes from time when Temile, a second-half substitute, fired past Borg after receiving from Denni.

Borg, the Valletta defender, was named BOV player of the match.
Source: Times of Malta

VALLETTA: A. Hogg, G. Agius (O. Temile), E. Agius, K. Sammut, D. Falzon, I. Azzopardi, S. Borg, D. Rocha Dos Santos, T. Scerri (S. Arab), R. Briffa, I. Zammit (K. Magro)

HAMRUN S:: O. Borg, M. Grima, R. Fenech, M. A. Bonnici (M. Mifsud), R. Fenech, M. Pereira, G. Spiteri, J. Vukanac, M. Hrubsa, D. Camilleri, S. Bonnici (P. Anizoba)

BOV Premier 2010/11
Date: 1-12-10     Time: 19:30    Venue: National Stadium

Scorers: 56' S. Borg, 88' O. Temile

Yellow Cards:
D. Falzon

Red Cards: D. Falzon

Man of match: S. Borg (Valletta)

Referee: Chris Lautier