A brace by Amadou Samb within the first ten minutes paved the way for Floriana as they beat Zebbug Rangers 4-1 at the Victor Tedesco Stadium. A win which puts them on the 21-point mark.
Samb, who was back for the Greens after serving a one-match, however ruined his performance as he was sent off in the dying minutes.
For the Greens, Sacha Borg and Clyde Borg were ruled out through suspension. Zebbug, on the other hand, were in full strength.
Floriana managed to take the lead on the 4th minute when Amadou Samb, served with a perfect backheel pass by Vito Plut, beat goalkeeper Fabricio Rapchan with a shot from a close angle.
The Greens doubled the score six minutes later when off a Steve Pisani freekick, Amadou Samb headed the ball home past the Zebbug goalkeeper.
One minute in the second half, Conor Borg almost made it 3-0 as he received a pass by Piciollo but his conclusion from the edge of the area ended just over the bar.
Zebbug pulled one back on the 70th thanks to Mauricio Rodrigues Britto who concluded a solo effort with a shot which beat goalkeeper Neil Spiteri.
Eight minutes later, Floriana restored a two-goal lead as Matteo Piciollo sped past Jacob Borg on the left flank and served Vito Plut who slotted the ball past the Brazilian goalkeeper.
The Greens increased the lead on the 81st when Matteo Piciollo exchanged the ball with Vito Plut and the Italian striker hit low past Fabricio Rapchan.
Two minutes from time, Floriana were reduced to ten men after Amadou Samb picked a second yellow card following an argument with Mauricio Britto.
ZEBBUG Fabricio Rapchan dos Santos Morales, Jacob Borg, Yessous Camilleri, Lee Galea, Thomas Paris, Carlo Gordon Monti, Matias Muchardi, Mauricio Osmar Rodrigues Britto, Matthew Bartolo, Bojan Mamic (68′ Luis Pena Marquez), Matthew Gauci (69′ Miguel Ciantar).
Subs not used: Jeffrey Farrugia, Lee James Agius, Bjorn Chetcuti, Jonathan Xerri, Shawn Borg.
Coach: Alfonso Greco
FLORIANA Tyrone Gauci, Andre Scicluna (29′ Neil Spiteri), Douglas Felipe Moreira Cobo, Emerson Marcelina (76′ Gary Muir), Steve Pisani, Vito Plut, Matteo Piciollo (90′ Brooke Farrugia), Conor Borg, Emanuel Briffa, Amadou Samb, Steve Bonnici.
Subs not used: Andrew Zammit, Giovanni Galea, Isaac Galea, Daniel Agius.
Coach: Giovanni Tedesco
Referee: Esther Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Roberto Vela, Jurgen Spiteri
Additional Assistant Referees: Marco Borg, Sandro Spiteri
Fourth Official: Duncan Sultana
Yellow Cards: S. Pisani, L. Galea, M. Gauci, A. Samb, M. Britto
Red Cards: 88′ Amadou Samb
Scorers: 4′ Amadou Samb, 6′ Amadou Samb, 70′ Mauricio Britto, 78′ Vito Plut
BOV Player of the Match: Matteo Piciollo
Meanwhile at the Hibernians Stadium, Tarxien Rainbows returned to winning ways as they beat Naxxar Lions courtesy of a goal by the returning Firas Aboulezz. Aboulezz was making his first appearance for the Rainbows after an absence of two months.
For the Rainbows, this was the first win after three draws and five defeats in the last eight matches. They move just one point behind Naxxar who were suffering the second defeat in three matches.
The Rainbows went close to taking the lead on the 16th with a Clebinho effort from outside the area ending high. Six minutes later, Tristin Caruana just missed the target with a freekick. On the other side of the pitch, Pape Gueye escaped the offside trap to advance with the ball before serving Terence Vella but Alex Cini came to the rescue clearing the ball off the goal line.
Tarxien took the lead on 35 minutes when Firas Aboulezz managed to score with an attempt from a close angle with the ball going under the goalkeeper before ending at the back of the net.
Naxxar replied with a Gilmar powerful drive and a header by Gueye both ending just over the post.
In the second half, Naxxar pressed for the equaliser. A header by Daren Falzon ended high on 48 minues and two minutes later, Mintoff blocked a freekick by Ribeiro and off the rebound, Daren Falzon’s low shot hit the foot of the post with the ball being cleared into safety. A header by Angus Buhagiar, off a corner by Gilmar, was parried by Mintoff and then Ibok Edet received a through pass but his conclusion at point blank was blocked by the Tarxien goalkeeper.
NAXXAR Julian Azzopardi, Andrew Scicluna, Ibok Edet, Terrence Vella (46’ Mattia Del Negro), Pape Gueye, Daren Falzon, Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro, Ryan Gilmour Cassar, Pablo Doffo, Angus Buhagiar , David Alejandro Reano (46’ Emenike Uchenna Mbachu)
Subs not used: Luke Pecorella, John Debono, Victor Bellia, Ryan Mercieca, David Fenech,
Coach: Jesmond Zerafa
TARXIEN Sean Mintoff, Kane Paul Farrugia, Manuel Caruana (89’ Matthew Tabone), Owen Bugeja, Alvaro Andre Rodrigues Silva (82’ Ryan Sammut), Cleber Barbosa Viana, Triston Caruana Firas Aboulezz (90+4′ Luke Aquilina), Carlos Hevia Mendez, Alexander Cini, Alessandro Lopez Pereira.
Subs not used: Jonathan Debono, Steven Marc Sadowski, Luke Zahra, Jorge Santos Silva.
Coach: Clive Mizzi
Referee: Chris Lautier
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, William Debattista
Fourth Official: Fyodor Zammit
Yellow cards: Doffo, Farrugia, Aboulezz, Buhagiar, Hevia, Mintoff
Scorers: 35’ Firas Aboulezz (T)
BOV Player of the Match: Carlos Menendez Hevia