Matchday 11: Valletta 2 Mosta 2
Valletta and Mosta gave life to an enthralling contest as they shared four goals at the Hibs Stadium.
It looked as though Valletta were on course for a comfortable victory after surging into a two-toal lead inside the first 15 minutes.
But Mosta refused to throw in the towel and managed to level the game with two spectacular strikes by the half-time interval.
After the break, both sides kept pushing forward in search of a winner but to no avail, with Mosta may be the more disappointing lot having lost some clear-cut chances.
Valletta took the ground running and they managed to take the lead after nine minutes of play. Mario Fontanella beat Mosta’s offside trap to latch on a long pass but the Italian forward was upended in the area by goalkeeper Chris Mafoumbi.
Fontanella picked himself up to send Mafoumbi the wrong way and put City 1-0 up.
The goal inevitably injected more confidence in the citizens and in fact four minutes later they doubled their lead.
Taisei Marukawa profited from poor marking from the Mosta defence to pic up an Eslit Sala pass and race clear. The Japanese winger kept his poise to create space and hit the ball past Mafoumbi.
Here, Mosta coach Mario Muscat withdrew Jefferson and roped in Liam Portelli as he looked to bring more solidity to his team.
Zachary Brincat gave Mosta a route back into the match on 24 minutes when he hit a rasping drive from 30 metres out that had the better of the diving Yenz Cini.
As the minutes passed, Mosta grew in stature and their efforts were rewarded with an equalizer on the stroke of half-time.
Rafael Morisco’s cross found Bojan Kaljevic who nodded the ball into the path of Kevin Tulimieri who adjusted his body to beat Cini with a spectacular overhead kick.
Tulimieri should have struck again on 59 minutes when the Italian was picked by Zachary Brincat and after avoiding his marker, he incredibly lost his footing in front of a gaping goal as the chance went abegging.
Mosta could have won it in stoppage time when Bojan Kaljevic found himself face to face with Yenz Cini but the City keeper produced a fine block to preserve the stalemate for his team.
VALLETTA: Y. Cini, R. Camilleri, T. Caruana, E. Sala, T. Marukawa, I. Requena, L. Aguirre (80 I. Micallef), M. Alba, R. Fenech, M. Jovanovic (65 S. Dimech), M. Fontanella.
MOSTA: C. Mafoumbi, Jefferson-5 (21 L. Portelli) (66 D. Debono), C. Ememe, C. Failla, G. Sciberras, T. Farrugia, M. Muchardi, R. Morisco, Z. Brincat, B. Kaljevic, K. Tulimieri (81 J. Bezzina).
Referee: S. Pace
Scorers: 10′ M. Fontanella, 14′ T. Marukawa (V), 24′ Z. Brincat, 45′ K. Tulimieri (M)
Yellow Cards: C. Mafoumbi, G. Sciberras, (M), M. Jovanovic, R. Camilleri, M. Alba (V)
BOV Player of the Match: T. Marukawa (V)