Day 08 Valletta 3 Gzira 1
The champions bounced back to winning ways today after a poor run of one point in three matches.
The Citizens were off to a flying start. Hardly seven minutes elapsed from the initial whistle when Valletta’s Falcone made a diagonal run before putting a ball into the path of Jhonnattann whose ghosting run had escaped the attentions of the Gzira defenders. The Brazilian forward dispatched a low shot past Gzira goalkeeper Jamie Azzopardi.
The Valletta superiority produced a second goal on 24 minutes from a penalty converted by Falcone. The striker lurking inside the box, tried to outpace Souleymane Diamoutene but the latter threw his body in the way of the Argentine. The referee pointed to the spot.
Needing a goal to haul themselves back into contention, Gzira tried to step up their game.
Soon after the changeover, Juan Corbalan embarked on a solo run, nudged the ball past Jonathan Caruana but Valletta goalkeeper Henry Bonello brusquely stopped him by throwing his body in the way.
There was another scare for Valletta when Tonna swung in a dangerous cross from corner and Moises Avila Perez connected beautifully with a first-time volley but the bar stood his way after 61 minutes.
The sight of Avila Peres advancing unchallenged causing consternation for Valletta as Caruana decided to scythe him just outside the box. Substitute Ledesma’s low free-kick was stopped by Bonello’s outstretched hand.
From the ensuing corner, the Valletta goalkeeper was quick off his line, only to barge into Zachary Scerri, leaving the referee no option but to show him a red card and point to the spot.
Luckily for Valletta, Zammit did utilise all substitutions and could introduce Buhagiar instead of Calistus. The stand-in goalkeeper parried away Avila Perez’s penalty.
The Maroons were not discouraged and went up again and scored, Antonio Machedo Neto heading home from Gianmarco Conti’s fine cross.
But Valletta wrapped up their win at death, Borg hammering a shot home after receiving from Llywelyn Cremona from the right.
Source – timesofmalta.com
VALLETTA – H. Bonello, S. Borg, R. Camilleri, J. Benites (J. Borg), J. Caruana, F. Falcone, C. Pani, V. Alhinho, S. Malano (L. Cremona), U. Calistus (M. Buhagiar), L. Aguirre.
GZIRA – J. Azzopardi, C. Gatt Baldacchino (R. Ledesma), G. Conti, A. Machedo Neto, J. Corbalan, J. Bondin (K. Pulo), M. Avila Peres, J. Borg, Z. Scerri, S. Diamoutene, Y. Tonna (R. de Pinho de Souza)
Yellow Cards: V.Alhinho, J. Caruana (V)
Red Card: H. Bonello (V)
Man of Match: J. Benites (V)
Scorers: 7′ J. Benites, 24′ F. Falcone (P), 90′ J. Borg (V) 82′ Tony (G)
Referee: Kenneth Kennedy (Ireland)