Day 05 Valletta 5 Sengela A 1
Champions Valletta maintained their hot-scoring form when crushed Senglea Athletic to bag their third win in a row. As the scoreline shows, the match was a no-contest as the Citizens completely tore apart the
newly-promoted side with a fourgoal burst inside the opening 25 minutes to preserve their hot-scoring
run that saw them score 14 goals in their last three Premier League matches.
The only poor note for the Citizens was the injury suffered by Santiago Malano midway through the first half. But otherwise coach Danilo Doncic will be delighted with the performance of his players, particularly his front pairing of Bojan Kaljevic, author of a hattrick, and Mario Fontanella who bagged a brace, that steered them to second place in the standings on nine points, one adrift of Gżira United.
Doncic made one change to his starting formation as Ryan Camilleri picked up a groin injury and was replaced by Jean Borg.
Senglea made one change to the team that drew against Pietà Hotspurs as Manuel Giullari was replaced by Braian Volpini.
Valletta took the ground running and they took just six minutes to take the lead. Santiago Malano burst clear on the right and his low cross was turned home by Mario Fontanella.
The Citizens kept pushing forward and they added a second on 12 minutes. Enmy Pena Beltre sent
a dipping ball into the path of Bojan Kaljevic who headed the ball past the onrushing goalkeeper
Matthew Farrugia. The Montenegrin striker struck again two minutes later when he was put clear
through by Fontanella and slid the ball past Farrugia.
Kaljevic could have had a hattrick on 23 minutes when he was put clear by Matteo Piciollo but he
was denied by the onrushing Farrugia.
But the Citizens did add a fourth goal two minutes later when Joseph Zerafa’s inch-perfect pass
put Fontanella clear and the Italian striker kept his cool to slot the ball home.
Doncic was forced to make his first change on 33 minutes when Malano pulled out injured and was
replaced by Bogdan Gavrila.
Things could have got even worse for Senglea as two minutes later Pena Beltre sped into the area
and his cross-shot was cleared off the line by Ferdinando Salvati.
Senglea’s first attempt at goal arrived ten minutes from the break when Romani Tcanturia dispossessed
Zerafa but his shot flew wide.
Two minutes from the break, Senglea almost pulled a goal back when Volpini hit a scorching drive
that was pushed away by Henry Bonello.
In stoppage time, Pena Beltre put Piciollo clear but the Italian striker was denied by one-handed save from Farrugia.
Seven minutes into the second half, Senglea came close when Garcia’s fierce drive was somehow
kept out by Bonello.
But Valletta’s response was immediate as three minutes later Miguel Alba put Kaljevic clear and
the Montenegrin blasted the ball past Farrugia to complete his hattrick.
Ten minutes from time, Bonello again denied Tcanturia as the Valletta no.1 showed great reflexes to
palm away the Senglea striker’s shot.
At the other end, Farrugia charged out of his goal to deny the goal-bound Fontanella from notching
Senglea did manage a consolation goal when Volpini hit the ball past Bonello, but that was too little too late.
Source -timesofmalta.com, Photo credits – Darrin Zammit Lupi
VALLETTA – H. Bonello, S. Borg (J. Caruana), S. Malano (B. Gavrila), M. Piciollo, E. Pena Beltre, J. Zerafa, M. Alba, M. Fontanella, B. Kaljevic, R. Muscat (N. Pulis),J. Borg.
SENGLEA A. – M. Farrugia, B. Muscat, F. Salvati, L. Grech (K. Cutajar), B. Volpini, I. Gonzalez, Z. Cassar, F. Bramati, M. Garcia, A. Caseres (M. Bartolo), R. Tchanturia.
Yellow Cards: None
Scorers: 12`, 14` 54` B. Kaljevic, 6`, 26` M. Fontanella (V), 88` B. Volpini (S).
Man of Match: B. Kaljevic (V)
Referee: E. Mangion