Day 6: Valletta 2 Marsaxlokk 0 Published on: 01-11-2010

Citizens move four points clear

The clash of the unbeaten sides went Valletta’s way this evening as the Citizens beat Marsaxlokk 2-0 in a fractious match at the Victor Tedesco Stadium.

After falling two goals down by the 48th minute, Marsaxlokk rallied to turn up the heat on Valletta but their hopes all but vanished when substitute Julio Alcorse was sent off late in the game.

Thanks to this victory, Valletta opened a four-point lead over Hamrun Spartans at the top while Marsaxlokk remain fourth on nine points.

The early exchanges offered little of note as the two sides took some time to find their rhythm.

The first chance came Valletta’s way after 12 minutes. Pouncing on a mistake by Ruben Guerreiro, Roderick Briffa ran forward through the middle and produced a rising shot that flew over.

Valletta nosed ahead after 18 minutes. Briffa twisted his way into the box from the left before setting up Kevin Sammut who drove past Reuben Gauci, the Marsaxlokk goalkeeper.

Buoyed by Sammut’s opener, Valletta took control. They came close to a second goal close to the half-hour mark but Briffa’s curling free-kick ended inches wide.

Marsaxlokk’s first noteworthy chance should have produced a goal 10 minutes from half-time. Valletta’s half-clearance from Martin Deanov’s corner sailed to Carlo Mamo who picked out the unmarked Malcolm Licari in the box but the latter’s volley was off target.

The Citizens threated to dish out instant punishment on Marsaxlokk when Briffa, the best player in
the first half, sped into the box from the right but his central shot was kept out by Gauci. The loose
ball fell to Denni who stumbled initially but recovered to roll the ball to Dyson Falzon whose effort
took a deflection of Gareth Sciberras and flew straight at Gauci.

Valletta midfielder Jamie Pace went close with a powerful free-kick and Falzon sent his shot over
after receiving from Sammut.

The second half had just started when Valletta missed another chance to increase their advantage. Running on to Sammut’s pass, Denni ran clear but he hit wide as Gauci came out to close the angle.

Briffa was wide with a low strike but Valletta went 2-0 up three minutes into the second half, Denni releasing Falzon whose stinging drive left Gauci rooted to the spot.

Trailing by two goals, Marsaxlokk needed to make a quick reaction. Alfred Effiong’s header was deflected over the bar after Deanov had sent in a good cross from a corner.

Marsaxlokk were up in arms when, soon after Dylan Kokavessis had a shot blocked by Valletta, defender Steve Borg executed a strong tackle to dispossess Guerreiro inside the box but referee Adrian Azzopardi was unimpressed.

With 20 minutes left, Marsaxlokk had Valletta under the cosh as they unleashed a series of shots but Andrew Hogg, the City goalkeeper, twice denied Kokavessis, who had been released by Guerreiro, Sciberras had another effort blocked by the opposing defenders and Templeman’s final dribe went over.

At the other end, Denni was foiled by Gauci who saved his low shot while Marsaxlokk substitute Julio Alcorse had a similar effort saved by Hogg.

Marsaxlokk goalkeeper Gauci produced the save of the evening as he leapt to his right to keep out Sammut’s close-range header from Scerri’s cross.

The Blues’ hopes of reviving their hopes suffered a deadly blow when Alcorse was dismissed after getting a second booking for an off-the-ball tiff with Borg.

Roderick Briffa, the Valletta midfielder, was voted BOV player of the match.

Source: Times of Malta

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

MARSAXLOKK: R. Gauci, M. Licari, C. Mamo, R. Galabov, C. Brincat (S. Eboh), G. Sciberras, R. Gravata, T. Templeman (P. Pullicino), D. Kokavessis, M. Deanov (J. Alcorse), A. Effiong

BOV Premier 2010/11
Date: 1-11-10     Time: 19:30    Venue: Victor Tedesco Stadium

Scorers: 18' K. Sammut, 49' D. Falzon

Yellow Cards: D. Dos Santos, T. Scerri, A. Hogg

Man of match: Roderick Briffa (Valletta)

Referee: Adrian Azzopardi