Day 25 Valletta 2 Mosta 2
Mosta put a dent in Valletta’s title hopes this evening after holding their more-quoted opponents to a 2-2 draw in a keenly-contested encounter.
Italian striker Gian Marco Piccioni was Mosta’s hero after scoring a brace to earn his team a point as Valletta ultimately paid the price for their failure to convert their possession into goals.
The draw left Valletta two points behind leaders Birkirkara who are playing against Sliema Wanderers in today’s second matchg.
Valletta took only eight minutes to take the lead. Brazilian Alan Da Silva Souza, making his first start for Valletta, scored with a superb drive after exchanging passes with Lateef Elford-Alliyu.
The Citizens were the sprightlier side in the early stages but Mosta equalised on 15 minutes. Jonathan Caruana, the Valletta defender, tripped the advancing Bojan Kaljevic and Gian Marco Piccioni’s fierce shot from the ensuing free-kick had the better of Nukri Revishvili.
Two minutes later, Valletta’s Abdelkarim Nafti blasted over after meeting Da Silva Souza’s inviting cross from the right while Ryan Fenech’s long-range effort was high and wide.
Slowly, Valletta regained control.
On the half-hour, Da Silva Souza ran infield from the right before passing to Elford-Alliyu whose close-range flick was tamed by Borg.
The Citizens continued to produce the better chances. Seven minutes from half-time, Elford-Alliyu made an intelligent run into the box before back-heelong the ball to Nafti but the Tunisian’s high-riser flew over the crossbar.
Shaun Bajada was off target with two attempts, the first a curling drive from an angled position and the second a strong shot that sailed past the far post.
The second half was less than 30 seconds old when Mosta threatened to take the lead.
Kaljevic dispossessed Roderick Briffa in the box before dragging the ball back to Piccioni whose rising effort was deflected away for a corner by Caruana.
At the other end, Mosta’s Tyrone Farrugia blocked Steve Borg’s goalbound shot.
From the resultant corner, Nafti laid the ball back to Borg who drove wide.
Six minutes into the second half, another exquisite City move saw Da Silva flick the ball forward to Nafti who back-heeled it to Briffa but the Malta wing-back blasted high.
Bajada’s free-kick was then saved by Borg.
Valletta fell behind against the run of play on 65 minutes.
The incoming Antonio Carorozza supplied a low cross from the left and Piccioni’s perfect flick caught Revishvili by surprise.
Valletta threatened to equalise when Elford-Alliyu released Da Silva Souza but the Brazilian sent his shot over the bar.
With 12 minutes remaining, the Whites levelled, Elford-Alliyu heading in from close range after meeting Da Silva’s perfect cross.
Valletta pushed hard for a winner in the dying stages but Mosta held firm.
Piccioni was named BOV player of the match.
Source:times of malta
VALLETTA – N. Revishvili, J. Caruana, S. Borg, R. Fenech, R. Briffa, E. Agius (H. Barry), A. Nafti (L. Montebello), S. Bajada, I. Maisuradze, A. Da Silva Souza (J.P. Mifsud Triganza), L. Elford.
MOSTA – O. Borg, T. Farrugia, M. Micallef, R. Ekani, M. Brincat, I. Grech, R. Grech, K. Zammit (R. Silva Faria), I. Zammit (A. Carrozza), B. Kaljevic (C. Fernandes), G. Piccioni.
Date: 11.03.14 Time: 18:00 Venue: National Stadium
Yellow Cards: J. Caruana, B. Kaljevic, R. Fenech, M. Micallef, O. Borg, S. Bajada
Scorers: 8′ A. Da Silva Sousa, 78′ L. Elford (V), 15′, 65′ G. Piccioni M)
Man of Match: Gian Marco Piccioni (M)
Referee: Philip Farrugia