Valletta lose in Tripoli friendly
Updated 10 p.m. -
Valletta suffered a 4-3 defeat to Libyan side Al Ahly in a friendly match, played at the Tripoli Stadium this evening.
A flowing, open game was characterised by three penalties, two for the home side and one for Valletta, and a litany of substitutions in the second half.
Valletta took an early lead when Brazilian striker Leandro poked home from close range after receiving from William Barbosa.
Al Ahly equalised on 25 minutes when they were awarded a penalty after Ian Azzopardi appeared to bring down the sprinting Firas Jumma in the box. Mohamed Essa made no mistake from the spot.
The Citizens regained the lead eight minutes from half-time when Edmond Agius finished off a sweeping move with a low strike but, in the dying stages of the first half, Al Ahly levelled again when Mohamed Alghanoodi scored with a direct free-kick that went in via the crossbar.
Two goals early in the second half punished some hesitant defending by Valletta as Alghanoodi got his second after bursting through the City defence and Mahmood Bahir converted a penalty on 63 minutes.
Valletta got back into the game when Michael Mifsud, a second-half substitute, hit home from the spot after Denni had been fouled in the box.
The match commemorated Al Ahly's 62nd anniversary. The league in Libya has yet to restart after the revolution but Al Ahly have been trying to keep themselves in shape by playing a series of friendlies.