BOV Premier League | Valletta 1 – Floriana 0

Miguel Angel Alba’s strike late in the game made all the difference as Valletta secured a narrow 1-0 win over neighbours Floriana.

Photo: Dominic Borg
Photo: Dominic Borg

During the first half, both sides failed to threaten each other as much of the play took place inside the centre of the pitch. In fact, each side only managed one opportunity on goal.

Valletta created the first chance of the match on the half hour mark. Enmy Pena Beltre’s cross filtered through Floriana’s defence and ended up in the path of Mario Fontanella who finished off target.

Floriana replied on the 37th minute. Juninho Cabral’s effort from a free-kick failed to hit the target.

The tempo of the match remained the same through-out the second half. However, as time went by, Valletta showed more intensity as they kept Floriana rooted inside their own half on a number of occasions.

Ini Etim Akpan denied Valletta on the 54th minute. Ibrahim Saleh went past Mohammed Saleh and hit a low shot that was blocked by Floriana’s custodian.

Valletta kept on insisting and went close again on the 72nd minute. Substitute Kyrian Nwoko tried his luck from distance, but his shot was neutralised by Akpan.

Five minutes later, Fontanella served Alba and the latter saw his shot being saved by Akpan.

This was the prelude for the goal as Valletta forged ahead on the 81st minute. Alba received the ball from Nwoko and drilled a low shot from the edge of the penalty area that ended up past Akpan.

Floriana hit back immediately. Cabral fired a strong shot from inside the penalty area that was pushed away by Henry Bonello.

On the 85th minute, Valletta’s substitute Bogdan Gavrila went round two players down the right side and attempted to place the ball inside the net. However, his effort was parried by Akpan.

Valletta remained solid during the remaining minutes as they held on to take an important win which put them just two points below Gżira.

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

Floriana starting line-up: Ini Etim Akpan, Mohammed Saleh, Steve Pisani, Clyde Borg, Maurizio Vella, Juninho Cabral, Clayton Failla, Jurgen Pisani, Tiago Silva da Galvao, Arthur Henrique Oyama, Emerson Marcelina

Referee: Philip Farrugia

Assistant Referees: Luke Portelli, William Debattista

Fourth Official: Stefan Pace

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

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