UEFA Champions League 2nd leg Valletta 0 Qarabag 4
Qarabag ended nine-man Valletta’s involvement in this season Champions League as the Azeris eased to a 4-0 win at the Tofiq Bahramov Stadium to complete a 5-0 aggregate victory yesterday.
Valletta had a tough task on their hands to try and overturn the tie in their favour after last week’s 1-0 defeat at the National Stadium.
To make matters worse, the Citizens found themselves with ten men after only 19 minutes when Jonathan Caruana was harshly dismissed for a foul on Reynaldo.
That left Valletta with a mountain to climb as the hosts powered to a comfortable victory and set up a third qualifying round clash against Salzburg, of Austria.
Valletta coach Gilbert Agius named Ian Zammit in the starting formation as Roderick Briffa was pushed back at right-back to replace the suspended Ryan Camilleri.
As expected, Qarabag made all the early running but they needed a moment of brilliance on 15 minutes to take the lead.
Reynaldo received the ball on the edge of the area before showing great footwork to move past Luke Dimech and plant the ball beyond goalkeeper Nicky Vella’s reach.
More woes followed for Valletta as four minutes later they found themselves a man down when Caruana was judged to have fouled Reynaldo who had a clear run on goal. Refereree Sergei Tsinkevich brandished the red card, much to chagrin of the Valletta players.
With a man less, Valletta faced a tall order but they still showed good defensive organisation.
In fact it was the visitors who threatened four minutes from the break when a shot from the distance by Abdelkerim Nafti was blocked by goalkeeper Ibrahim Sehic.
Any hopes Valletta might have had of getting back in contention were ended a minute into the second half as the home side doubled their lead.
Vuqar Nadirov, who came on for Reynaldo at the interval, quickly left his mark when he released Cicero who beat Vella with a low drive.
The Azeri added a third on 57 minutes when Ilgar Gurbanov avoided the onrushing Vella before teeing up Danilo Dias who depo-sited the ball into an empty net.
Ten minutes from time Qarabag wrapped up the win when Leroy George made it 4-0 at the end of a quick break.
Six minutes from time, Ryan Fenech was dismissed for a second bookable offence.
Source – Times of Malta
VALLETTA – N. Vella, J. Caruana, S. Bajada, R. Fenech, A. Nafti (H. Alkamali), I. Zammit (L. Montebello), L. Dimech, R. Briffa, I. Azzopardi, L. Elford Alliyu (R. Kooh Sohna), H. Faria,
QARABAG – I. Sehic, G. Qarayev, Teli, Agoli, Guseynov, Reynalo, D. Dias, Gurbanov, R. Almeida, L. George, Chumbinho.
Date: 22.07.14 Time: 18:30 Venue: Respublika Stadionu
Scorers: 15′ Reynaldo, 48′ Chumbinho, 56′ D. Dias, 80′ L. George(Q)
Yellow Cards: S. Bajada, L. Dimech, H. Faria, R. Fenech (V) L. George (Q)
Red Card: J. Caruana, R. Fenech (V)
Referee: Sergei Tsinkevich (BLR)