Floriana reached the final of the National League 100 Anniversary Cup as they came from behind to beat Mosta 3-1 after extra-time.
The First Division side held the initiative during the first half taking a deserved lead but after the break, the Greens showed greater determination, notching the equaliser. In extra-time, Mosta missed a penalty and they paid dearly for this as Floriana managed to score a second and eventually a third goal to make it to the final.
Mosta had an excellent start, taking the lead on the 4th minute when off a freekick from the right by Mark Briggs, Lee Grima flicked the ball past goalkeeper Bernard Paris.
The Blues went close on 39 minutes when a shot by Julian Vella was blocked and Luke Stivala’s effort off the rebound was parried by Paris. Floriana replied with a Stefan Lijeskic header, following a cross from the right, which was neutralised by Jonathan Debono on the 40th. In added time, Osobu served Terence Vella whose shot from outside the area was parried by the Floriana goalkeeper.
Three minutes in the second half, Mosta had a good shot from outside the area by Grima deflected into a corner. Two minutes later, a cross shot by Sacha Borg was parried by Debono, aided by the crossbar. The Mosta goalkeeper was then prominent with another fine save on a Ryan Darmanin effort from outside the area.
Floriana continued to show the better ideas and on 64 minutes, an overhead kick by Ryan Darmanin ended just wide. Ten minutes later, Sacha Borg’s close range effort was turned into corner by the Mosta goalkeeper following a pass by Stefano Grima. On the other side of the pitch, a cross shot by Lyden Micallef was parried by Bernard Paris.
Hardly ten seconds after replacing Joseph Borg, substitute Mark Spiteri equalised for Floriana beating Debono with a low shot from the left when served by Grima on 78 minutes.
In stoppage time, a Ryan Darmanin was once again parried by Debono following a freekick from the left by Sacha Borg.
With the result still draw, the game went into extra-time. After just four minutes a goal by Adrian Borg was disallowed for a foul by Terence Vella on the Floriana goalkeeper. Seven minutes later, a header by Ryan Darmanin, served by Michael Ghebru from the right, hit the crossbar.
Mosta had a golden opportunity to regain the lead in added time before the end of the first half of extra-time as they were awarded a penalty after a defender handled the ball inside the area. However, Mark Briggs’ effort was neutralised by Bernard Paris.
Floriana forged ahead seven minutes in the second half of extra-time when Michael Ghebru etered the area from the right and beat Debono.
In stoppage time, Ryan Darmanin could have added another for Floriana but his low shot from the left was parried by the Mosta goalkeeper. A freekick by Mark Briggs was saved by Bernard Paris.
Five minutes in added time, Ryan Darmanin converted a penalty for Floriana to make it 3-1 after the Mosta goalkeeper brought down Michael Ghebru inside the area.
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MOSTA Jonathan Debono, Adrian Borg, Kane Farrugia, Brian Galea, Luke Stivala (105’ Mark Brincat), Mark Briggs, Julian Vella, Lee Grima (75’ Chris Pace), Terence Vella, Gilbert Martin, Victor Osobu (46’ Lyden Micallef).
Subs not used: Noel Attard, Alex Cini, Jonathan Bajada, Pio Vassallo.
Coach: Oliver Spiteri Asst. Coach: Anton Cremona
FLORIANA Bernard Paris, Brian Said, Owen Bugeja, Clifton Ciantar (64’ Stefano Grima), Stefan Lijeskic (49’ Clyde Borg), Ryan Darmanin, Michael Ghebru, Joseph Borg (77’ Mark Spiteri), Sacha Borg, Pablo Doffo, Orosco Anonam.
Subs not used: Jurgen Micallef, Roberto Brincat, Jermain Brincat, Julian Briffa.
Coach: Zoran Popovic Asst. Coach: Darren Abdilla
Referee: Andre Arciola
Assistant Referees: Ingmar Spiteri, Mariano Debono
Fourth Official: Paul Caruana
Yellow Cards: C. Ciantar, K. Farrugia, J. Vella, T. Vella, J. Debono
Scorers: 4’ Lee Grima (M), 78’ Mark Spiteri (F), 112′ Michael Ghebru (F), 120+5′ Ryan Darmanin (pen) (F)
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