A four-goal haul from Michael Mifsud helped Valetta FC cruise to an 8-0 triumph in their UEFA Champions League first qualifying round first leg at home to FC Lusitans.
The hosts exploded out of the blocks, with five goals in the first 23 minutes setting them on their way to the joint second biggest victory in UEFA Champions League history. The return leg takes place in Andorra next Tuesday.
It took just four minutes for Valletta to open the scoring, defender Jonathan Caruana heading in Jhonnattann's corner. The Brazilian was also the architect six minutes later, as his cross picked out Mifsud who headed in to double the lead. A man inspired, Jhonnattann then helped himself to a pair of goals – his efforts (16, 23) sandwiching Mifsud's second, as the Malta captain neatly rounded keeper Andrés Benitez.
On the stroke of half time ex-Lillestrøm SK and Coventry City FC forward Mifsud completed his hat-trick with a splendid goal from Roderick Briffa's assist – the sixth of a frenetic half.
Two more in three minutes lifted a more subdued second 45; Mifsud (70) again waltzing past the keeper to score from Briffa's assist, before Briffa set up Edmond Agius (72) to score the eighth goal and all but cement a place in the second qualifying round.
"Scoring four goals in such a competition is special," Mifsud told UEFA.com after the match. "But credit to the team. We were determined to do well from the start and it turned out to be a splendid win which augurs well for us in such a prestigious competition."