Day 11: Valletta 0 Pembroke 2
Pembroke Athleta sprung a massive upset after beating erstwhile leaders Valletta 2-0 in today’s opening game at the Tedesco Stadium.
Goals from Ariel Laudisi and man-of-the-match Austin Martz handed Pembroke a historic win over one of the country’s most decorated clubs.
It was a deserved victory for Pembroke as they were the most organised team while Valletta were lethargic throughout.
In a generally dull first half, it was Pembroke who made the most of their chances as they took the lead 10 minutes from half-time.
Ariel Laudisi nipped in at the far post to reach Paltemio Barbetti’s cross from the right, scoring from the rebound after his initial shot was blocked by a defender.
Before that, Valletta had created the better chances, going close on 15 minutes through Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza who lifted his shot over the bar at the far post from Abdelkarim Nafti’s cross. Mifsud Triganza was then denied by the post as his volley crashed against the upright after the Valletta striker had met Njongo Priso’s cross.
Valletta should have equalised late in the first half when Llywelyn Cremona laid the ball to Mifsud Triganza inside the box but the latter’s drive was deflected away for a corner by Pembroke defender Patmore Shereni. From the resultant corner, the ball landed at the feet of Priso at the far post but his tame effort was blocked.
Pembroke shocked Valletta when doubling their lead six minutes into the second half thanks to Austin Martz who fired home from close range after receiving from Gibson Bardsley.
Four minutes from time, Valletta were awarded a penalty after Alex Cini brought down Mifsud Triganza in the box but Priso’s rising shot from the spot came off the crossbar.
VALLETTA – H. Bonello, J. Cruz Gill, I. Azzopardi (J. Suda), A. Nafti (R. Fenech), L. Cremona (U. Calistus), R. Camilleri, R. Romao, A. Bruce J.P. Mifsud Triganza, N. Priso, R. Briffa
PEMBROKE: M. Muscat, A. Martz, P. Barbetti, G. Villalobos (S. Arab), A. Laudisi (P. Sammut), G. Bardsley (G. Spiteri), O. Bugeja, M. Attard, A. Cini, K. O’Brien, P. Shereni.
Scorers: 35′ A. Laudisi, 52′ A. Martz.
Yellow Cards: A. Martz (P), L. Cremona, N. Priso, J. P. Mifsud Triganza (V)
Man of Match: A. Martz (P)
Referee: A. Azzopardi