Day 14 Valletta 2 Floriana 0
Valletta dominated this afternoon’s derby from start to finish.
They won with a two-goal margin but could have had more, was it not for the Floriana goalkeeper Daniel Hanford who pulled off a string of fine saves to keep the Greens above the water.
In the 23rd minute, Hansford pulled off a brilliant save to tip Denni’s inswinger over the bar. On the counter-attack, Coronado set Valletta’s pulses racing a few moments later as Dimech restored to a foul to tame the Brazilian, conceding a free-kick in a key area.
But Gary Muir slipped as he planted his standing foot and the result was a miss of sky-high proportions. With the match flowing from one end to the other, Denni renewed the duel with Hanford as the Brazilian showed great composure to hit an acrobatic scissor-kick but the Englishman proved equal to task pulling off another top-drawer save to tip his shot over the bar after 34 minutes.
But there was to be no such reprieve six minutes later, the Brazilian albeit being sandwiched between Ibok Edet and Baldacchino, Denni out-jumped his markers to slot the ball behind Hansford, emerging the winner in what developed into a personal duel with the Englishman.
In the 59th minute, Briffa’s inswinging cross from the right found unmarked AbdelkarimNafti umarked in the area but the Tunisian midfielder hit feebly into Hansford’s hands.
There was to be no Floriana comeback after 70 minutes when Valletta doubled their lead. Denni floated a cross from the left, Nafti headed into the path of Edmond Agius who flashed in with a thunderous drive that gave Hanford no chance.
VALLETTA – Y. Cini, R. Fenech, E. Agius (S. Bajada), S. Borg, A. Nafti (I. Zammit), D. Dos Santos, R. Briffa, L. Dimech (J. Caruana), R. Bakare, O. Reyes Sanchez, A. Corr Nyang,
FLORIANA – D. Hanford, A. Scicluna, I. Edet, S. Pisani (L. Casha), C. Caruana (B. Farrugia), I. Coronado, D. Pinheiro De Sousa, D. Baldacchino, C. Borg, J. Borg, G. Muir
Date: 08.12.13 Time: 16:00 Venue: National Stadium
Scorers: 40′ D. Dos Santos, 70′ E. Agius
Yellow Cards: L. Dimech, Y. Cini (V) S. Pisani (F)
Man of Match: Denni Dos Santos (V)
Referee: Andre Arciola