BOV Premier League | Pieta` Hotspurs 0 – Valletta 4

Valletta found no difficulty against Pieta` Hotspurs as four goals inside the first half earned them a 4-0 win over Ramon Zammit’s side.

Photo: Christine Borg
Photo: Christine Borg

Valletta were coming from a convincing 4-1 win against Balzan and thus were looking to extend their run of excellent results. After losing the opening two matches, Danilo Doncic’s side never looked back and secured four consecutive wins .

On the other hand, following a series of positive performances, Pieta` were also looking to gain some momentum as they registered a 3-1 win over Mosta prior to the international break. This was Pieta`s first win of the campaign.

The odds were definitely in favour of Valletta. In fact, Pieta` had to produce a solid display in order to deny the Maltese champions. However, the newly promoted side showed more than once that they could make life difficult for high profile teams.

Pieta` created the first chance of the match after five minutes. Gabriel Mensah sent Shunsuke Nakamura through on the left and the latter ran inside the penalty area before hitting a shot that went slightly wide.

Valletta hit back and went ahead on the 11th minute. After receiving a long ball from Steve Borg, Minguel Angel Alba went past a defender and delivered the ball towards Mario Fontanella whose low shot from inside the penalty area went past Nicholas George Vella.

Fontanella nearly added another for Valletta on the 15th minute. The Italian striker hit a powerful shot that stamped off the woodwork.

On the 19th minute, Matteo Piciollo of Valletta tried his luck from distance, but his effort ended up slightly off target.

The Hotspurs replied a minute later through Mensah. The Ghanaian forward went on a good run inside the penalty and hit a low shot that was blocked by Henry Bonello.

However, Fontanella doubled Valletta’s advantage on the 23rd minute. Alba’s cross from the right was met by the twenty-nine year old whose header gave Vella no chance.

Valletta added another goal on the 28th minute. Piciollo’s shot from outside the penalty area was pushed away by Vella. Rebound went into the path of Bojan Kaljevic who headed the ball inside the net.

The Citizens scored their fourth goal five minutes later. Fontanella was floored inside the penalty area by Antonio Orlando Macedo leaving the referee with no option but to point towards the spot. From the eleven metres mark, Alba made no mistake.

Moments later, Alba went once more inside the penalty area down the right flank and sent a shot that was blocked by Vella.

Piciollo went close again on the 41st minute. The Italian midfielder fired a shot that went marginally over.

Seconds later, Alba’s long range effort sailed centimetres off target as the first half ended 4-0 in favour of Valletta.

During the second half, Valletta were happy to control possession without showing any urgency to go forward. On the other hand, Pieta` were conscious that the game was over for them as it seemed that their only aim was not to concede more goals.

As a matter of fact, the next chance on goal was created by Valletta on the 75th minute. Picciolo attempted a shot from the edge of the penalty area that took a deflection of a defender and landed on the roof of the net.

Pieta` finally reacted on the 79th minute. Mensah’s shot from the left was tipped behind for a corner by Bonello.

Alba was denied by Vella on the 90th minute. The Argentine midfielder went inside the penalty area and hit a shot that was saved by Vella. From the rebound, Fontanella finished wide from close range.

Following this result, Valletta will momentarily climb second ahead of Sliema while Pieta` remain twelfth.

Pieta` Hotspurs starting line-up: Nicholas George Vella, Takaki Ose, Travis Bartolo, Neil Pace Cocks, Jan Busuttil, Gabriel Mensah, Juan Munual Roa Artiaga, Christian Grech, Shunsuke Nakamura, Irimiya Ishaya Jalo, Antonio Orlando Macedo

Valletta starting line-up: Henry Bonello, Steve Borg, Ryan Camilleri, Santiago Malano, Matteo Picciolo, Joseph Zerafa, Ibrahim Raed Saleh, Rowen Muscat, Miguel Angel Alba, Bojan Kaljevic, Mario Fontanella

Referee: Darryl Agius

Assistant Referees: Roberto Vella, Paul Apap

Fourth Official: Emmanuel Grech

BOV Player of the Match: Miguel Angel Alba (Valletta)

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