Day 13: Valletta 3 Birkirkara 1 Published on: 08-01-2011

Valletta beat rivals

Valletta overcame arguably the toughest hurdle of their season so far as they came from behind to beat champions Birkikara 3-1.

All four goals were scored in an action-packed second half with Denni hitting two excellent goals to put the unbeaten Valletta on course for their 10th victory.

Scoring chances proved hard to come by in a disappointing first half that saw the two teams cancel each other out.

Andrew Hogg and Michael Fraser, the respective goalkeepers of Valletta and Birkirkara, were hardly tested as the only episodes of note were to wayward shots by Shaun Bajada and one from Jamie Pace.

The opening minutes of the second half produced more drama than there had been in the entire first half.

Birkirkara stunned Valletta when taking the lead inside the opening two minutes of the second half. Michael Galea rammed the ball into the net after Hogg had been beaten to the ball by the leaping Nikola Vukanac whose header appeared to have crossed the line before the Valletta keeper pushed
it out.

Valletta claimed that Vukanac had fouled Hogg but referee Chris Lautier deemed otherwise.

The early arrival of Birkirkara’s goal brought the game to life as the two teams tore into each other.

The champions’ joy was shortlived as Valletta equalised on 53 minutes, Denni concluding a surging
run down the inside-right channel with a crisp finish that gave Fraser no chance.

Urged on by the vocal backing of their fervent fans, the two sides continued to attack each other.

Birkirkara were unlucky when Angus Buhagiar’s drive smacked against the upright while Valletta went close with two headers by Gilbert Agius that ended just wide.

The Citizens’ revival bore fruit when, midway into the second half, they moved ahead. Denni scored a superb goal when lobbing the ball over Fraser after receiving from Agius.

Valletta’s two-goal burst failed to dampen Birkirkara’s fighting spirit as Paul Zammit’s men upped
their attacking game in search of an equaliser.

Substitute Terence Vella missed a great chance to level matter when heading over from Bajada’s cross. On another occasion, Hogg pushed away Galea’s dangerous drive.

The Citizens were let off the hook when, having failed to clear a corner by Lattes, the ball fall to Buhagiar whose goalbound strike was blocked in extremis.

Late on, Paul Fenech summoned a long-range shot that ended high but in stoppage time, Valletta applied the killer blow. Buhagiar’s late challenge on the advancing Terrence Scerri brought a penalty for Valletta. Scerri stepped up for the kick and guided his shot into the bottom-right corner as Fraser dived the other way.

Valletta forward Denni was named BOV player of the match.

Source: Times of Malta


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

BIRKIRKARA: M. Fraser, T. Paris (A. Decesare), N. Vukanac, R. Muscat, J. Zerafa, K. Pulo (T. Vella), P. Fenech, A. Buhagiar, S. Bajda, E. Lattes, M. Galea

BOV Premier 2010/11
Date: 8-01-11     Time: 16:00    Venue: National Stadium

Scorers: 53' 66' Denni Dos Santos, 90' Terence Scerri

Man of match: D. Dos Santos (Valletta)

Referee: Chris Lautier