BOV Premier League | Valletta 4 – Pembroke Athleta 0

In a match completely dominated by Valletta, Paul Zammit’s side registered a 4-0 win over Pembroke Athleta as they keep the pace with Balzan and Hibernians.

Go Nagoka of Pembroke challenging Ryan Camilleri for the ball. Photo: Dominic Borg
Go Nagoka of Pembroke challenging Ryan Camilleri for the ball. Photo: Dominic Borg

Valletta made their intentions clear from the start and were close after two minutes. Umeh Uchenna Calistus sent a shot from the edge of the penalty area that went slightly wide.

Pembroke suffered a setback on the 12th minute as they were forced to make an early substitution since Owen Bugeja picked up an injury. Tyrone Fenech took his place.

Valletta also made an early substitution on the 19th minute when Llywelyn Cremona took Claudio Pani’s place.

Despite losing a key player as well, Valletta kept on showing their supremacy and went ahead on the 26th minute. Santiago Malano sent a cross inside the penalty area towards Luke Montebello who spectacularly placed the ball inside the net.

The citizens had another good opportunity on the 31st minute. Valdo Congalves Alihno attempted a shot from distance that sailed centimetres off target.

On the 39th minute, Calistus of Valletta hit a low shot that was neutralised by Matthew Calleja Cremona.

In the additional time given by the referee prior to half time, Valletta’s youngster Jean Borg sent a cross inside the penalty area that found Alihno whose header ended up marginally over.

Pembroke's only chance was created on the 49th minute. From a free kick, Stevan Racic hit a strong shot that was saved by Dziukas Bartkus.

Valletta hit back on the counter attack. Malano went on a good run that saw him going past Calleja Cremona, but his final shot was cleared by Pembroke’s defence. From the resulting corner, Maximiliano Velasco headed wide.

Paul Zammit’s side doubled their advantage on the 56th minute. Alihno sent Velasco through on goal and the latter finished past Calleja Cremona.

On the hour mark, Valletta were close once more. Calistus sent a cross in the direction of Montebello whose shot hit the side netting.

Four minutes later, Calistus sent another dangerous ball inside the penalty area that found Velasco unmarked. However, the Argentine striker fired high from close range.

Valletta scored again on the 73rd minute through Calistus. The Nigerian received the ball inside the penalty area and hit a low shot past Calleja Cremona.

A minute later, Valletta pushed forward again. This time it was Michael Mifsud who fired a low shot that went wide.

On the 77th minute, there was a special moment for Valletta’s supporters as Roderick Briffa was introduced in the match after a long injury spell. Briffa took Jonathan Caruana’s place.

On the 83rd minute, Valletta scored their fourth goal. Velasco sent an excellent pass towards Michael Mifsud who went through and placed the ball inside the net.

In the additional time, Mifsud delivered the ball towards Velasco who hit a low shot that was blocked by Calleja Cremona.

Valletta starting line-up: Dziugas Bartkus, Jonathan Caruana, Steve Borg, Ryan Camilleri, Santiago Malano, Luke Montebello, Jean Borg, Claudio Pani, Umeh Uchenna Calistus, Maximiliano Alejandro Velasco, Valdo Congalves Alihno

Pembroke Athleta starting line-up: Matthew Calleja Cremona, Owen Bugeja, Stevan Racic, Zoran Levnaic, Daniane Jawad, Go Nagaoka, Tonci Radovnikovic, Joseph Okonwo, Brooke Farrugia, Sunday Eboh, Iraklis Roppas

Referee: Philip Farrugia

Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Chris Francalanza

Fourth Official: Malcolm Spiteri

BOV Player of the Match: Valdo Congalves Alihno (Valletta)