Val­letta halt Sliema’s un­beaten streak

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Sliema Wan­der­ers’ six-match un­beaten run came to an end yes­ter­day as they were de­feated by Val­letta at the start of the sec­ond round.

While Val­letta had all the mo­men­tum and most of the pos­ses­sion it was not a hugely con­vinc­ing performance by the cham­pi­ons but enough to over­come a stub­born Sliema side with two sec­ond half goals.

The match only got go­ing in the sec­ond half.

A cou­ple of sud­den darts or close shaves of­fered rare mo­ments of ex­cite­ment, apart from the three goals.

Val­letta won by boast­ing en­ergy and class in cen­tral mid­field and climb­ing their col­lec­tive qual­i­ties in a side not over-re­liant on one or two classy play­ers th­ese days. Fal­cone and Cre­mona were their scor­ers yes­ter­day.

They had cen­tre back Jonathan Caru­ana back af­ter miss­ing the clash against Ham­run Spar­tans, with Ro­mao mak­ing room.

Sliema were not al­lowed to ex­press their usual flu­ent at­tack­ing play yes­ter­day, no­tably be­cause they were sti­fled in mid­field.

No­table ab­sen­tees for Sliema were the not fully fit Alex Mus­cat and the sus­pended So­la­mon Wis­dom.

Both sides started with an of­fen­sive set-up. Fed­erico Fal­cone and Mic­a­heal Mif­sud started in Val­letta’s for­ward line. Jean Paul Far­ru­gia was flanked by Denni Dos San­tos in the Sliema side.

Sliema opened ner­vously but im­proved as the game wore on. The con­test was bereft of pre­ci­sion. Val­letta had some half chances in the first half but Mif­sud and Fal­cone failed to put them on tar­get.

Sliema, solid at the back but hardly ad­ven­tur­ous, were re­stricted to shoot from out­side the penalty area but that did hardly trou­ble Bartkus in the Val­letta goal.

No won­der the match re­mained score­less by half­time.

The sec­ond half be­gan with a sharper-look­ing Val­letta in

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