BOV Premier League | Valletta 3 – Ħamrun Spartans 0

Two goals from Jhonnattann Benites and another from Leandro Aguirre earned Valletta a fine 3-0 win over old rivals Ħamrun Spartans.

Claudio Pani of Valletta in action during their match against Ħamrun Spartans. Photo:Dominic Borg
Claudio Pani of Valletta in action during their match against Ħamrun Spartans. Photo:Dominic Borg

Ħamrun created the first opportunity on goal after eight minutes when Saturday Nanapere fired a shot from the edge of the penalty area that was neutralised by Dziugas Barktus.

Valletta responded on the 15th minute through Federico Falcone. The Argentine hit a shot from distance that went wide of the post.

The Citizens had another great opportunity on the 22nd minute. Jhonnattann attempted a shot from a free kick that forced a good save from Fredrick Tabone. Michael Mifsud tried slot the ball inside the net from the rebound, but the Ħamrun defence cleared the ball from the goal line.

Valletta kept pushing forward and were awarded a penalty on the brink of half time when Tabone fouled Jhonnattann inside the penalty area. The Brazilian took charge of the penalty and hit a low shot past the Ħamrun goalkeeper.

The Spartans had a good opportunity on the 53rd minute. Following a cross from the right flank, Claudio Pani nearly committed an own goal in his attempts to clear the ball; however, Barktus parried the ball for a corner.

A minute later, Ħamrun protested for a penalty after Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza was brought down inside the penalty area, but Malcolm Spiteri signalled play on.

Ħamrun’s chances of an equaliser suffered a setback on the 74th minute when Jorge Mesqueu Neto was sent off by the referee after receiving his second yellow card following a confrontation. The player refused to go out immediately and made various gestures towards the Ħamrun supporters.

However, Valletta responded immediately and doubled the score on the 76th minute. Aguirre went inside the penalty area and hit a low shot past Tabone.

Substitute Jurgen Suda went close to increase the margin of the score for Valletta on the 87th minute. Following a corner, the Ħamrun defence failed to clear and the ball fell for Suda who finished wide from close range.

A minute later, Jhonnattann went past three Ħamrun defenders before firing a shot that was saved by Tabone.

Suda lost another golden opportunity on the 89th minute. Nicholas Pulis sent a cross towards the unmarked striker who finished wide with only the goalkeeper to beat.

Valletta put the game beyond doubt in the additional time given by the referee when Jhonnattann finished his excellent performance with another goal after placing the ball past Tabone once more.

Also in the additional time, Suda received the ball in an ideal position and forced a good save from the Ħamrun goalkeeper.

Valletta starting line-up: Dziugas Barktus, Romeu ROmao, Leandro Agiurre, Valdes Alhino, Claudio Pani, Jhonnattan Benites, Federico Falcone, Ryan Camilleri, Steve Borg, Lwelyn Cremona, Michael Mifsud.

Ħamrun Spartans starting line-up: Fredrick Tabone, Glenn Azzopardi, Patrick Jean Teixeira Maia, Luke Sciberras, Luis Miguel Vergara Rodrigues, Nanapere Saturday, Jorge Mesqueu Neto, Leandro Wallace Motta Dos Santos, Jake Grech, Sergio Raphael Dos Anjos, Jean pierre Mifsud Triganza.

Referee: Malcolm Spiteri

Assistant referees: William Debattista, Martin Borg

Fourth official: Philip Farrugia

BOV player of the match: Jhonnattann Benites (Valletta)

Pembroke vs Mosta

At the Victor Tedesco Stadium, Pembroke breathed a sigh of relief after registering a 3-0 win over Mosta. Emerson Vella and Luca Martinelli of Mosta scored in their own nets, while Manolito Micallef added another for Pembroke.