Day 23 Valletta 5 Mosta 0 Published on: 23-02-2013
Michael Mifsud scored a hat-trick as Valletta hammered Mosta 5-0 to get their Championship Pool commitments off to a flying start.
After Hibs had beaten rivals Tarxien Rainbows to go three points clear, Valletta rejoined them at the top with an emphatic display that underlined the champions' qualities and their determination to retain the title.
Mifsud may have caught the attention with his hat-trick but William Barbosa stole the limelight with two outstanding goals.
Valletta piled the pressure on Mosta from the start.
After Brazilian midfielder Gabriel went close with a rising shot that sailed just over the crossbar, Valletta took a deserved lead after 14 minutes.And it was a spectacular one as Roderick Briffa, lurking on the the right wing, passed to William Barbosa whose stunning drive from the distance left Mosta goalkeeper Jeffrey Farrugia motionless as the ball flew into the far corner of the net.
Six minutes later, Valletta doubled their advantage. Demba Toure supplied a good cross from the right and Michael Mifsud headed into the net at the far post.Outplayed in the opening 20 minutes, Mosta finally showed up in Valletta's half when Jonathan Bajada's cross-shot from the right flashed against the top of the crossbar.
But, Valletta remained on top.
Mifsud was denied by Farrugia after receiving from Abubakar Bello-Osagie.Close to the half-hour mark, a well-worked Valletta set-piece saw Ryan Fenech direct a pass to Mifsud but the Malta captain's grounder was stopped by Farrugia.At the other end, Mosta's Carlos Campagnoli headed over from Fabio Vignaroli's corner.
Doncic brought on Nigerian striker Bruno Chikwado Mbonu for Campagnoli at the start of the second half but it was Valletta who struck again just after the break thanks to Mifsud who got behind the Mosta defence to reach a through-ball and beat Farrugia with a low shot.
In a rare Mosta attack, Bajada drifted infield from the right but his diagonal effort sailed wide. Mosta should have done better when Vignaroli's corner from the left triggered a goalmouth melee as Apap headed the ball into the goalmouth before Valletta cleared.
Mbonu's swerving cross on 64 minutes sailed wide of the far post as Mosta finally showed signs of life in attack.Valletta protested when Mifsud appeared to have been brought down by Apap on the edge of the box but referee Chris Lautier saw nothing wrong.
It was not long before Valletta increased their lead, Barbosa scoring his second of the game 14 minutes from time with another unstoppable shot, this time from just inside the penalty box.
Farrugia stopped Valletta from scoring a fifth goal when pushing away Mifsud's fierce strike.
Barbosa was named BOV player of the match.
VALLETTA - M. Bartolo, R. Briffa, J. Caruana, L. Dimech, I. Azzopardi, W. Barbosa (D. Bogdanovic), R. Fenech, A. Bello Osagie (D. Dos santos), M. Mifsud, D. Toure, J. Gabriel Da Silva (J. Vandelannoite).
MOSTA - J. Farrugia, F. Apap, T. Farrugia (K. Zammit), S. Chiemeka, M. Micallef, R. Grech, J. Bajada, D. Mitev, K. Magro, C. Campagnoli (B. Chiwadu Mbonu), F. Vignaroli.
Date: 23-02-13 Time: 16:00 Venue: National Stadium
Scorers: 14', 76' William Barbosa, 20' 46', 89' Michael Mifsud
Man of Match: W. Barbosa (V)
Referee: Chris Lautier