Daniel Nwoke was the hero for Floriana as he scored twice on his debut in a 3-1 win over Hamrun Spartans. A win which puts them in third place, two points behind Tarxien Rainbows who however have a game in hand.
For the Spartans, this was a disappointing performance as they hardly tested goalkeeper Lofti Saidi throughout the ninety minutes.
Besides Nwoke, Floriana had another player making his debut – Bulgarian striker Dragan Draganov. Hamrun, on the other hand, lacked the suspended Massimo Grima and the injured Dene Shields.
The Greens held the initiative in the opening minutes, going close with a low shot by Daniel Nwoke from the left which was blocked by the Hamrun goalkeeper and then with an Ivan Woods effort from close range when served with a Nwoke header.
Floriana finally managed to take the lead on 28 minutes when off a Pablo Doffo cross from the right, an erratic clearance by Lee James Agius turned out to be an excellent pass for Brian Said to hit the ball home from close range.
Hamrun replied with a fine Ryan Fenech freekick which was turned into a corner by Lofti Saidi on the half hour.
The Greens doubled the score four minutes from the end of the first half when Ivan Woods sent Daniel Nwoke through and the latter hit hard past goalkeeper Omar Borg from just inside the area.
Two minutes later, Ivan Woods could have increased the lead further but his conclusion from outside the area ended just wide following a pass by Duncan Pisani.
Eleven minutes in the second half, Floriana sealed the issue with a third goal when Daniel Nwoke, served by Duncan Pisani, chested the ball down on the right before beating Omar Borg with a cute lob from the edge of the area.
The Greens continued to hold the initiative and off a cross by Clyde Borg, Ivan Woods served Christian Caruana whose conclusion was neutralised by Omar Borg. Draganov then released Caruana on the right inside the area but the latter hit just wide. On 77 minutes, following a good move by Woods on the left, he served substitute Marcal Guerreiro who controlled the ball before hitting wide.
Hamrun scored a consolation goal seven minutes from time when Marcelo Pereira released Ryan Fenech on the left and off the latter’s pass, Gaetan Spiteri tapped the ball home from close range.
In added time, the Spartans could have added another but a Ryan Fenech freekick hit the crossbar.
Daniel Nwoke was voted BOV Player of the Match.
FLORIANA Lofti Saidi, Brian Said, Manolito Micallef, Duncan Pisani, Tyrone Farrugia, Pablo Doffo, Christian Cassar (22′ Clyde Borg), Ivan Woods, Dragomir Draganov, Christian Caruana (81′ Sacha Borg), Daniel Nwoke (60′ Marcal Guerreiro Fernandes).
Subs not used: John Agius, Alan Abela, Joseph Borg, Owen Bugeja.
Coach: Michael Woods
Assistant Coach: Todor Raykov
HAMRUN Omar Borg, Roderick Fenech (46′ Jonathan Holland), Ryan Fenech, Lee James Agius (46′ Rupert Mangion), Marcelo Pereira, Gaetan Spiteri, Jovan Vukanic, Martin Hrubsa, David Camilleri, Steve Bonnici (60′ Aaron Attard), Peter Anizoba.
Subs not used: Ivan Casha, Mark Anthony Bonnici, Mead Mifsud, Clyde Camoin.
Coach: Steve D’Amato
Assistant Coach: Victor Cassar
Referee: Clayton Pisani
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Paul Apap
Fourth Official: Paul Caruana
Yellow Cards: Vukanic, Pisani, Spiteri, Mangion, Saidi, C. Borg
Scorers: 28′ Brian Said, 41′ Daniel Nwoke, 56′ Daniel Nwoke; 83′ Gaetan Spiteri