Matchday 10: Valletta 1 Senglea A 0
A goal by Matteo Piciollo enabled Valletta to return to winning ways as they registered a narrow win over Senglea Athletic.
Valletta were a better side during the first half and although they retained an edge over their opponents, Senglea improved during the second half, creating their fair share of scoring opportunities.
While this win enables Valletta to move back on track in the battle for honours, Senglea remain ninth on the 12-point mark.
Following the draw with Sirens, the Citizens welcomed back Steve Borg in the heart of defence while Matteo Piciollo was preferred to Douglas Packer. Senglea, on the other hand, had Dejan Debono and Elvis Sakyi replacing Taisei Marukawa and Mirko Todorovic.
Valletta held the initiative during the first half with Enmy Pena Beltre testing Senglea goalkeeper Matthew Farrugia on 13 minutes with a shot from the right. Six minutes later, Fontanella advanced on the right but was anticipated by Farrugia before he could conclude.
The Citizens were unlucky to hit the crossbar with a Rowen Muscat cross shot on 28 minutes but a minute later, they managed to take the lead. Pena Beltre delivered a cross from the right and Matteo Piciollo headed the ball home past Farrugia.
Senglea replied with cross by Manolito Micallef for Wilfried Zamble but the ball was cleared into a corner on 34 minutes and hardly a minute later, a Dejan Debono header which was parried by Bonello.
Two minutes from the end of the first half, Matteo Piciollo tried his luck once again with a shot from inside the area but Farrugia performed a good save.
On 59 minutes, Wilfried Zamble concluded a good move on the right flank for Senglea with an assist for David Xuereb who however hit high from the edge of the area. Ten minutes later, Henry Bonello came to the rescue for Valletta as he anticipated substitute Jose Wilkson Teixeira following an inviting cross by Marcelo Dias from the right.
Mario Fontanella had a shot from the edge of the area neutralised by Matthew Farrugia on 78 minutes. A minute later, on the other side of the pitch, Wilkson Teixeira had a fine header parried by Bonello.
Seven minutes from time, Bojan Kaljevic missed an incredible chance with the open goal at his mercy as he failed to connect off a cross by Fontanella from the right.
Senglea almost notched the equaliser on the 90th minute when they were awarded a free kick in a central position just outside the area but Wilkson Teixeira’s direct free kick was turned into a corner by Henry Bonello.
Matteo Piciollo of Valletta was named BOV Player of the match.
VALLETTA: H. Bonello, E. Pena Beltre, M. Fontanella (S. Dimech), S. Borg, R. Muscat, J. Zerafa, I. Dzaria , J. Borg, K. Nwoko (B. Kaljevic), M. Piciollo (N. Pulis), J. Caruana.
SENGLEA A.: M. Farrugia, D. Debono (J. Tanti), S. Olberiks, E. Sakyi, L. Grech, (60′ J. Wilkson Teixeira), M. Micallef, S. Cipriott (68′ T. Marukawa), W. Zamble, A. Carneiro do Nascimento, D. Xuereb, M. Dias.
Yellow Cards: S. Cipriott, A. Carneiro, M. Dias (S), J. Zerafa, N. Pulis, I. Dzaria, M. Fontanella (V)
BOV player of the match: M. Piciollo (V)
Referee: T. Farrugia Cann