Strong Valletta wins derby 2-0

Saturday, March 31, 2012, 15:19

by Joshua Cacciattolo

Goals from William Barbosa and Denni Dos Santos gave Valletta a 2-0 win over rival Floriana in Saturday’s first match at the National Stadium Ta Qali, thus extending their lead at the top of the Maltese Premier League to six points under the eyes of UEFA President Michel Platini. Platini only watched from the VIP the first part of the game before making the trip to Gozo to sleep over at the San Lawrenz Hotel.

The result means that Valletta remain at the top with 38 points. Floriana are fourth on 24 points with both on 26 games.

Valletta had the better start, with Mifsud going close. He forced Floriana goalkeeper Patrick Jensen into a sharp save from close range.

William Barbosa opened the scoring in the 13th minute after curling home a spicy freekick.

It was again Valletta who added a second goal on the 25th minute when Denni Dos Ssntos rounded Jensen to score in an empty line.

Valletta coach Jesmond Zerafa opted for the usual 4-2-3-1 formation as Brazilian Denni Dos Santos, Oussain Zongo and last season’s Footballer of the Year Roderick Briffa started behind lone striker Michael Mifsud. Nigerian Alfred Effiong was still ruled out after he was was sent off two weeks ago against Birkirkara.

Floriana’s new coach Joe Brincat opted for a defensive 4-5-1 formation as Pablo Doffo, Ivan Woods and Joseph Borg started as central midfielders. 26 year old Ryan Darmanin started as lone striker supported by Onome Sodje and John Mintoff from the wings. Floriana released striker Arilson Da Silva during the week.

First Half

13min: William Barbosa scores a superb free kick as he gave no chance to Patrick Jansen.

25min: Valletta midfielder Ouusain Zongo’s powerful low shot hit the post.

28min: Denni Dos Santos doubles the score as he rounded goalkeeper Patrick Jansen after he was assisted by Ouusain Zongo before placing the ball in an empty net.

Second Half

78min: Pabo Doffo free kick was off target.

Valletta: A.Hogg, S.Madi, J.Caruana, S.Borg, I.Azzopardi, E.Agius, W.Barbosa, D.Dos Santos, O.Zongo (G.Agius), M.Mifsud (T.Scerri), R.Briffa (R.Bajada)

Floriana: P.Jansen (M.Bartolo 59min), M.Licari, E.Okoto, T.Paris, M.Micallef, J.Mintoff, P.Doffo, J.Borg, I.Woods, O.Sodje, R.Darmanin (A.Grabowski 59min)

Scores: W.Barbosa, D.Dos Santos (F)

Referees: Clayton Pisani

Yellow Cards: E.Agius, J.Mintoff, P.Doffo, J.Borg

BOV Player of the Match:  Denni Dos Santos

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