BOV Premier League | Sliema Wanderers 1 – Valletta 3

Valletta secured their first win of the season as they registered a 3-1 win over Sliema Wanderers.

Photo: Dominic Borg
Photo: Dominic Borg

Both Sliema and Valletta came into this match looking to win their first points of the campaign. Valletta were shocked by Santa Lucia on Friday. On the other end, Sliema were defeated by Balzan a day later.

The Wanderers made a good start to the match and lost a promising opportunity after just four minutes. Following a cross from the right, the ball filtered through Valletta’s defence in the direction of Jose Pereira who fired over from close range.

Valletta replied on the 8th minute. Yuri Messias drilled a low shot from outside the penalty area that went marginally off target.

As time went by, Valletta grew more in the game and managed to put Sliema under heavy pressure.

Their efforts paid off on the 21st minute. Messias delivered a cross that was cleared by Sliema’s defence. Enmy Pena Beltre took hold of the ball and fired a stunning shot that gave Jake Galea no chance.

Five minutes later, Messias drilled a low shot from outside the penalty area that hit the side netting.

Sliema threatened Valletta on the 29th minute. Kurt Show sent a shot from distance that was parried by Henry Bonello.

Moments later, Claudio Pani delivered a cross that was met by Jean Paul Farrugia whose header sailed centimetres wide.

Darren Abdilla was forced to make a substitution on the 35th minute. Douglas Pecker suffered an injury and had to be replaced by Shaun Dimech.

Sliema equalised on the 37th minute. Rowen Muscat lost possession and the ball rolled in the direction of Mark Scerri. Sliema’s captain sent a through ball towards Juri Cisotti whose shot from the edge of the penalty area ended up behind Bonello.

Abdilla had to change another player on the 38th minute as Pena Beltre also suffered an injury. Joseph Zerafa took his place.

Valletta were unlucky not to regain the lead on the 41st minute. Following a free-kick, Dimech managed to place the ball inside the net. However, the goal was ruled out as the assistant referee raised his flag for an offside in what can be considered as a very controversial decision.

The holding champions made a bright start to the second half and regained their lead on the 50th minute. Messias and Picciolo exchanged possession with the latter finishing past Galea.

Sliema hit back on the 62nd minute. Following a free-kick, the ball fell for Sansone whose close range effort was blocked by Bonello.

Alfonso Greco’s side also had a goal disallowed on the 76th minute. Following some fine movements, Stanimir Miloskovic managed to put the ball inside the net. However, Jean Paul Farrugia was in front of the goalkeeper and in an offside position. The assistant referee raised his flag for an offside as the Maltese forward obstructed Bonello’s view.

Valletta nearly scored again on the 79th minute. Dimech went on a good run before passing the ball towards Fontanella. The Italian attempted to place the ball home, but his effort went slightly off target.

Messias sealed the three points for Valletta two minutes into the additional time. The Brazilian forward hit a thumping shot from the edge of the penalty area that sailed inside the net.

Sliema Wanderers starting line-up: Jake Galea, Michele Sansone, Antonio Stelitano, Mark Scerri, Kurt Shaw, Jose Pereira (John Montoff-72), Ryan Fenech (Seydou Sow-52), Juri Cisotti (Stanimir Miloskovic-62), Juan Gill Cruz, Claudio Pani, Jean Paul Farrugia

Valletta starting line-up: Henry Bonello, Steve Borg, Ryan Camilleri, Matteo Picciolo (Kevin Tulimieri-77), Jean Borg, Douglas Pecker (Shaun Dimech- 35), Enmy Manuel Pena Beltre (Joseph Zerafa – 38), Nicholas Pulis, Ryan Muscat, Mario Fontanella, Yuri Messias

Referee: Mario

Assistant Referees: Christopher Francalanza, Paul Apap

Fourth Official: Ishmael Barbara

BOV Player of the Match: Yuri Messias (Valletta)

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