Day 28: Valletta 2 Mosta 1
Valletta had to battle more than expected to see off Mosta 2-1 at the National Stadium.
The Citizens were off to a flier and after only 19 seconds Abdelkarim Nafti fed Jhonnattann who burst into the area and hit his shot past Mosta goalkeeper Yenz Cini.
Mosta were stunned and on 11 minutes Federico Falcone muscled his way past Adrian Borg and Edile Micheletti but the Argentine’s low shot finished just wide.
Gradually Mosta grew in stature and on 21 minutes Fatai Alabi picked up a short clearance and his low shot looked destined to hit the net only for Jonathan Caruana to deflect to a corner.
From the ensuing corner, James Brincat picked again Alabi whose diving header forced a fine reflex save from Bonello.
On 37 minutes Valletta were forced to make their first change when Claudio Pani picked up a muscle injury and was replaced by Jean Borg.
Four minutes from the break Nafti hit a rasping drive that was somehow tipped over by Cini.
But Valletta were not to be denied as on 43 minutes Borg picked up a short clearance and let fly a thunderous drive that flew into the net.
But Mosta were not ready to throw in the towel and on 55 minutes Godwin Mensha muscled his way past Juan Cruz Gill to fire his shot past Bonello.
Mosta suddenly came to life and four minutes later it was Bonello who denied Mosta an equaliser.
Ekani exchanged the ball with Mensha and the Cameroon wingback saw his effort blocked by the onrushing City goalkeeper.
Three minutes from time, Falcone should have killed off Mosta’s hopes.
Romeo Romao, who had just replaced Nafti, picks Jhonnattann who quickly sets up the unmarked Falcone who sees his shot blocked by defender.
Mosta almost rescued a point at the death when Borg’s grounder came off the upright. Brincat was first on the rebound and quickly served the unmarked Gwar who fired over as Valletta somehow held on.
Valletta’s Abdelkarim Nafti was voted as the BOV Player of the match.
Source – timesofmalta.com
VALLETTA – H. Bonello, J. Caruana, F. Falcone, J. Benites, M. Mifsud (I. Azzopardi), R. Camilleri, J. Gill Cruz, C. Pani (J. Borg), A. Nafti (R. Romao), L. Cremona, U. Calistus.
MOSTA. – Y. Cini, E. Micheletti, A. Borg, F. Alabi, L. Ajousso (T. Farrugia), O. Guobadia (L. Micallef), J. Brincat, R. Ekani (S. Gwar), Z. Brincat, K. Frendo, G. Mensah.
Scorers: 1′ J. Benites, 42′ J. Borg (V) 56′ G. Mensha (M)
Yellow Cards: R. Camilleri, C. Pani, R. Romao (V), R. Ekani, A. Borg, F. Alabi (M)
Man of Match: Abdelkarim Nafti (V)
Referee: Phlip Farrugia