Malta Football Association
Borg and Velasco on target as Valletta take 2-0 lead
Jun 30, 2017
Posted in:
BOV Premier League
Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

  • Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
  • Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
  • Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

Borg 41; Velasco 48




Goals from Steve Borg and Argentine striker Max Velasco either side of half-time gave Valletta a
2-0 win in the first leg of their Europa League first qualifying round tie against San Marino side SS Folgore at the Hibernians Stadium.

The 2-0 advantage strengthens Valletta’s chances of setting up an encounter with Dutch club FC Utrecht in the second qualifying round.


Serbian coach Zoran Popovic made his debut at the helm of Valletta while Malta international Joseph Zerafa also made his first appearance for the Whites following his close-season move from Birkirkara.


In the first half, both teams struggled to cope with the heat and play was mainly restricted to the midfield.


The first shot on goal arrived on 34 minutes when Valletta’s Romeu Romau just missed the target.


Four minutes from half-time, Steve Borg put Valletta ahead with a fine header from a corner.


Right after the restart, Romao had another opportunity but his shot from just outside the box was high.


Three minutes into the second half Valletta made it 2-0. Uchenna Umeh’s through-ball released Velasco who fired a low shot into the net.


With 64 minutes on the clock, Kyrian Nwoko made his debut for Valletta, replacing goalscorer Velasco.


Michael Mifsud was Valletta’s most dangerous player in the closing stages as the Malta captain made a series of menacing runs.


On the stroke of time, Folgore goalkeeper Luca Bianchi punched away a shot from Mifsud.


It is worth noting that Zerafa played his 21st match in the Europa League to leapfrog former Birkirkara striker Chucks Nwoko at the top of the appearances classification for Maltese players in this UEFA competition.


Henry Bonello, Steve Borg, Ryan Camilleri, Juan Cruz Gill, Joseph Zerafa, Claudio Pani, (Roderick Briffa 90), Romeu Romao, Uchenna Umeh, (Jean Borg 81), Santiago Malano, Michael Mifsud, Maximilian Velasco (Kyrian Nwoko 64).


Luca Bianchi, Francesco Sartori (Manuel Iuzzolino 84), Christofer Genestreti, Alberto Semprini, Cristian Brolli, Andrea Nucci, Luca Bezzi, Alessandro Bianchi, (Nicolo Venerucci 77), Luca Paradisi, Ramiro Martin Lago, Marco Bernardi (Stefano Sacco 82).


Referee: Denis Scherbakov (Belarus).


Yellow cards: Genestreti; Zerafa; J.Borg.


Attendance: 1,141.

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