Day 26: Valletta 3 Sliema W 0
Valletta restored their four-point advantage over Hibs at the top of the Premier League after beating Sliema Wanderers 3-0.
Jhonnattann was the star of the show for Valletta as the Brazilian rounded a fine performance with a brilliant goal at time when Sliema Wanderers were increasing their efforts in search of an equaliser.
The first half produced few scoring chances but Valletta’s first flowing move yielded a goal after 17 minutes.
Llywelyn Cremona’s perfect pass released Umeh Calistus who raced forward before beating Sliema goalkeeper Glenn Zammit with a low shot.
Jhonnattann, Valletta’s Brazilian forward, then hit high from the distance before Cremona flicked wide from Abdelkarim Nafti’s corner.
Sliema protested for a penalty when Aidan Friggieri appeared to have been pushed by Ryan Camilleri but their claims were not heeded by referee Trustin Farrugia Cann.
The Wanderers began the second half on a better note while Valletta took their time to find their feet. Sliema’s failure to level during their best period proved costly as Valletta gradually took control.
Jhonnattann doubled Valletta’s lead with a brilliant lob after a fine individual move on 64 minutes.
Zammit then stopped a low effort from the Brazilian who had been sent clear by Rafael Ledesma, on for Cremona.
But, with 17 minutes left, Abdelkarim Nafti scored with a powerful drive from the distance to wrap up the points for Valletta.
Valletta were outplaying Sliema now, inspired by Jhonnattann.
At the other end, Bonello made a routine save from Farrugia and also beat away an effort from Kyle Hendry, on as a substitute.
Michael Mifsud, who had replaced Nafti, also had a great chance to get among the scorers when put through by Jurgen Suda but Zammit thwarted his former Sliema team-mate.
Jhonnattann was voted BOV player of the match.
Source – timesofmalta.com
VALLETTA – H. Bonello, U. Calistus, J. Caruana, F. Falcone, J. Benites (J. Suda), L. Cremona (R. Ledesma), R. Camilleri, J. Gill Cruz, C. Pani, A. Nafti (M. Mifsud), R. Briffa.
SLIEMA W. – G. Zammit, A. Muscat, B. Essel (S. Equivel), A. J. Farrugia, M. Scerri (P. Xuereb), N. Priso, M. Potezica, J. Bezzina, (K. Hendry), J. P. Farrugia, S. Biancardi, L. Dimech.
Scorers: 17′ U. Calistus, 65′ J. Benites, 73′ A. Nafti
Yellow Cards: S. Biancardi (S), U. Calistus, J. Benites (V)
Man of Match: J. Benites (V)
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann