Day 4 Valletta 1 Sliema W. 0
A solitary goal from forward Nikola Asceric was enough for Valletta to chalk up their third win of the season over Sliema Wanderers, who were still undefeated after tallying five points from their first three outings.
Following this win, Valletta are now in second place with 10 points, two behind surprising leaders Gzira United who have won all four matches they played this season.
It was Sliema who knocked on Valletta’s door first, with Frank Temile who attempted a long-range effort just to be denied by Henry Bonello.
Moments later, Valletta were given a scare when Jefferson headed home a Riccardo Correa’s free-kick but his goal did not stand due to an offside position of the scorer.
This looked like to have inspired the Citizens as on their first goal-scoring manoeuvre they broke the duck through Serb forward Nikola Asceric after connecting with a Michael Mifsud’s inviting cross.
Asceric threatened again when he made good use of his physique to outmuscle Stefano Bianchardi but his towering header went over the bar.
Buttigieg’s team replied through their target man Jefferson but from close-range he missed the target.
After the change of ends, Sliema failed to impose their game with Valletta still on the forefront, threatening with the likes of Claudio Pani and Raed Saleh.
As time went by, Valletta were still enjoying the lions’ share of possession preserving their lead while Sliema tried to chase the game, with Buttigieg deploying the likes of Ryan Spiteri in order to push forward.
Zoran Popovic made sure to maintain the lead by introducing Malta U21 international Jean Borg in bid to secure their third victory of the season which eventually was recorded following another solid display by the boys in white.
Source – Times of Malta
VALLETTA – H. Bonello, R. Camilleri, J. Cruz Gill, S. Malano, M. Mifsud , U. Calistus, J. Zerafa, R. Saleh, C. Pani (J. Borg), N. Asceric (M. Picollo), S. Borg.
SLIEMA W. – G. Zammit, S. Biancardi, M. Muchardi (E. Agius), F. Temile, P. Xuereb, J. De Assis, R. Correa, M. Scerri, L. Motta (R. Spiteri), A. Muscat (J. Mintoff), N. Gavric.
Yellow Cards: M. Scerri (S), C. Pani, H. Bonello (V)
Scorers: 14′ N. Asceric (V)
Man of Match: M. Mifsud (V)
Referee: F. Zammit