Day 9 Valletta 1 Floriana 0
Champions Valletta extended their winning run to seven matches as a late Miguel Alba goal handed them a 1-0 win over Floriana at the National Stadium.
The match was off to a cagey start and the first chance was registered on 24 minutes.
EnmyPenaBeltre whipped in a dangerous cross which was cleared away by Marcelina before Mario Fontanella could intervene.
Six minutes later, Pena Beltre again sent a fine cross towards Fontanella but the Italian striker didn’t adjust his body to perfection and his volley flashed wide.
Floriana finally threatened nine minutes from half-time when they were awarded a free-kick from the edge of the area and Juninho Cabral’s shot just missed the upright.
Two minutes into the second half Vella released Clayton Failla but his angled drive was deflected to a corner by Steve Borg.
Valletta had their best chance of the match on 54 minutes when Santiago Malano played in Ibrahim Saleh who showed great footwork to move past Marcelina and Mohammed Saleh but he was denied by the onrushing Ini Akpan.
On the stroke of the hour, Raed Saleh turned provider when he almost chipped in Fontanella and Nwoko through but the City forwards were anticipated by the alert Akpan.
Fourteen minutes from time, Fontanella picked Alba but his low drive was well blocked by Akpan.
The Argentine winger made amends ten minutes later, when in another swift raid Nwoko again released Alba who let fly a thumping low drive that gave no chance to Floriana goalkeeper Akpan.
Stung by this goal, Floriana almost immediately when Arthur Oyama’s cross found Juninho Cabral and his shot was brilliantly pushed away by goalkeeper Henry Bonello.
Five minutes from time, Gavrila showed great dribbling skills to move past two Floriana defenders but his shot into the sidenetting.
Valletta’s Miguel Angel Alba was voted as the BOV Player of the Match.
VALLETTA – H. Bonello, S. Borg, M. Piciollo (K. Nwoko). R. Camilleri, I. Saleh (B. Gavrila), M. Alba, M. Fontanella (J. Caruana), S. Malano, E. Pena Beltre, J. Zerafa, R. Muscat.
FLORIANA – I. Akpan, M. Saleh, S. Pisani, C. Borg, M. Vella (I. Varela), J. Cabral, C. Failla, J. Pisani, T. Galvao da Silva, H. Oyama Arthur, (D. Agius) E. Marcellina.
Yellow Cards: I. Saleh, R. Muscat, S. Malano (V), M. Saleh, M. Vella, J. Pisani (F)
Scorers: 81′ M. Alba (V)
Man of Match: M. Alba (V)
Referee: P. Farrugia