Day 21: Valletta 3 Mosta 0
Valletta maintained their title push after dismissing the tough challenge of Mosta to open a six-point gap on Hibs who meet Sliema tomorrow.
The 3-0 scoreline suggests an easy win for the leaders but they were made to fight hard by the spirited Mosta who ultimately succumbed to Valletta’s attacking flair.
An action-packed first half produced a host of chances but it was Valletta who opened the scoring late in the first half.
Inside the first minute, Mosta goalkeeper Omar Borg pushed away a shot from Umeh Calistus.
Henry Bonello, the Valletta goalkeeper, blocked two dangerous corners from Donatus Okonkwo.
Close to the half-hour mark, Mosta’s Ice Cream Guobadia stopped a Llywelyn Cremona pass and set up Kyle Frendo who hammered wide.
Another fine move from Mosta unsettled Valletta as Godwin Mensha’s deft flick soared over the City defence and towards James Brincat who was clean through but the young midfielder was blocked by the alert Bonello.
In their next foray, Valletta struck three minutes from half-time.
Ledesma and Jhonnattann combined to rob Guobadia of the ball in midfield. The loose ball was collected by Jhonnattann who advanced through the middle before slipping a through-ball to Falcone who slotted past Borg.
A teasing cross-shot from Okonkwo, from a free-kick, found no takers but Valletta almost made it 2-0 as Cremona slipped the ball to Ledesma who sprinted into the box but his shot was saved by Borg.
Before the half-time whistle, Mosta also threatened but Bonello denied Rodriguez Ekani and Mensha’s follow-on attempt was blocked by the sliding Cruz Gill.
Three minutes into the second half Valletta doubled their lead. Jhonnattann again played a crucial role as the Brazilian, running on to Falcone’s pass, raced into the box from the left and hit a low shot into the bottom corner.
Mosta refused to give up. They had a good chance when Brincat’s pass was controlled by Gwar who produced a brilliant overhead kick but the ball sailed just over the crossbar.
The Blues continued to push, Gwar being thwarted by Bonello from close in after good work by Mensha.
The game remained open, Ledesma missing a glorious chance to wrap up Valletta’s win when firing wide from point blank.
Lyden Micallef, a second-half substitute for Mosta, fired wide after being teed up by Mensha but, in their next attack, Valletta got their third.
Ian Azzopardi, on for Falcone, burst through on the left before supplying a perfect cross to Cremona whose sweetly-struck shot bent past the diving Borg.
In stoppage time, Bonello made a fine save from Okonkwo’s shot and, amid the ensuing melee, Zach Brincat’s drive was headed away by Jonathan Caruana.
Jhonnattann, the Valletta striker, was named BOV player of the match.
Source – times of malta.com
VALLETTA – H. Bonello, R. Briffa, R. Ledesma, J. Caruana, L. Cremona, U. Calistus (J. Borg) , R. Romao, F. Falcone (I. Azzopardi), J. Benites (R. Fenech), R. Camilleri, J. Gill Cruz.
MOSTA – O. Borg, R. Ekani, T. Farrugia, F. Alabi, L. Njousso (A. Borg), O. Gaubadia, J. Brincat, K. Frendo (Z. Brincat), G. Mensha, D. Okonkwo, S. Gwar (L. Micallef).
Scorers: 42′ F. Falcone, 48′ J. Benites, 83′ L. Cremona
Yellow Cards: Z. Brincat
Man of Match: J. Benites (V)
Referee: Malcolm Spiteri