Day 11: Valletta 2 Hibernians 0 Published on: 13-12-2010

Leaders beat Hibernians

Valletta pulled seven points clear at the top of the BOV Premier League after overcoming Hibs 2-0 this evening.

Goals from Denni and Terrence Scerri gave Valletta a deserved win over a below-
par Hibs team who remain second from bottom and in serious danger of missing
out on a place in the Championship Pool.

As for Valletta, their victory today extended their unbeaten run to 11 games and further consolidated their
status as title favourites.

It was Valletta who came closest to opening the scoring after 13 minutes.

Kevin Sammut swung in an excellent cross from the right and Jamie Pace guided a powerful header towards but Hibs goalkeeper Mario Muscat, who was again subjected to a lot of abuse from the Valletta supporters, produced a top-notch save as he pushed the ball over the bar.

Hibs’ failure to clear the ensuing corner yielded another opening for Valletta as Sammut sent the ball into the box and towards the far post where Jamie Pace was unmarked. The Valletta midfielder’s cross-shot sailed past Muscat but the ball came off striker Terrence Scerri.

Valletta seized control as the first half gathered momentum. Their efforts produced an opener after
23 minutes, Denni nipping in to head Sammut’s cross past the stranded Muscat.

The Citizens’ joy at taking the lead receded as they realised that Denni had taken a blow to his head after colliding with a Hibs defender. The Brazilian was taken off on a stretcher, triggering a warm applause from the appreciative City fans. His place was taken by Ian Zammit.

The cautious Hibs recorded their first attempt at goal on 31 minutes when Paul McManus pulled the ball back for Andrew Cohen but the latter’s strike was too weak to trouble Muscat.

A minute from half-time, Portuguese midfielder Paulo Sereno, who made his debut in Hibs’ 1-1 draw with Floriana, did well to dribble past Roderick Briffa and Steve Borg but his lob was high.

The start of the second half bore Valletta’s mark. Scerri clipped a post after being released by
Omonigo Temile and from the rebound, Sammut mishit his effort.

But, seven minutes into the second half, Valletta went 2-0 up. Scerri was quick to pounce on Edward Herrera’s short clearance as the lanky striker drilled a curling shot beyond Muscat’s reach.

Scerri’s goal jolted Hibs whose tame reaction only produced a wayward shot by McManus and a free-kick by Paulo Sereno that went over.

Valletta’s Zammit almost surprised Muscat with a fierce drive from outside the area by the Hibs goalkeeper managed to push the ball over the bar.

As the game moved into its last 15 minutes, Valletta eased off as they looked to protect their
two-goal lead. It was only in the final stages that Hibs caused some problems to their opponents as McManus’s free-kick ended high and Hogg saved successive efforts from Herrera and McManus.

In stoppage time, Hogg blocked an effort from Jean Paul Farrugia who had come on as a substitute.

Valletta midfielder Pace was named BOV player of the match.
Source: Times of Malta

VALLETTA: A. Hogg, O. Temile (D. Falzon), E. Agius, K. Sammut (K. Magro), J. Pace, I. Azzopardi, S. Borg, D. Rocha Dos Santos (I. Zammit), T. Scerri, R. Briffa, J. Caruana

HIBERNIANS: M. Muscat, A. Cohen (W. Chircop), A. Xuereb, E. Herrera, M. Gauci, B. Kristensen, Z, Levnaic, P. McManus, S. Pisani (J. Pearson), M. Clarke, P. Serano (J. Farrugia)

BOV Premier 2010/11
Date: 13-12-10     Time: 16:00    Venue: National Stadium

Scorers: 22' D. Dos Santos, 52' Terence Scerri

Yellow Cards:
E. Agius, A. Hogg

Man of match: J. Pace (Valletta)

Referee: Andre Arciola