Valletta: BOV Premier League Champions 2010-11 Published on: 17-04-2011
Valletta BOV Premier League Champions 2010-11Valletta are new champions of Malta. Needing only a point to wrap up the league title, Valletta gained three this evening as they beat Marsaxlokk 1-0 to race into an unassailable 12-point lead at the top.
Roderick Briffa scored the decisive goal early in the second half as the dominant Whites clinched their 20th league title and improved their chances of going through a whole season unbeaten, much to the delight of the thousands of City fans who celebrated wildly throughout the second half and after the final whistle.
The jubilant players joined in the party, running en masse to the ecstatic fans before unfurling a banner saying 'We are the champions'.
Valletta were the brighter side early on but Marsaxlokk provided an early warning of their counter-attacking threat when Gareth Sciberras headed the ball to Alfred Effiong who had run into the box but the Nigeria's cross-cum-shot was blocked by Andrew Hogg.
The City goalkeeper was prominent again five minutes later when diving to his right to touch away Effiong's goalbound strike after the Nigerian had outran.
Midway into the first half, Ryan Fenech tried to shake Valletta into action with a typically strong run down the left. His centre was diverted into the path of Gilbert Agius but the latter poked the ball wide.
Thereafter, scoring chances proved to hard to come by as the Citizens struggled to break down the well-drilled Marsaxlokk who were clearly determined to take something from the match in order to boost their Europa League hopes.
Four minutes into the second half, Marsaxlokk produced a good opportunity as Peter Pullicino's floated through-ball sailed over a host of City defenders and towards Effiong who was dispossessed by the enterprising Ian Azzopardi when in the act of shooting.
This chance only served to spur Valletta to riase their game. They had a brilliant chance to move ahead when Fenech drifted into the box from the right and served Denni who swivelled before hitting an acrobatic volley that came off Malcolm Licari.
This turned out to the prelude to Valletta's opener which came seven minutes into the second half. Fenech again carved the Marsaxlokk wide open with a surging run on the right before he slipped a through-pass to Roderick Briffa who lobbed the ball over the on-rushing Reuben Gauci to send the City fans into raptures.
Marsaxlokk tried to stage an instant reaction. They came close to an equaliser when Rumen Galabov's low cross was deflected into the path of Effiong at the far post but the latter flicked wide.
With 20 minutes remaining, Andrade picked the ball deep in his own half and headed for goal. His jinking run sent him past several blue-shirted players and into the box but his final effort was off target.
Valletta should have sealed the issue when Briffa advanced through the middle before setting up Fenech on the left but the latter's strike hit the base of the far post.
At the other end, Ryan Darmanin, who had replaced Pullicino early in the second half, ran behind the Valletta defence as he latched onto a through-ball but Hogg dashed out of goal to block the Marsaxlokk forward's run.
Roderick Briffa, the Valletta midfielder, was voted BOV player of the match.
|VALLETTA, A. Hogg, S. Borg, J. Caruana, I. Azzopardi, R. Dos Santos, E. Agius, D. Dos Santos (O. Temile), G. Agius, R. Fenech (J. Pace), A. Anderson (T. Scerri), R. Briffa.|
|MARSAXLOKK R. Gauci, M. Licari, C. Mamo (G. Caruana), C. Brincat, E. Yanchev, P. Pullicino (R. Darmanin), F. Raimy, R. Galabov, G. Sciberras, M. Deanov, A. Effiong.|
BOV Premier 2010/11
Date: 17-04-11 Time: 17:00 Venue: National Stadium
Scorers: 52' Roderick Briffa
Yellow Cards: I. Azzopardi, G. Agius, R. Dos Santos.
Man of match: Roderick Briffa