Malta Football Association
Gritty Lions frustrate Valletta in goalless stalemate
Sep 11, 2017
Posted in:
BOV Premier League
Photos: Joe Borg/MFA
Photos: Joe Borg/MFA

  • Photos: Joe Borg/MFA
  • Photos: Joe Borg/MFA

VALLETTA          0


Valletta failed to extend their 100 per cent start to the season as they were held to a goalless draw by the much-improved Naxxar Lions in Sunday’s second match.

While Lions picked up their first point of the season after back-to-back defeats, Valletta dropped their first two points after identical 1-0 victories over Mosta and Senglea Athletic.


New Naxxar Lions coach Stuart Watkiss named new signings Austrian goalkeeper Christoph Nicht, Senegalese defender Ndoye Elhadji Oussenyou, English midfielder Scott Fenwick and Argentine striker Daniel Mateo Bustos in his starting XI.


Italian striker Matteo Piciollo made his first start for Valletta.


Valletta had the better opportunities with Michael Mifsud missing an open chance early in the first half after being put through by Piciollo.


Naxxar also threatened after the break as Fenwick powered past two defenders but he was blocked by the on-rushing Henry Bonello.


Raed Saleh was wide for Valletta who also hit the woodwork when Ryan Camilleri’s drive from Claudio Pani’s corner came off the crossbar with 20 minutes left.


LIJA ATHLETIC           2


Newly-promoted sides Senglea Athletic and Lija Athletic went head-to-head at the National Stadium on Sunday.


A balanced and entertaining game saw Senglea emerge victorious by the odd goal in five but they were nearly made to pay for missing a penalty in the second half as Lija refused to give up.


Senglea were off to a flying start. They forged ahead after just nine minutes thanks to Nicola Palmieri’s well-placed shot and, barely a minute later, Augusto Rene Caseres doubled their lead.


Lija dragged themselves back into the match on 21st minute when Nigerian Abubakar Bello Osagie concluded a surging run with a low strike that had the better of Timothy Aquilina in the Senglea goal.


On 66 minutes, Senglea were awarded a penalty after Caseres was brought down in the box by Leon Muscat but Palmieri’s shot was pushed away by Lija goalkeeper Luke Bonnici.


Three minutes later, Senglea went 3-1 up when Caseres headed home from Ivan Paz’s cross.


Lija set up a tense finale as Erjon Beu converted a penalty on 77 minutes after the Albanian had been floored by Hubert Vella.

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