Day 13 Valletta 0 Mosta 1 Published on: 24-11-2012
Valletta’s situation took another turn for the worse as they the team tasted its first defeat this season at the hands of Mosta.
Seven minutes into the game, Valletta were awarded a free-kick in an inviting position and William Barbosa curled his free-kick beyond Mosta defensive wall but cannoned off the upright.
Barbosa’s effort knocked Mosta off their stride as they went up at the other end and Bajada strode clear on the left before hitting a cross that eluded the entire Valletta defence and into the path of Bogdanovic whose powerful first-timer gave Manuel Bartolo no chance but crashed against the post on the quarter of an hour mark.
Valletta failed to heed the alarm signals, conceding a set-piece after 25 minutes. From the ensuing free-kick, Bogdanovic swung in a teasing ball just wide.
But Mark Miller’s troops should have broken the stalemate two minutes later when Denni raced past Steve Bezzina in the box but the Brazilians shot-on-turn hit the woodwork for a second time.
With Mosta lacking the early spark to pose problems to Valletta, the latter stayed in command. On 34 minutes, Azzopardi used his pace to race upfield before driving the ball just over the bar.
During half-time, the atmosphere in the stands grew more vocal as the Valletta fans voiced their concerns about the side’s flat first-half performance.
But it was Mosta that increased their attacking endeavours in the early stages after the break. In the 50th minute, Zongo supplied an inviting cross but Bogdanovic’s effort strayed wide of the far post.
But when these two players combined again four minutes later, Mosta surprisingly seized the lead. The Burkino Faso midfielder punted the ball forward for Bogdanovic who exploited his speed off the mark to race past Falzon on the right flank and sent in a fine cross for Obiefule to poke the ball into the net.
Valletta tried to raise their game but their effort seldom troubled Mosta. In the 55th minute, Mifsud advanced through before putting in a low shot from the D that Haber reached without difficulty.
After 68 minutes, Haber fisted away Denni’s thunderous free-kick and, from the loose ball, Agius headed over. Few moments later, a long-range drive from Agius signalled the first spell of sustained pressure from the white-shirted players. Yet, they were relying too much on hopeful shots from the distance.
In the 70th minute, Miller brought in Ian Zammit a striker in the place of midfielder Agius, allowing the former Mosta player to push on extremely high up the flank.
But Mosta remained undeterred as Steve D’Amato introduced Alex Cini, switching to five defender, a way of shutting up the shop.
But Valletta’s confused efforts were easily withheld by a resolute Mosta.
Valletta’s pressure petered out as the match drew to a close, much to the frustration of their fans who jeered their own team off the pitch at the end.
VALLETTA - M. Bartolo, J. Caruana, D. Falzon, I. Azzopardi, W. Barbosa, E. Agius (I. Zammit), R. Fenech (M. Mifsud), D. Dos Santos, L. Da Silva Almeida (R. Barreto Da Rocha), J. Gabriel Da Silva, R. Briffa.
MOSTA - J. Haber, M. Micallef, S. Bezzina, O. Chiemeka, L. Dimech, C. Campagnoli, R. Grech (F. Aboulezz), O. Zongo, D. Bogdanovic, O. Obiefule, J. Bajada (A. Cini).
Date: 24-11-12 Time: 16:00 Venue: National Stadium
Scorers: 54' O. Obiefule
Yellow Cards: C. Campagnoli, R. Grech, F. Aboulezz (Mosta), R. Briffa, J. Gabriel (Valletta)
Man of Match: Daniel Bogdanovic (M)
Referee: Glenn Tonna