Valletta hit fierce rivals Floriana for six Published on: 08-05-2014
In 1948, Valletta recorded one of their bestever results against rivals Floriana. On February 4, the Whites beat the Greens 5-0.This match had severe repercussions for a number of Floriana players.On February 28, 1948 the whole team was dropped and the Second Division team,which consisted entirely of Floriana Ajax players, was roped in. It was a historic moment.
The newcomersmade a winning debut in the First Division, beating Melita 2-0.From that moment, Floriana never looked back, going through one of the brightest periods in their history. As if to underline their return to eminence, in 1955 they beat Valletta 6-1 to gain sweet revenge for that 1948 rout.
Valletta had to wait 14 long years before they could register another high-scoring victory over their arch-rivals. Their opportunity came in season 1962-63.
By this time, the famous Ajax players were ageing visibly. It was once again a time for change at Floriana and the changes had to be made quickly if they were to avoid losing their reputation.
On December 22, 1962, there was a jovial atmosphere at the stadium. Playing one of their best games for many a season, the Citizens beat the reigning champions 6-0.
The architects of that famous victory were wingmen Alfred ‘Wanese’ Borg and Joe ‘Ginger’ Zammit.
Mario Azzopardi scored a fine hat-trick and Josie Urpani helped himself to two as young Tony Calleja,deployedin the unfamiliar position of inside-left, played an excellent game.
But, was this trouncing a consequence of Floriana’s weakness or was it the result of Valletta’s brilliant display?
According to Sunday Times of Malta correspondent ‘WBA’, it was something in between.It was plain for all to see that Floriana were well below their usual high standard.
The absence of Billy Dalli and Tony Cauchi left the attack with no punch and their replacements, Griffiths and Bugeja, were simply played out of the game by the razor sharp
tackling of the Valletta defenders.
The Valletta supporters were over the moon as they teased and taunted their rivals at the least provocation.
Valletta opened the scoring after 25 minutes when Urpani leapt to head the ball home from a corner. The second goal came after a miskick by Edward Azzopardi. Mario Azzopardi ran through and calmly hit past goalkeeper Fabri.
Midway through the second half, Joe Zammit tormented Mackay with a number of body feints before he centred to Azzopardi to head in. A couple of minutes later, Borg supplied a long pass to Urpani who rifled home.
The game had just restarted when Edward Azzopardi accidentally handled the ball in the area. The referee awarded a penalty but justice was done when Joe Zammit shot wide.
However, a minute later Zammit made amends for his mistake when he fired a hard grounder which beat Fabri. Floriana’s humiliation was completed on the stroke of time when Azzopardi’s shot rolled through Fabri’s legs.
Source - Times of Malta