Day 22 Valletta 3 Floriana 0 Published on: 13-02-2013
Champions Valletta will start their Championship Pool commitments in first place after outclassing rivals Floriana 3-0 in this evening's derby at the National Stadium.
The constant rain made life difficult for both teams but the Citizens made their technical superiority count as they scored three times to get back to winning ways after their 1-1 draw with Balzan.
Floriana, who had their win over Hibs overturned after the latter filed a protest, were unable to give English coach Iain Brunskill a happy debut as they were second best to their neighbouring rivals.
Valletta produced the first scoring chance. Jason Lee Vandelannoite headed the ball on to Michael Mifsud who ran into the box but his grounder flashed wide.The champions threatened again when Mifsud released Ryan Fenech who fired a strong shot but Tony Warner, the Floriana goalkeeper, did well to beat the ball away for a corner.
Valletta did all the running in the early stages. Warner keeping out another Mifsud strike after good work by Denni.The erstwhile prudent Greens made a chance of their own on 10 minutes thanks to Brazilian winger Igor Coronado. Cutting in from the left, Coronado evaded his markers before hitting a rising drive that sailed wide of the far post.
Barbosa's central free-kick was blocked by Warner and, at the other end, the Valletta defenders deflected the ball away for a corner as Coronado tried to connect with good cross by Gary Roberts.
A poor touch by Barbosa gifted an opening to Udo Nwoko but Floriana's lone striker fired over from the edge of the box.For a period, Valletta struggled to regain their momentum but on the stroke of half-time, they seized the led.Vandelannoite swung in a teasing cross from the right and Toure headed firmly past Warner.
After another spell of City pressure early in the second half, Floriana came close through Nwoko but the latter's effort was deflected away for a corner.
From the possibility of levelling the score, Floriana found themselves two down with 21 minutes left as Fenech's swerving free-kick.Thomas Paris prevented Valletta from increasing their advantage as he cleared away Jonathan Caruana's header from Fenech's corner.
But, Caruana was not to be denied as he found the net with another header, eight minutes from time, after the Malta defender rose to meet Mifsud's corner.In stoppage time, Warner twice denied Valletta with saves from Mifsud and substitute Edmond Agius.
Fenech, the Valletta midfielder, was named BOV player of the match.
VALLETTA - M. Bartolo, J. Vandelannoite (J. Gabriel Da Silva), L. Dimech, J. Caruana, I. Azzopardi, W. Barbosa, R. Fenech (E. Agius), R. Briffa, M. Mifsud, D. Toure, D. Dos Santos (A. Bello Osagie).
FLORIANA - T. Warner, S. Borg, C. Tremarco, O. Bugeja, K. Farrugia, G. Roberts, C. Borg, T. Cilia (M. Spiteri), S. Pisani, I. Coronado (T. Paris), U. Nwoko.
Date: 13-02-13 Time: 20:00 Venue: National Stadium
Scorers: 45' Demba Toure, 69' Ryan Fenech, 82' Jonathan Caruana.
Yellow Cards: Tremarco, Roberts, Vandelannoite, Toure, S. Borg, Pisani.
Man of Match: R. Fenech (V)
Referee: Clayton Pisani