Hibernians stay one point behind leaders Balzan as they failed to take advantage of the leaders’ draw with Birkirkara after being held in a 2-2 draw by ten-man Floriana.
Floriana join Valletta in third place on 33 points, five behind Balzan and four behind Hibernians. This was the third draw for the Greens in four matches as they extend their unbeaten run to eleven matches.
Hibs had two changes from the team which defeated Valletta as Dunstan Vella and the returning Johann Bezzina replaced Joseph Mbong and the suspended Bjorn Kristensen. On the other hand, Floriana welcomed back Enrico Pepe and Steve Pisani with Ryan Camenzuli and Mario Fontanella both starting the game on the bench.
Floriana managed to take the lead on the 32nd minute when a cross shot by Nicolas Chiesa from the left was surprisingly not held by Hogg after the ball bounced in front of the Malta goalkeeper.
A few seconds later, Amadou Samb was sent off by referee Fyodor Zammit who also showed Hibs official Stephen Abela and Floriana president Riccardo Gaucci the way to the dressing rooms.
Hibs equalised on the hour when off a cross by Clayton Failla from the left, Jorge Pereira da Silva headed the ball home past goalkeeper Justin Haber.
Eleven minutes later, Hibernians forged ahead when off a Johann Bezzina corner from the left, Rodolfo Soares was left unmarked on the right to slam the ball home.
Floriana restored equilibrium ten minutes from time when off a cross from the right, Rodolfo Soares failed to clear the ball into safety and Ignacio Varela slotted the ball past Hogg.
HIBS Andrew Hogg, Dunstan Vella, Rodolfo Soares, Andrei Agius, Clayton Failla, Jackson Lima, Marcelo Dias, Johann Bezzina, Andrew Cohen (78′ Montell Moore), Jorge Pereira da Silva, Jurgen Degabriele (65′ Momodou Salieu Jallow).
Subs not used: Rudy Briffa, Daniel Buckle, David Xuereb, Joseph Mbong, Jonathan Pearson.
Coach: Mark Miller
FLORIANA Justin Haber, Alex Cini, Enzo Ruiz, Enrico Pepe, Clyde Borg, Jurgen Pisani (57′ Andre Scicluna), Ignacio Varela, Maurizio Vella, Nicolas Chiesa (75′ Mario Fontanella), Steve Pisani (52′ Ryan Camenzuli), Amadou Samb.
Subs not used: Matthew Grech, Jake Davies, Brooke Farrugia, Mattia Zarb.
Coach: Giovanni Tedesco
Referee: Fyodor Zammit
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Luke Portelli
Fourth Official: Matthew De Gabriele
Yellow Cards: S. Pisani, Samb, Soares, Vella
BOV Player of the Match: Jorge Pereira da Silva