Day 24 Valletta 3 Hibs 1
Valletta bounced back from the draw with Sliema Wanderers as they beat Hibernians 3-1.
Jonathan Pearson and Edison Luis dos Santos was missing for Hibernians as he served a one-match ban while Valletta were practically in full strength as they welcomed back Lateef Elford-Alliyu.
The Paolites had the first attempt at goal on the 14th minute when off a cross by Andrew Cohen, Obinna Obiefule, despite being closely marked by three Valletta defenders, saw his low shot being deflected by Roderick Briffa into a corner. Valletta replied with a Ryan Fenech insidious shot which ended over the bar on the 20th following a cross by Shaun Bajada.
Valletta took the lead on the 34th minute when off a swift counter-attack Denni Rocha dos Santos controlled well a cross by Abdelkarim Nafti and dribbled past goalkeeper Jurgen Borg, placing the ball at the back of the net.
Two minutes later, the Citizens doubled the score when a corner by Shaun Bajada was met by Jonathan Caruana’s perfect header who sent the ball past the Hibs custodian.
The first half was claimed by Valletta’s territorial supremacy and it was no surprise that the first half score read 0-2.
Valletta sealed the issue with the third goal thirteen minutes in the second half when off a cross from the right by Ryan Fenech, Lateef Elford Alliyu controlled the ball well, serving Abdelkarim Nafti who placed the ball at the back of the net from close range.
Hibernians pulled one back on the 70th thanks to a swerving shot by Jean Paul Farrugia from inside the area. Jurgen Borg came to the rescue three minutes later with two consecutive saves first on Edmond Agius attempt from a central position and then on a Denni powerful low shot from close range off the rebound.
On the other side of the pitch, a Jurgen Degabriele low diagonal shot was neutralised by Revishvili three minutes from time.
VALLETTA – N. Revishvili, J. Caruana, S. Borg, R. Fenech (L. Cremona), R. Briffa, E. Agius, A. Nafti, S. Bajada, I. Maisuradze, D. Dos Santos (A. Da Silva Souza), L. Elford (J. P. Mifsud Triganza)
HIBS – J. Borg, R. Camilleri, I. Radusinovic, M. Bartolo (J. P. Farrugia), S. Chircop, A. Cohen (J. Degabriele), B. Kristensen, C. Failla, Z. Levnaic, J. Di Lima Siqueira (J. Bezzina), O. Obiefule.
Date: 26.02.14 Time: 20:00 Venue: National Stadium
Yellow Cards: I. Radusinovic, B. Kristensen (H), N. Revishvili (V)
Scorers: 34′ D. Dos Santos, 36′ J. Caruana, 58′ A. Nafti (V) J.P. Farrugia
Man of Match: A. Nafti (V)
Referee: Andre Arciola