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BOV Premier League

Rampant Valletta crush Pieta Hotspurs

Shaun Dimech produced a man-of-the-match performance for Valletta. Photo: Domenic Aquilina

PIETÀ HOTSPURS        0

VALLETTA 6

Bevis 31; Dimech 40 pen.

Okpoveta 45; Pena Beltre 46

Sala 55; Nnomo 61

Pietà Hotspurs

D. Alampasu (15 R. Cini-4), S. Okoh-4, C. Bangura-4, I. Yasukaze-4, J. Ghio-5, T. Agius-5 (62 S. Mizzi-5), Y. Morita-5 (56 A. Schembri Wismayer-5), Z. Leonardi-5, G. Ogunbe-4, S. Camara-5 (62 A. Belibi-4), T. Yamaguchi-4.

Valletta

A. Guarnone-6, E. Ruiz-6, J. Borg-6, C. Gauci-6, S. Dimech-8 (73 I. Micallef), O. Akpoveta-7 (60 J.M. Nnomo-6.5), E. Pena Beltre-7 (68 S. Mackay), B. Kamdem-6 (68 J. Willy), B. Paiber-7, E. Sala-7, K. Bevis-7 (58 A. Zammit).

Referee Etienne Mangion.

Yellow cards Okoh, Ogunbe

BOV Player of the Match Shaun Dimech (Valletta).

Valletta scored three quick-fire goals in the first half to crush Pietà Hotspurs in a one-sided encounter at the Centenary Stadium.

The Citizens took some time to click into gear but once they surged ahead through Kilian Bevis there was no way back from the Hotspurs as the Lilywhites quickly wrapped up proceedings with two goals just before the break.

On the restart, the Hotspurs completely crumbled as Valletta added three more goals to complete the rout.

For Valletta, this was their first league win of the campaign after holding champions Hibernians in their league opener and no doubt coach Thane Micallef will be pleased to see his charges continue to grow in their performances.

Pieta Hotspurs were forced to make an early change on 15 minutes as goalkeeper Dele Alampasu picked up an injury and was replaced by Reeves Cini.

The Hotspurs had a great chance to take a shock lead on 19 minutes when Sekou Camara bamboozled Christian Gauci but fired wide with only Alessandro Guarnone to beat.

Valletta gradually came more into the picture and they finally found the breakthrough on 31 minutes.

Brandon Paiber was the mastermind as the Malta midfielder burst past two defenders on the right before serving Kilian Bevis and the former Birkirkara winger rifled the ball past Cini.

Seven minutes later, Valletta doubled their lead when Shaun Dimech released Enmy Pena Beltre inside the area but the latter was upended by Samuel Okoh.

From the resultant penalty, Dimech sent Cini the wrong way.

Valletta all but wrapped up the points on the stroke of half-time when Dimech tried to turn past his marker with the ball falling into the path of Oke Akpoveta who rammed the ball into the net.

On the restart, the Citizens took just 60 seconds to add a fourth goal when Gania Ogungbe deflected the ball into the path of Pena Beltre who fired past Cini.

Pieta finally threatened on 50 minutes when Ito Yaskuaze picked Yuto Morita inside the area but he fired over.

However, Valletta kept adding the goals as on 55 minutes Eslit Sala let fly a thundering drive that gave no chance to Cini.

A minute later, Guarnone denied Pieta a consolation goal when he kept out Camara’s header.

On the hour, substitute Jean Marie Nnomo was upended by Ogunbe inside the area and the City striker picked himself up to convert the resultant penalty.

Cini denied Valletta seventh goal when he thwarted the goal-bound Dimech.

PLAYING TODAY

CENTENARY STADIUM: 18.30 Marsaxlokk vs Mosta.

NATIONAL STADIUM: 18.30 Żebbuġ R. vs Birkirkara.

TONY BEZZINA STADIUM: Sirens vs Floriana.

TOMORROW

TONY BEZZINA STADIUM: 18.30 Santa Lucia vs Balzan.

PLAYING ON MONDAY

NATIONAL STADIUM: 18.30 Hibernians vs Ħamrun S.

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