Floriana maintained their positive run after beating Qormi 4-3 in a highly entertaining match at the Hibernians Stadium. A win which puts the Greens ten points behind leaders Valletta.
Despite having to play for the whole second half in ten men, Qormi gave a very good account of themselves and with a bit more of luck, they could have earned a point from the game, considering that they had managed to go 2-1 and then 3-2 ahead.
Floriana lacked Christian Cassar and Kiril Dzhorov. Stefan Giglio, Roderick Sammut and Joseph Farrugia, on the other hand, were missing for Qormi.
The Greens took just eighteen seconds to forge ahead when Jason Vandelannoite lost possession to Daniel Nwoke who advanced into the area before slotting past goalkeeper Matthew Camilleri.
Qormi replied with a Cleavon Frendo freekick from the right on the 9th but Abubakar and Vandelannoite failed to connect. An acrobatic shot by Josue Souza Santos, following a cross by Frendo, ended just wide on the 16th.
They managed to equalise on the 23rd when a shot by Cleavon Frendo from the edge of the area beat Lotfi Saidi with the ball bouncing in front of the Tunisian goalkeeper before ending at the back of the net.
Two minutes later, Joseph Chetcuti released Frendo on the right and off the latter’s cross, Josue Souza Santos headed home to make it 2-1.
Four minutes from the end of the first half, the score was once again draw as off a cross by Dragomir Draganov from the right, Christian Caruana hit home from close range.
Two minutes later, Qormi were reduced to ten men after Matthew Bartolo received a second yellow card for a foul on Manolito Micallef on the left just outside the area. From the resulting freekick, Pablo Doffo went close to putting Floriana ahead but the ball scraped past the post.
Six minutes in the second half, Daniel Nwoke concluded a good move in which he managed to round a number of defenders by hitting just wide.
Qormi were awarded a penalty on 54 minutes after Duncan Pisani floored Joseph Chetcuti inside the area. From the penalty spot, Josue Souza Santos made no mistake to put them ahead.
Floriana restored equilibrium on 63 minutes when off a Pablo Doffo freekick from the right, Tyrone Farrugia slotted the ball past Matthew Camilleri.
Six minutes later, Floriana made it 4-3 when Tyrone Farrugia released Daniel Nwoke on the left and the latter rounded a defender before hitting low past the Qormi goalkeeper.
Daniel Nwoke was voted BOV Player of the Match.
Photo: Copyright © www.stephengatt.com
FLORIANA Lotfi Saidi, Brian Said, Manolito Micallef, Duncan Pisani (57’ Sacha Borg), Tyrone Farrugia, Pablo Doffo, Clyde Borg, Thomas Paris, Christian Caruana (79’ Joseph Borg), Daniel Nwoke (87′ Marcal Guerreiro Fernandes), Dragomir Draganov.
Subs not used: Jurgen Micallef, Owen Bugeja, Ivan Woods, Alan Abela.
Coach: Michael Woods
Assistant Coach: Todor Raykov
QORMI Matthew Camilleri, Jason Vandelannoite, Matthew Bartolo, Keith Fenech, Joseph Chetcuti (77’ Ben Camilleri), Abubakar Bello-Osagie (70’ Luke Sciberras), George Mallia, Jonathan Bondin, Cleavon Frendo, Kang Hojung (73’ Ibraima Vaz Sani), Josue Souza Santos.
Subs not used: Matthew Farrugia, Gaetano Gesualdi, Carmelo Farrugia, Gabriel Buttigieg.
Coach: Stephen Azzopardi
Assistant Coach: Charles Scerri
Referee: Fyodor Zammit
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, William Debattista
Fourth Official: Kevin Azzopardi
Yellow Cards: M. Bartolo, D. Pisani, K. Fenech, P. Doffo
Red Cards: 43’ M. Bartolo
Scorers: 1′ Daniel Nwoke (F); 23′ Cleavon Frendo (Q); 25′ Josue Souza Santos (Q); 41′ Christian Caruana (F); 54’ Josue Souza Santos pen (Q); 63’ Tyrone Farrugia (F); 69’ Daniel Nwoke (F)
Vittoriosa Stars came from behind to beat Hibernians 2-1 in a clash between the bottom two teams and move to just two points behind the Paolites.
In fact, following a goalless first half, Hibs managed to take the lead thanks to an own goal but two quick goals handed them the three points. Ironically their only victory in the first round was against Hibernians as well.
The Stars welcomed back Jeffrey Chetcuti, Stephen Wellman and Edison Luis Dos Santos after all missed the game against Floriana. Triston Caruana and Aaron Xuereb were missing for Hibernians.
The Paolites held the initiative in the opening minutes. On the 5th, Vittoriosa goalkeeper Simon Agius had to rush out of the area to anticipate an opponent and two minutes later, he blocked a close-range effort by Edward Herrera.
A solo effort by Andrew Cohen ended with a shot from outside the area which ended just wide on the 20th. On the other side of the pitch, on 25 minutes, Mario Muscat anticipated Leighton Grech before he could conclude. The Vittoriosa striker went close once again on the half-hour when served by Edison Luis Dos Santos.
Hibernians managed to break the deadlock on 53 minutes when off a Andrew Cohen freekick, the ball was deflected by Clayton Micallef past goalkeeper Simon Agius for an own goal.
Vittoriosa levelled matters on 67 minutes when Edison Luis Dos Santos served Anthony Ewurum on the left and the latter slotted past goalkeeper Mario Muscat.
Three minutes later, the Stars forged ahead when Edison Luis Dos Santos was brought down inside the area by Jonathan Pearson. Referee Adrian Azzopardi ordered a penalty and the same Brazilian striker made no mistake from the penalty spot.
Edison Luis Dos Santos was voted BOV Player of the Match.
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HIBS Mario Muscat, Matthew Gauci (79’ Jean Paul Farrugia), Ryan Camilleri, Matt Clarke, Jonathan Pearson, Richie Hart, Steve Pisani (82’ Adrian Pulis), Bjorn Kristensen, Edward Herrera, Paul McManus, Andrew Cohen.
Subs not used: Daniel Balzan, Warren Chircop, Ayrton Azzopardi, Rene Duca, Matthew Tabone.
Coach: Mark Miller
Assistant Coach: Edmond Lufi
VITTORIOSA Simon Agius, Clayton Micallef, Murilo Maccari, Carl Sammut, Jeffrey Chetcuti, Edison Luis Dos Santos, Ryan Grech, Jorge Santos Silva, Anthony Ewurum, Stephen Wellman, Leighton Grech (75’ Alan Tabone).
Subs not used: Jean Matthias Vella, Justin Camilleri, Jonathan Xerri, Dino Cachia, Larry Lagana, Sharlon Pace.
Coach: Winston Muscat
Assistant Coach: Darren Abdilla
Referee: Adrian Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Malcolm Mercieca
Fourth Official: Alan Mario Sant
Yellow Cards: M. Gauci, R. Camilleri, J. Chetcuti, J. Pearson
Scorers: 53’ own goal Clayton Micallef (H); 67’ Anthony Ewurum (V); 70’ Edison Luis Dos Santos pen (V)