Day 16 Valletta 1 Naxxar L. 0
Valletta kept up the pace with Premier League front runners Balzan after they defeated Naxxar Lions 1-0.
Winger Enmy Pena Beltre and Santiago Malano showed their colleagues how it should be done after 24 minutes.
The Argentine midfielder ran in from the blind side to latch to a cross from the former St Andrews flanker and hit the ball into the net.
Naxxar had a first notable effort at goal when Yuri De Jesus Messias hit straight into the hands of Henry Bonello from a free-kick.
Then, Bonello needed two attempts to tame Jean Diego Moser’s effort as Naxxar tried to put some pressure on Valletta.
The first ripple after ends were changed came past the hour mark from Naxxar when they were denied by the woodwork as Moser’s looping header was saved by Bonello via the upright.
On 71 minutes, Naxxar protested for a penalty when Duane Bonnici freed Messias just inside the area and the striker looked to have been felled by Malano but referee Philip Farrugia waved play on much to the chagrin of the Lions player.
But somehow Valletta preserved their advantage to take three points that keep them just one behind leaders Balzan.
Source – timesofmalta.com
VALLETTA – H. Benello, S. Malano, J. Borg, S. Borg, D. Dos Santos (R. Muscat), E. Pena Beltre, R. Camilleri, J. Cruz Gill, M. Mifsud (R. Romao), A. Prosa, M. Alba (K. Nwoko).
NAXXAR L. – C. Nicht, R. Henriques Caetano, M. Duarte Junior, J. Moser, R. Grech, M. Micallef, D. Bonnici, R. Cassar (D. Falzon), M. Casarotto, E. Ousseynou Ndoye (M. Fenech), Y. Messias.
Scorers: 24′ S. Malano (V).
Yellow Cards: R. Grech (N), M. Alba, A. Prosa(V)
Man of Match: Y. de Jesus Messias (N)
Referee: P. Farrugia