Day 28 Valletta 6 Mosta 1 Published on: 06-04-2013
Valletta found their scoring touch in the second half as they hit six goals to beat Mosta 6-1.
Coming from three successive defeats which have put their title defence bid in serious jeopardy, Valletta took a while to get going but three goals early in the second period set them on their way to an easy with Michael Mifsud, William Barbosa and Denni grabbing a brace each.
With this win, Valletta have narrowed the gap on leaders Birkirkara to four points but the latter, who play Sliema Wanderers tomorrow, have a game in hand.
The game was three minutes old when Mosta winger Danail Mitev dispossessed Dyson Falzon on the wing and darted into the box but his cross-cum-shot was blocked by Yenz Cini. Mitev went closer moments later as his shot from the edge of the box sailed wide of the near post after Valletta had partially cleared a header by Bruno Chikwado Mbonu.
Valletta nearly opened the scoring in their first menacing as Michael Mifsud turned well inside the Mosta box but his strike rolled just wide of the far post. With a dismal record of five defeats in as many Championship Pool matches, Mosta's chances of breaking their duck against Valletta looked remote but they will have been encouraged by their early efforts.
Ferdinando Apap headed over from Fabio Vignaroli's free-kick and Mano Micallef was wide from outside the penalty area. Valletta quickly regained control but they missed a great chance to take the lead. Gabriel's through-pass rolled into the box and towards Toure but the Senegalese striker's mishit shot was pushed away by Jeffrey Farrugia in Mosta's goal.
Toure then nodded over from Ryan Fenech's cross but the game generally low-key. Eleven minutes from half-time, Mifsud sprinted clear of Bryan Agius but his strike was wide. The Valletta striker was then left to rue his ill-luck as his first-time flick from Toure's inviting ball came off the near post.
Mosta did well to weather Valletta's pressure but their resistance crumbled inside the opening four minutes of the second half as the Citizens hit two quickfire goals. The first came from a penalty, converted by William Barbosa, after Ryan Fenech's shot came off Apap's arm.
The second was scored by Mifsud whose fierce drive from an angled position took a deflection off Tyrone Farrugia. The Whites all but secured the win 12 minutes into the second half. Barbosa played a key role as his excellent through-ball landed in the path of Mifsud who ran into the box before prodding past Farrugia.
Valletta were in command but they dropped their guard close to the hour as Micallef, left unmarked in the box, went past Cini before being brought down by Luke Dimech.
Mitev made no mistake from the spot. With four minutes remaining, substitute Jojo Ogunuppe had a good chance to put his name on the scoresheet after being set up by Toure but the Nigerian's shot was blocked by Farrugia.
Lewelyn Cremona, who had come on as a substitute, fired wide after receiving from Toure but, a minute from time, Denni, who had just entered the fray, left an instant imprint on the game as his looping shot from outside the box had the better of Farrugia.
Denni got his second moments later, this time with a header from Toure's cross before Barbosa scored Valletta's third with an magnificent shot from the distance.
Mifsud was named BOV player of the match.
VALLETTA - Y. Cini, I. Azzopardi, J. Gabriel (D. Dos Santos), R. Fenech, E. Agius, M. Mifsud (Llywelyn Cremona), W. Barbosa, D. Toure, A. Bello Osagie (J. J. Ogunuppe), D. Falzon, L. Dimech
MOSTA - J. Farrugia, F. Apap, T. Farrugia, B. Agius, M. Micallef, R. Grech, D. Mitev (S. Bezzina), K. Magro, C. Campagnoli, F. Vignaroli (A. Cini), B. Chikwado Mbonu.
Date: 07-04-13 Time: 17:00 Venue: National Stadium
Yellow Cards: R. Grech, F. Apap (M), L. Dimech (V)
Scorers: 47' 93' W. Barbosa, 49' 57' M. Mifsud, 60' D. Mitev, 88' 91' D. Dos Santos
Man of Match: Michael Mifsud (V)
Referee: Triston Caruana