A goal two minutes from time by Mario Fontanella gave Floriana a narrow win over Tarxien Rainbows who were suffering their fifth consecutive 0-1 defeat.
Floriana were clearly a better side throughout the ninety minutes but found Tarxien goalkeeper in excellent form, neutralising various attempts at goal. For the Rainbows, this was another disappointing result considering that they were only a few minutes away from halting their negative run.
Tarxien coach Jesmond Zerafa made only one change from the defeat to St. Andrews as Sergio Fernandez Prendes replaced Andrew Agius. Floriana, on the other hand, had Justin Haber, Antonio Monticelli, Andre Scicluna, Steve Pisani, Sebastian Nayar and Ryan Camenzuli replaced Matthew Grech, Alex Cini, Clyde Borg and the suspended Enzo Ruiz and Ignacio Varela.
The Greens went close on the 7th minute when off a Steve Pisani corner from the right, Amadou Samb’s close range header hit the crossbar. An acrobatic shot by Mario Fontnella scraped past the post on the 25th minute following a cross from the right by Chiesa but on the 34th, Justin Haber performed a good save on an Alex Nilsson header off a Triston Caruana freekick. Three minutes later, a close range effort by Chiesa was blocked by Schranz but just before half-time, shots from close range by Dani Ponce and Lecao were blocked by Haber – the latter into a corner.
Amadou Samb went close twice early in the second half – first with a shot from the right which hit the side netting and then with a lob from the edge of the area ended just wide. Floriana were then unlucky not to take the lead on the 66th when off a cross by Monticelli, a header by Fontanella hit the woodwork and off the rebound, Sebastian Nayar’s effort was cleared off the goal line. Schranz then performed two good saves on Steve Pisani and Nicolas Chiesa.
On the 75th minute, Sacha Borg floored Steve Pisani down inside the area but Sebastian Nayar hit the ball sky high from the penalty spot.
Floriana finally managed to break the deadlock on the 88th minute thanks to Mario Fontanella whose powerful drive from the right gave the Tarxien custodian no chance.
A minute later, the Rainbows almost notched the equalise when off a cross by Baker from the left, Alex Nilsson’s header was turned into a corner in style by Justin Haber.
TARXIEN Philip Schranz, Ebiabowei Baker, Emerson Marcelina, Triston Caruana, Daniel Ponce de Leon Garcia, Alex Nilsson, Sergio Fernandez Prendes (65′ Ayrton Azzopardi), Daniel Zerafa, Alex da Paixao Alves (82′ Julian Galea), Matthew Tabone, Sacha Borg (77′ Kurt Zammit).
Subs not used: Andrea Cassar, Matthew Brincat, Dylan Micallef, Andrew Agius.
Coach: Jesmond Zerafa
FLORIANA Justin Haber, Andre Scicluna (64′ Alex Cini), ANtonio Monticelli, Enrico Pepe, Steve Pisani, Sebastian Nayar, Jurgen Pisani, Amadou Samb, Nicolas Chiesa (87′ Maurizio Vella)(90′ Clyde Borg), Mario Fontanella, Ryan Camenzuli.
Subs not used: Matthew Grech, Mattia Zarb, Zack Camilleri, Leandro Mansueto.
Coach: Giovanni Tedesco
Referee: Fyodor Zammit
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Christopher Azzopardi
Fourth Official: Alan Mario Sant
Yellow Cards: Scicluna, Borg, S. Pisani, Pepe
BOV Player of the Match: Philip Schranz