Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Valletta, Hibernians show no let-up in title race
Mar 12, 2017
Posted in:
General
BOV Premier League
Roderick Briffa made his comeback following long lay-off.
Roderick Briffa made his comeback following long lay-off.

  • Roderick Briffa made his comeback following long lay-off.
  • Hibs' forward Gilmar tried an overhead kick.

Champions Valletta and Hibernians maintained their title challenge with identical 4-0 victories over struggling duo Pembroke Athleta and Mosta respectively on Saturday.


In the opening match at the National Stadium, a stunning overhead kick by Luke Montebello, from Santiago Malano’s cross, after just 26 minutes paved the way for Valletta’s win, their eighth positive result in a row.

 

Valdo Goncalves Alhino had two efforts going wide before the end of the first half.

 

Valletta opened strongly in the second half and Maximilian Velasco had two chances to double their lead but missed the target.

 

Eleven minutes into the second half, Alhino supplied a through-pass to Velasco who came face to face with Matthew Calleja Cremona, the Pembroke goalkeeper, and duly slotted the ball home.

 

Umeh Uchenna Calistus hit the third goal for Valletta 17 minutes from the end, finishing a solo move with a low shot that Calleja Cremona was unable to hold.

 

With 13 minutes left, midfielder Roderick Briffa made his long-awaited comeback after as long injury lay-off. The current MFA Footballer of the Year tried to mark his return with a goal but his long-range shot was high.

 

Substitute Michael Mifsud scored Valletta’s fourth goal, his first since returning following a back operation, on 83 minutes when he flicked past Calleja Cremona after another fine pass from Malano as Valletta warmed up for their crucial match against Balzan on Friday in style.

 

GILMAR SHINES

Hibernians replicated Valletta’s win as they trounced second-from-bottom Mosta by four goals to open a two-point gap on Balzan ahead of the latter’s tricky match against Floriana this afternoon. 

 

Mark Miller's team took the lead after just eight minutes when captain Clayton Failla passed the ball to Brazilian Gilmar Ribeiro Da Silva who scored with an outstanding shot.

 

Eight minutes later, Hibernians made it 2-0. From Gilmar’s freekick, the ball fell to Jorge Da Silva Pereira whose effort took a deflection and rolled into the net.

 

On the half-hour, the match was as good as over as Hibs went 3-0 up. A long through-pass from Bjorn Kristensen bounced in front of Mosta goalkeeper Yenz Cini and sailed into the net after the latter appeared to have been unsettled by Jurgen Degabriele’s run into the box.

 

Hibs rounded the scoring on 53 minutes when Marcelo Dias sent in a cross from the right and Gilmar hit the ball home for his second of the game.

 

LAST-GASP WINNER FOR SLIEMA

Sliema Wanderers bounced back from successive defeats to Valletta and Hibernians as they notched a late winner in their clash with neighbours Gżira United at the Hibernians Stadium.

 

A tight match was decided by Gabriel Aquilina who scored the all-important goal a minute from time.

 

This win puts Sliema in an even more comfortable mid-table position in sixth place.

 

The Maroons, on the other hand, slipped to third from bottom but are nine points ahead of Mosta and 11 clear of bottom-placed Pembroke.

 


ST ANDREWS DOWN TARXIEN

 

St Andrews returned to winning ways after winning their match against Tarxien Rainbows courtesy of Michael Johnson’s headed goal just before half-time.

 

This was the first league win for the Saints in three months while Tarxien slipped to their fourth consecutive 1-0 defeat.

 

St Andrews are now level with Ħamrun Spartans on the 27 point-mark but the latter have a game in hand. The Spartans face Birkirkara in Sunday’s second game at the National Stadium.

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