BOV Super Cup Valletta 2 Sliema 1
Valletta FC wrapped up their commitments for 2016 on a brilliant note as they beat Sliema Wanderers 2-1 to win the Super Cup for the 11th time in their history.
This annual clash between the champions and FA Trophy winners of the previous season was a lively affair with Sliema stunning their opponents with an early goal only for Valletta to overturn the deficit by half-time.
Sliema did react in the second half and had a great chance to level matters when they were awarded a penalty but Alex Muscat’s shot was saved by the brilliant Dziugas Bartkus.
A lively first half produced three goals with Valletta coming from behind to take a 2-1 lead.
Sliema Wanderers went ahead after 21 minutes when Denni supplied an excellent pass to Jean Paul Farrugia who sprinted into the box from the left and placed his shot past Bartkus.
Valletta made a strong reaction.
Michael Mifsud sprinted forward through the middle before passing to Jhonnattann who had run his way into the box but the Brazilian’s progression was blocked.
There was another chance for Valletta when Jhonnattann’s cross from the right fell to Llywelyn Cremona whose poorly-hit shot dropped invitingly to Calistus but the Nigerian was thwarted by a timely tackle from Stefano Bianciardi. Valletta equalised 10 minutes from half-time.
Mifsud’s incursion on the right brought a corner for Valletta and Jhonnattann’s cross was deflected towards Steve Borg who fired a low shot into the net.
It was all Valletta now.
Jhonnattann sped into the box after receiving from Cremona but his lob was cleared by the sliding John Mintoff.
Sliema were struggling. Defender Jonathan Caruana sped forward before serving Jhonnattann on the edge of the box but the Brazilian’s swerving shot was wide. In a rare attack, Farrugia managed to get a shot towards goal but Bartkus saved. Valletta forged ahead on the cusp of half-time.
A quickly-taken free-kick, given for a strongly-disputed foul by Mintoff on Pani, saw Jhonnattann power clear on the left before sending in a teasing cross that landed at the feet of Calistus who prodded home.
Sliema began the second half in brisk fashion. They won a penalty just past the hour when Borg was deemed to have pushed the leaping Farrugia. Alex Muscat assumed responsibility for the penalty but his shot was palmed away by Dziugas Bartkusk who thus saved his second penalty in as many games.
Valletta threatened to exact instant punishment as the perky Mifsud bombed forward on the right and his skewed cross turned into a dangerous shot which shook the crossbar.
With nine minutes remaining, Alhinho produced a shot from the distance but Zammit deflected the ball away for a corner.
As the game moved into stoppage time, Sliema rallied.
A series of crosses from Mintoff threatened to open up the City defence and, on one occasion, the ball was dragged back to Mark Scerri whose swerving shot was stopped by Bartkus.
Valletta should have killed the game when, in a swift breakaway, Jhonnattann released Luke Montebello, who had come on for the injured Calistus but the young striker’s initial effort was blocked by Zammit. The rebound fell to the same player who wrong-footed his marker before dragging a low cross that Roger only managed to deflect past the far post.
Just before the final whistle, Valletta threatened again but after Jhonnattann was denied by Zammit, Montebello’s follow-on shot was blocked.
Source – timesofmalta.com
VALLETTA – D. Barktus, R. Camilleri, S. Borg (R. Romao), J. Benites, M. Mifsud, J. Caruana, L. Cremona (J. Borg), L. Aguirre, U. Calistus (L. Montebello), C. Pani, V. Alhino.
SLIEMA- G. Zammit, A. Muscat, A dos Santos Tarlazis (G. Caruana), P. Xuereb (R. Spiteri), M. Scerri, R. De Souza, S. Bincardi, J. Mintoff, J. P. Farrugia, W. Solomon, D. Dos Santos.
Yellow Cards: Mandinhino, S. Wisdon (S), S. Borg, V. Alhinho, C. Pani (V).
Scorers: 21′ J.P. Farrugia (S), 35′ S. Borg, 45′ U. Calistus (V)
Referee: Malcolm Spiteri