Floriana returned to winning ways as they defeated Mosta 3-1 in a direct clash between the teams lying in fifth place. The Greens therefore move three points clear of Mosta, one behind fourth-placed Balzan, who however have a game in hand.
Much more was expected from the Blues who were conceding a fourth defeat in six matches.
Dyson Falzon was missing for Mosta while Amadou Samb was ruled out for the Greens as he serves the first of a four-match ban. Manolito Micallef was ruled out injured.
Floriana held the initiative, going close on 16 minuets with a cross shot by Steve Pisani which hit the upright with Gary Muir’s close range shot well saved by Gerada. A curling shot by Matteo Piciollo, after rounding two defenders, went over the post on 25 minutes and three minutes later, a through pass by Vito Plut for Matteo Piciollo brought him face to face with Kyle Gerada but his shot was well held by the Mosta goalkeeper.
On the half-hour, Gerada turned into a corner a Vito Plut effort, served by Muir. Two minutes later, Plut was unlucky to hit the upright with Gerada beaten. Three minutes from the end of the first half, it was the turn of Matheus Ribeiro dos Santos to hit the posts from close range for Mosta.
Floriana managed to break the deadlock eight minutes in the second half as a powerful shot by Plut was turned into a corner by Gerada and off the resulting corner by Pisani, Emerson Marcelina headed the ball in the direction of Vito Plut whose header beat Gerada.
The Greens doubled the score on 66 minutes when Muir sent Matteo Piciollo through and the latter slotted the ball past the on-rushing Mosta goalkeeper.
Two minutes from time, an Ian Zammit direct freekick beat Tyrone Gauci to put the Blues back in contention.
In fact, Mosta went close to equalising on the 94th minute through Ian Zammit.
However with substitute Mosta goalkeeper Omar Borg assisting his team mates in the attack in a desperate attempt to notch the equaliser, the ball reached Douglas Moreira Cobo who managed to place the ball inside the unguarded net with a shot from midfield.
MOSTA Kyle Gerada (90+1′ Omar Borg), Jonas Rodriguez Ekani, Tyrone Farrugia, Yannick Ossok, Karl Pulo, Kurt Magro (78’ James Brincat), Ryan Grech, Gary Roberts, Ian Zammit, Diego Pinheiro de Sousa (64’ Zachary Brincat), Matheus Ribeiro dos Santos.
Subs not used: Adrian Borg, Aaron Sammut, Kyle Frendo, Matteo Di Vita.
Coach: Peter Smith
FLORIANA Tyrone Gauci, Douglas Felipe Moreiro Cobo, Marcelina Emerson, Steve Pisani, Clyde Borg, Vito Plut, Matteo Piciollo, Conor Borg (78’ Brooke Farrugia), Emanuel Briffa (81’ Sacha Borg), Steve Bonnici, Gary Muir.
Subs: Andrew Zammit, Neil Spiteri, Glen Tabone, Rodrigo Felix Aguiar.
Coach: Giovanni Tedesco
Referee: Ignasi Villamayor (AND)
Assistant Referees: Hugo Jourdan Pereira, Manuel Nogueira (AND)
Additional Assistant Referees: Clayton Pisani, Philip Farrugia
Fourth Official: Michell Scerri
Yellow cards: Gerada, Grech, Clyde Borg, Matheus Ribeiro
Scorers: 53’ Vito Plut, 66’ Matteo Picollo, 88’ Ian Zammit, 90+4′ Douglas Felipe Moreiro Cobo
BOV Player of the Match: Vito Plut
Renato Vella reporting from National Stadium