Day 17 Valletta 3 Qormi 2 Published on: 03-01-2015

Valletta staged a scintillating comeback this afternoon as three goals in the final 25 minutes left Qormi dazed and confused to give the Champions a 3-2 victory over their opponents.

After 10 minutes, Temile picked up the ball from Bjorn Bondin before he sliced open the defence with a slick ball to send Effiong through but he was blocked in time by the onrushing goalkeeper Nicholas Vella.

The champions were let off the hook but not for long. Their early toils came to fore two minutes later, when fastening on to an accurate pass from Effiong, Temile outpaced the Valletta defence before sending the ball behind Vella and into the net.

The Lilywhites were again caught napping at the back in the 24th minute as Temile made a jinking run on the right before hitting a cross for Viggiani whose header was repelled by Vella. The rebound fell to Effiong who lost his usual composure in front of goal before the rearguard cleared the danger.

But there was no reprieve for the confused Valletta. Just past the 35th minute mark, Temile’s delivery from corner soared into the box where Zoran Levnaic rose above everyone to direct a looping header over the startled Vella and into the far corner of the net.

The out-of-sorts Valletta had a chance just before half-time when Elford- Alliyu rattled the bar with a thunderbolt from the D.

Valletta’s touch and movement were clearly on a different plane in the final 30 minutes as Ivan Zammit’s men looked to gain a foothold in the match. In the 66th minute, from Nafti’s corner, Elford-Alliyu hit goalwards but his header finished on the bar. The ball fell kindly to Barry’s feet who buried the ball home.

Eight minutes later, Valletta were awarded a penalty when Barry burst through the Qormi defence only to be felled by Mauricio Mazzetti inside the area. The Argentine defender pleaded his innocence but the referee stuck to her guns. Barry kept his cool to despatch the ball past Farrugia.

It required something spectacular for City to make the final breakthrough, Ian Azzopardi’s sublime strike from just outside the area giving Farrugia no chance.

VALLETTA - N. Vella, R. Camilleri, S. Borg, H. Barry (J. Borg), L. Elford, L. Cremona,  I. Azzopardi, R. Fenech, A. Nafti (H. Al Kamali), L. Dimech, L. Montebello (C. Caruana).

QORMI - M. Farrugia, B. Bondin (J. Chetcuti), M. Mazzetti Latini, P. Viggiani (R. Micallef), C. Farrugia, A. Effiong, F. Temile, Z. Levniac, D. Pisani, J. Bondin, A. Cassar

Date: 03.01.15     Time:  16:00    Venue: National Stadium

Scorers: 12' F. Temile, 36' Z. Levniac, 67' 76' H. Barry, 82' I. Azzopardi.

Yellow Cards: R. Fenech (V), P. Viggiani, D. Pisani, M. Mazzetti (Q).

Man of Match: Hamza Barry (v)

Referee: Esther Azzopardi