Matchday 07: Valletta 1 Mosta 3
Failure is not the act of failing once or twice but the total submission to defeat. If Valletta’s four consecutive defeat is anything to go by, their performance against Mosta was a sign that Thane Micallef’s troops have thrown in the towel and the omens are certainly not bright for the citizens.
It took the citizens a while to get into their stride. On the quarter of the hour mark, Jean Borg picked out Kilian Bevis on the left wing with a lifted pass. The French striker used the space to surge forward and fired in an angled shot but Ini Akpan did well to block his effort.
On 21 minutes, the lively winger seemed set to break the deadlock when he chipped the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper only to see Jake Vassallo bundle the ball to safety from the goalline.
Mario Muscat’s side were intent on turning the match in their favour and in the closing minutes of the first half, Geoffrey Acheampong wriggled clear of a sluggish City defence only to flick his weak left-footed shot wide.
A few moments later, Valletta goalkeeper Alessandro Guarnone escaped maximum punishment when Rodriguez Ekani set up Acheampong who scampered free on the right but was fouled by the onrushing goalkeeper outside the box. The Italian goalkeeper was booked when it could have easily been a red card.
Mosta kept the momentum after the break and on 50m minutes, Diarra Boubakary tricked his way past Emny Pena Beltre on the left and crossed for Michael Okoh to tap in at the far post – his second consecutive goal of the season.
If Valletta probably had the better of the first half, that was never the case after the break when Okoh’s strong running on the left unsettled Valletta’s defence. On 53 minutes, Triston Caruana made a superb interception to prevent the Nigerian striker from teeing up a shot after outsmarting the goalkeeper.
There was to be no reprieve for Valletta, as from the ensuing corner, Roderick Briffa rifled the ball into the net via the post, sparking wild celebrations among the Mosta bench.
Valletta looked dead and buried but were dropped a lifeline, seven minutes from time when Jake Vassallo floored Andrea Zammit in the box. And Oke Akpoveta reduced the deficit from the rebound after Brandon Paiber saw his penalty saved by Akpan.
However, they were soon reduced to 10 men when Eslit Sala was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence. Okoh rubbed more salt into the wound as he restored Mosta’s two-goal advantage.
Source: Times of Malta,
VALLETTA: A. Guarnone, J. Borg, T. Caruana, S. Dimech (59 F. Cheveresan), O, Apoveta, C. Gauci, E. Pena Beltre, B. Paiber, L. Cremona (46 A. Zammit-5), E. Sala, K. Bevis.
MOSTA: I. Akpan, R. Briffa (75 N. Agius), C. Ememe (75 L. Tenebe), D. Bonniċi (75 J. Nsumoh), C. Failla-, B. Diarra, T. Farrugia (25 S. Kingue-6), M. Okoh, G. Acheampong (66 P. Mensah), J. Vassallo, R. Ekani.
Referee: D. Agius
Scorers: Okoh 50, 90; Briffa 54 (M), Akpoveta 84 (V).
Yellow Cards: Guarnone, Akopeta, Sala, Borg.
Red card: E. Sala (V)
Man of the Match: B. Diarra (M)