Valletta defeat Balzan to move third

Valletta have moved up to third place, level on points with Balzan, after defeating the latter 2-0.

Valletta players celebrate their goal. Photo by Chris Mangion
Valletta players celebrate their goal. Photo by Chris Mangion

Balzan are going through a negative spell as in their last four matches they have played to a draw three times and were defeated once.

Valletta were the better side from the start.

They came close to scoring in the 24th minute when Abdelkarim Nafti tried to lob the ball over goalkeeper Steve Sultana but missed the target.

Balzan replied in the 32nd minute when a shot by Oscar Guerrero was saved by Valletta’s goalkeeper, Nicholas George Vella.

Valletta managed to take the lead in the 34th minute when, off a cross by Hamza Barry, Abdelkarim Nafti served Roderick Briffa who then went on to beat goalkeeper Steve Sultana with his shot.

Valletta continued to press in the second half.

In the 58th minute, off a cross by Roderick Briffam, Kooh Sohna had his shot blocked by Sultana. Ten minutes later, Llywelyn Cremona had his shot saved by goalkeeper Steve Sultana.

Sultana was producing some great goalkeeping as he blocked a powerful shot by Roderick Briffa in the 76th minute and off the rebound Elford-Alliyu had his effort saved by Sultana.

Valletta came close to scoring again in the 80th minute when Roderick Briffa served Ryan Camilleri, whose shot scraped past the post.

The match turned for the worse for Balzan in the 83rd minute when they were reduced to 10 men.

Osa Ice-Cream Guobadia pushed Elford-Alliyu just outside the area. From the freekick, Ryan Fenech beat Sultana after a defender deflected the ball to make the score 2-0.

VALLETTA Nicholas George Vella, Jonathan Caruana, Ian Azzopardi, Steve Borg, Ryan Camilleri, Ryan Fenech, Raphael Kooh Sohna (65′ Llywelyn Cremona), Roderick Briffa, Lateef Elford-Alliyu, Hamza Barry (81′ Luke Dimech), Abdelkarim Nafti (72′ Shaun Bajada).

Subs not used: Yenz Cini, Luke Montebello, Christian Caruana, Alex Barbosa Terra.

Coach: Gilbert Agius

BALZAN Steve Sultana, Justin Grioli (69′ Ryan Darmanin), Steve Bezzina, Fredrick Nonso Odebe (46′ Luke Sciberras), Edison David Bilbao Zarate, Osa Ice-Cream Guobadia, Samir Arab, Clive Brincat, Oscar Dario Guerrero, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza (61′ Lydon Micallef), Gianmarco Piccioni

Subs not used: Christian Cassar, Michael Borg, Shaun Bugeja, Sean Cipriott.

Coach: Oliver Spiteri

Referee: Adrian Azzopardi

Assistant Referees: Mitchell Scerri, Christopher Francalanza

Fourth Official: Mario Apap

Scorers: 34’ Roderick Briffa, 85’ Ryan Fenech

Yellow Cards: Guerrero, Briffa, Nafti, Grioli, Kooh Sohna

Red Cards: 83′ Osa Ice-Cream Guobadia

BOV Player of the Match: Steve Sultana

More in Football

Get access to the real stories first with the digital edition