Day 3 Valletta 3 Qormi 0 Published on: 01-09-2012
Former Ħamrun Spartans midfielder Ryan Fenech was a perfect replacement for the injured Michael Mifsud as the midfielder fully exploited Qormi’s frailties at the back continuously tormenting his opponents with creativity touches.
The Lilywhites’ performance was below par for the first hour but they improved in the final minutes when their forward momentum inevitably boosted by the introduction of Michael Mifsud as they sailed forward with panache.
Fenech made the most of some hesitant defending from Qormi inside the first five minutes to open the scoring. Roderick Briffa escaped down the right flank before releasing Fenech. His left foot is lethal but he preferred to use his right one to send in an exquisite lob into the net.
Brazilian William Barbosa come close to doubling Valletta’s advantage on 24 minutes, crashing a free-kick against the crossbar.
Five minutes before half-time, eyes were drawn on Denni who was writhing in pain after pulling a muscle injury.
Miller introduced Leandro da Silva Almeida and the Brazilian almost had an immediate impact, heading wide from Briffa’s cross.
Yet, the Lilywhites received a timely boost just before half time, thanks to the precocious talent of Fenech who evaded the attentions of the jittery Qormi defenders to chest the ball before firing a powerful shot that bulged the net.
And Qormi almost scored from their first foray into the opposing half.
Spiteri advanced into the box before being blocked by the onrushing Manuel Bartolo. Reprieved by that miss, Valletta quickly regained the initiative. Falzon’s perfect ball was headed wide by the towering Leandro in the 67th minute.
Mifsud was back in action as he came on as a 73rd minute substitute and he almost scored with his touch on the ball barely two minutes later side-netting the goal from a tight-angle. With Mifsud’s pace, the Citizens re-discovered their slick-moving game as they started to attack from all angles. In the 75th minute, another fast break by Mifsud unsettled the Qormi but the striker shot straight into Farrugia’s hands.
The Citizens’ late flurry yielded a third goal eight minutes from time courtesy of Roderick Briffa who bore down on goal through the middle after receiving from Fenech who turned provider. The former Birkirkara midfielder briefly assessed his options, to hit a pulverising shot that had the better of Farrugia.
In stoppage time, Gabriel’s effort on goal following a mazy run was repelled by the goalkeeper.
VALLETTA - M. Bartolo, S. Borg, J. Caruana, J. Gabriel Da Silva, R. Barretto da Rocha Filho, R. Briffa, D. Falzon, W. Barbosa, D. Dos Santos (L. Da Silva Almeida), S. Bajada (M. Mifsud), R. Fenech (E. Agius).
QORMI - M. Farrugia, K. Thackray, R. Sammut, J. Bondin, A. Bello Osagie (G. Spiteri), M. Bartolo, J. Chetcuti (G. Buttigieg), M. Gauci, S. Siritto, A. Cassar, V. Pisani (L. Grech)
BOV Premier League
Date: 1-09-12 Time: 20:30 Venue: National Stadium
Scorers: 6', 45' Ryan Fenech, 83' Roderick Briffa
Yellow Cards: J. Bondin, K. Thackray, V. Pisani, R. Baretto da Rocha Filho
Man of Match: Ryan Fenech (V)
Referee: Alan Mario Sant