Day 24: Valletta 3 Qormi 1
Ten-man Valletta held off a second-half fightback from bottom-placed Qormi to held on to a 3-1 win at the National Stadium.
The Citizens quickly seized the initiative and they took the lead after nine minutes when Roderick Briffa, who was making a return from suspension, hit a powerful angled shot from inside the area that gave no chance to Qormi goalkeeper Matthew Farrugia.
Qormi were rattled and Valletta doubled their lead on 23 minutes when from a corner action Shaun Bajada found Steve Borg on the near post and the City defender headed past Farrugia.
Qormi were handed a way back into the match on 37 minutes when Villalobos released Effiong with a fine througball but the towering forward was brought down in the area by Borg.
Referee Clayton Pisani pointed to the spot and showed the red card to the City defender as he deemed that he had obstructed a clear scoring opportunity.
But from the spot Marcelinho saw his effort blocked by the diving Marino.
Despite being with a player less Valletta killed off the match with a third goal on the stroke of half-time when Ryan Fenech’s delivery was not cleared by Alejandro Mendoza and Briffa was on hand to scramble the ball into the net.
Valletta conceded the initiative to Qormi who enjoyed long spells of possession but found it difficult to break down the solid City defence.
On 58 minutes, Effiong picked Nilsson who quickly returned the ball to his team-mate who however was denied by the onrushing Marino.
Qormi were awarded a second penalty six minutes later when Briffa upended Effiong inside the area.
This time it was Effiong who took responsibility and he cooly despatched his shot past Marino.
Valletta midfielder Roderick Briffa was voted as the BOV Player of the match.
VALLETTA – P. Marino, R. Camilleri, H. Barry (D. Leeflang), J. Caruana, L. Cremona, I. Azzopardi, A. Nafti (I. Hillary), S. Bajada (H. Alkamali), S. Borg, R. Fenech, R. Briffa.
QORMI – M. Farrugia, A. Mendoza, M. Lima De Mattos, A. Effiong, C. Gauci, G. Villalobos, Z. Levniac, D. Pisani (R. Fenech), J. Bondin (J. Chetcuti), B. Bemtsson (A. Nillson), L. Grech.
Date: 01.03.15 Time: 16:00 Venue: National Stadium
Scorers: 9′, 45′ R. Briffa, 24′ S. Borg (V), 66′ A. Effiong (Q)
Yellow Cards: B. Berntsson, A. Nillson, R. Micallef (Q), P. Marino (V)
Red Card: S. Borg (V)
Man of Match: R. Briffa (V)
Referee: C. Pisani