Matchday 04: Valletta 1 Mosta 1
Valletta and Mosta canceled each other in a tale of two halves at the National Stadium on Saturday.
Kevin Tulimieri’s audacious opener gave Mario Muscat’s side the perfect start to the match. But that early optimism soon disappeared as Valletta soon took total control of the match.
Mosta were ahead after 21 minutes – and it was a piece of genius by former Valletta midfielder Kevin Tulimieri that gave them the lead.
The Italian sprinted on the right flank before rifling a rising that Valletta goalkeeper Jake Galea touched but could not keep out from finishing into the net.
Valletta took up the challenge and Brandon Paiber was the main threat in the immediate aftermath of Tulimieri’s goal, forcing David Akpan Udoh into a save low down and then Federico Falcone shot just wide.
A Valletta equaliser looked on the cards before half-time but Paiber dragged his shot wide.
Thane Micallef’s double change at half-time was a recognition of Valletta’s inability to make any headway for almost the whole first half. The balance shifted immediately.
The Lilywhites dominated the start of the second half. In the 51st minute, Dony Aldair Maldonado cut in on the left and slipped in the overlapping Federico Vega whose cross to the back post saw Federico Falcone exercising his neck muscles to head the ball wide.
For all Valletta’s trademark pretty passing, they made inroads with a set piece. Paiber was in great form and capped his excellent display with a free-kick of top quality, which curled into the top left-hand corner.
Paiber caused the Mosta defence some more problems and they were lucky not to fall further behind.
The Argentina-born midfielder left the crossbar shaking with a rising shot that bounced off the outside of the post and rolled outside.
Still, Mosta came forward, with Precious Tenebe’s header pushed around the post by Galea.
At death, substitute Jhonnattann did his best to rescue a wasted chance when Clayton Failla hooked the ball off the line and from the rebound the Brazilian deserved better than to see the ball being punched away by Akpan.
Source: Times of Malta
VALLETTA: J. Galea, E. Ruiz, O. Barrientos (75 Jhonnattann), S. Dimech (46 D. Garba), F. Falcone, B. Paiber, D. Maldonado (67 A. Ferraris), L. Filho, D. Vega, N. Micallef, A. Silas (46 L. Susnjara).
MOSTA: D. Akpan, G. Valios, C. Nnaji, D. Evans, P. Tenebe (88 M. Camara), C.Failla, G. Sciberras (69 N. Agius), W. Dagou, E. Mensah (61 A. Isah) , J. Vassallo, K. Tulimieri (61 Z. Brincat).
Referee: Glen Tonna
Scorers: 21′ K. Tulimieri (M), 54′ B. Paiber (V)
Yellow card: E. Garba, A. Ferraris (V), J. Vassallo, D. Akpan, D. Evans (M)
BOV player of the match: Brandon Paiber (V).