Floriana secured their Premier League status as they defeated Hamrun Spartans 1-0. This result means that Msida St. Joseph will be playing in Division 1 next season.
In view of the National League 100 Anniversary Cup, Floriana rested Paris, Anonam, Doffo, Caruana, Ghebru and Joseph Borg. The Spartans lacked Rupert Mangion and goalkeeper Ivan Casha.
On 14 minutes, off a cross by Manolito Micallef from the right, Marcelo Pereira hit high. Floriana replied with a good pass by Stefan Lijeskic for Jermain Brincat but the latter concluded high three minutes later. A freekick by Ryan Darmanin ended just wide on 36 minutes. A shot by the same player a minute later was partially saved by Andrea Cassar.
Eleven minutes in the second half, Ian Zammit tried his luck with a low shot from outside the area which was parried by Jurgen Micallef. A minute later, Obinna Obiefule received a good pass inside the penalty area but his close range shot was blocked by the Floriana goalkeeper.
Floriana managed to take the lead on 59 minutes when Clifton Ciantar concluded a good move with a shot which was partially saved by Cassar and off the rebound, the unmarked Ryan Darmanin slammed the ball home.
Hamrun replied with a Roderick Fenech freekick which was blocked by Jurgen Micallef and off the rebound, Marcelo Peeriera’s cross from the left was deflected by a defender and Gaetan Spiteri’s low shot from outside the area was parried the Floriana custodian.
The Spartans were reduced to ten men on 73 minutes when referee Andre Arciola gave marching orders to substitute Gaetan Spiteri, showing him a second yellow card for dissent after being cautioned for a late tackle.
Floriana went close once again on 77 minutes when Ryan Darmanin released substitute Sacha Borg on the left but the latter’s diagonal shot scraped past the post.
Five minutes from time, Andrea Cassar performed a great save on a fine Sacha Borg effort, served by Ghebru on the left.
Ryan Darmanin was voted BOV Player of the Match.
FLORIANA Jurgen Micallef, Julian Briffa, Owen Bugeja, Brian Said, Stefano Grima, Clyde Borg (84’ Joseph Borg), Stefan Lijeskic, Mark Spiteri, Jermain Brincat (78’ Michael Ghebru), Clifton Ciantar (66’ Sacha Borg), Ryan Darmanin.
Subs not used: Bernard Paris, Orosco Anonam, Pablo Doffo, Christian Caruana.
Coach: Zoran Popovic
Asst. Coach: Darren Abdilla
HAMRUN Andrea Cassar, Aaron Attard (21’ Jonathan Holland)(45’ Gaetan Spiteri), Roderick Fenech, Manolito Micallef, Mead Mifsud, Martin Hrubsa, Obinna Obiefule, Lee James Agius, Marcelo Pereira, Clyde Camoin, Ian Zammit.
Subs not used: Isaac Zammit Cordina, Mark Anthony Bonnici, Mark Barbara, Neville Galea, Mauro Busuttil.
Coach: Steve D’Amato
Asst. Coach: Marco Grech
Referee: Andre Arciola
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, William Debattista
Fourth Official: Clayton Pisani
Yellow Cards: C. Ciantar, S. Lijeskic, S. Grima, C. Borg, R. Fenech
Red Cards: 73’ Gaetan Spiteri
Scorers: 59’ Ryan Darmanin