Daniel Nwoke scored against his former team as Qormi and Floriana earned a point each in a 1-1 draw at the Hibernians Stadium on Friday.
Floriana, therefore join Hibernians on top the BOV Premier League table but the Paolites have a game in hand.
Qormi once again could not count on foreigners Christos Karamanolis and Giuseppe Vela and Jonathan Bondin. Floriana, on the other hand, were in full strength.
The Greens held the initiative in the opening minutes but Qormi went close to taking the lead on 15 minutes with an Abubakar Bello-Osagie header ending just wide. Floriana replied with a good pass by Christian Caruana for Ivan Woods on the right but the latter’s diagonal shot scraped past the post.
A freekick by Woods ended wide on 18 minutes and four minutes later, Christian Caruana had a first attempt from the left blocked by Matthew Farrugia and off the rebound, Caruana’s second shot was deflected into a corner by a defender.
Qormi, however, managed to take the lead on 25 minutes when off a cross from the right by Sciberras, former Floraina striker Daniel Nwoke’s conclusion was deflected by a defender with the ball ending at the back of the net.
Floriana hit back with a powerful shot by Christian Cassar from just outside the area ending high on 33 minutes. Two minutes later, a Jorge da Silva Pereira rising shot from the left for Qormi ended just over the bar.
After the break, the Greens went all out in search of the equaliser and on the 50th, in a counter-attack for Floriana, John Mintoff rounded goalkeeper Matthew Farrugia but his angled shot missed the target.
Floriana levelled matters on 69 minutes when off a cross from the left, Tyrone Farrugia managed to beat the Qormi custodian with a fine header from close range.
Daniel Nwoke could have restored the lead for Qormi on 77 minutes when the ball fell at his feet following a deflection but his conclusion hit the foot of the post.
Christian Caruana was voted BOV Player of the Match.
QORMI Matthew Farrugia, Jeffrey Chetcuti (65’ Joseph Chetcuti), Roderick Sammut, Matthew Bartolo, Joseph Farrugia, Luke Sciberras (74’ Dino Cachia), Kenneth Scicluna, Jorge Pereira da Silva, Stephen Wellman, Abubakar Bello-Osagie, Daniel Nwoke.
Subs not used: Steve Sultana, Carmelo Farrugia, Charlon Sammut, Gabriel Buttigieg, Steve Agius.
Coach: Stephen Azzopardi
Technical Advisor: Steve D’Amato
FLORIANA Manuel Bartolo, Owen Bugeja, Manolito Micallef, Tyrone Farrugia, Duncan Pisani, Pablo Doffo (71’ Clyde Borg), Ivan Woods, Chrsitian Cassar, John Mintoff (55’ Joseph Okonkwo), Christian Caruana, Boris Odwong (72’ Joseph Borg).
Subs not used: William Amamoo, Thomas Paris, Andrew Spiteri, Ryan Darmanin.
Coach: Michael Woods
Assistant Coach: Frank Schembri
Referee: Clayton Pisani
Assistant referees: William Debattista, Paul Apap
Fourth official: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Yellow Cards: Mintoff, Sciberras, Nwoke, Pisani, J. Farrugia, Bugeja
Scorers: 25’ Daniel Nwoke; 69’ Tyrone Farrugia
In the second match, Birkirkara returned to winning ways as they defeated Marsaxlokk 2-1.
The Stripes move fifth, on level points with Qormi, three points behind Hibernians and Floriana. For Marsaxlokk, on the other hand, this was the fourth defeat in six matches.
Leading Birkirkara from the bench was Peter Pullicino who played for Marsaxlokk until last season.
Marsaxlokk welcomed back defender Clive Brincat after serving a three-match ban. Coach Winston Muscat once again preferred young goalkeeper Christian Cassar to Reuben Gauci.
The Stripes had the first attempt at goal with a Rodrigo Pereira freekick from the left ending just wide on the 3rd minute. The Brazilian defender went close once again on 25 minutes, hitting the woodwork from close range. On the other side of the pitch, Obinna Obiefule had a diagonal shot from the right deflected into a corner on 28 minutes.
Five minutes in the second half, Obiefule missed a good chance when off a cross by Lattes from the right, his close-range shot was blocked by Jorge Mora.
Birkirkara finally managed to break the deadlock on 58 minutes thanks to a direct freekick by Rodrigo Pereira who gave goalkeeper Christian Cassar no chance.
In a swift counter-attack for Marsaxlokk, Trevor Templeman had a shot from inside the area blocked on the goal-line by Obiefule on 61 minutes. Five minutes later, the same Marsaxlokk midfielder concluded a solo effort with a shot from outside the area ending wide.
The Stripes doubled the score on 71 minutes with a great goal by Moises Avila Perez whose over-head kick beat the Marsaxlokk custodian following a cross by Leighton Grech from the right.
Three minutes in added time, substitute Dylan Kokavessis pulled one back for Marsaxlokk with a rising shot from outside the area.
Moises Avila Perez was voted BOV Player of the Match.
M’XLOKK Christian Cassar, Carlo Mamo, Patrick Borg (69’ Dylan Kokavessis), Malcolm Licari, Florent Raimy, Carlos Campagnoli, Trevor Templeman (85’ Jonathan Xerri), Emiliano Lattes, Martin Deanov, Obinna Obiefule, Clive Brincat.
Subs not used: Reuben Gauci, Sunday Eboh, Stefan Cutajar, Modesto Valeriani, Jean Claude Vella.
Coach: Winston Muscat
Assistant Coach: Darren Abdilla
B’KARA Jorge Mora, Rodrigo Pereira, Gareth Sciberras, Paul Fenech, Trevor Cilia, Andrew Decesare, Moises Aila Perez, Leighton Grech (81’ Terence Vella), Angus Buhagiar (29’ Joseph Zerafa), Shola Shodiya (71’ Alan Tabone), Rowen Muscat.
Subs not used: Karl Magri, Ryan Scicluna, Ryan Camenzuli.
Coach: Peter Pullicino
Referee: Glenn Tonna
Assistant referees: Konrad Borg, Alan Camilleri
Fourth official: Marco Borg
Yellow Cards: Brincat, Zerafa, Decesare, Grech
Scorers: 58’ Rodrigo Pereira, 71’ Moises Avila Perez; 90+3′ Dylan Kokavessis