Floriana registered the fourth win in five matches as they beat Marsaxlokk with a fine 4-0 score. The Greens therefore join Valletta on top the BOV Premier League table but the Citizens have a game in hand.
The boys in green were the better side right from the start and the Southseasiders could only do their best to limit the damage.
Marsaxlokk lacked Clive Brincat and Jean Paul Farrugia but Trevor Templeman was back after serving a two-match ban. The Greens, on the other hand, were in full strength.
Floriana took the lead on the 9th minute when off a cross by Ivan Woods, Christian Caruana somehow managed to beat goalkeeper Christian Cassar despite ending on the ground.
A long distance effort by Ivan Woods was neutralised by the Marsaxlokk custodian on two minutes later. A minute later, Florent Raimy had a close-range effort ending just wide.
The Greens doubled the score on 25 minutes when off a throw-in by Joseph Borg, Boris Odwong served Ivan Woods who flicked the ball home past goalkeeper Cassar.
Floriana continued to hold the initiative and after going close with Woods and Caruana, they increased the lead on 63 minutes when Woods released Joseph Borg on the right and off the latter’s pass, Christian Caruana slammed the ball home.
Eleven minutes later, substitute John Mintoff added another as he tapped the ball in past Cassar following a cross by Christian Cassar.
Christian Caruana was voted BOV Player of the Match.
Photos: Copyright © www.stephengatt.com
FLORIANA Manuel Bartolo, Duncan Pisani, Owen Bugeja, Tyrone Farrugia, Manolito Micallef, Christian Cassar, Christian Caruana (75’ Clyde Borg), Joseph Borg (66’ John Mintoff), Ivan Woods, Boris Odwong (78’ Ryan Darmanin), Pablo Doffo.
Subs not used: William Amamoo, Thomas Paris, Joseph Okonkwo, Andrew Spiteri.
Coach: Michael Woods
Assistant Coach: Frank Schembri
M’XLOKK Christian Cassar, Carlo Mamo, Sunday Eboh, Malcolm Licari (85’ Jonathan Xerri), Florent Raimy, Carlos Campagnoli, Trevor Templeman, Emiliano Lattes (75’ Modesto Valeriani), Martin Deanov, Obinna Obiefule, Dylan Kokavessis (57’ Sacha Borg).
Subs not used: Reuben Gauci, Patrick Borg, Darrell Grech, Jean Claude Vella.
Coach: Winston Muscat
Assistant Coach: Darren Abdilla
Referee: Paul Caruana
Assistant referees: Mariano Debono, Mitchell Scerri
Fourth official: Malcolm Spiteri
Yellow Cards: Raimy, Eboh
Scorers: 9’ Christian Cassar, 25’ Ivan Woods, 63’ Christian Cassar, 74’ John Mintoff
In the second match, a penalty in added time handed Qormi a 3-2 win over Hamrun Spartans.
This was the third win for Stephen Azzopardi’s side who are now fourth on nine points. Hamrun, on the other hand, remain anchored at the bottom of the table with one point together with Tarxien and Mosta.
Qormi had Daniel Nwoke making his debut after returning to Malta earlier this week. However Christos Karamanolis and Giuseppe Vela Jr were both missing. The Spartans lacked the injured Luis Fernando Silva.
Hamrun went close after just one minute with attempts by Anderson Mendes Ribeiro and Gianluca Calabretta but goalkeeper Matthew Farrugia and Kenneth Scicluna blocked their attempts.
Qormi, however, forged ahead on the 7th when Jorge Pereira Da Silva served Luke Sciberras who managed to anticipate Omar Borg with a perfect lob from the edge of the area.
On 18 minutes, Jorge Pereira missed a good opportunity after finding himself all alone in front of Omar Borg and a minute later, the same player hit just wide from inside the area.
Kenneth Scicluna came to the rescue once again for Qormi as he cleared the ball off the goal line after a Gaetan Spiteri effort had beaten goalkeeper Matthew Farrugia on 33 minutes.
Hamrun levelled matters just before the end of the first half when Farrugia blocked the ball following a Gianluca Calabretta cross and off the rebound, Massimo Grima hit home.
Thirteen minutes in the second half, Grima went close once again with a freekick from the right which was parried with particular difficulty by the Qormi custodian.
However on 63 minutes, Qormi regained the lead when Abubakar Bello-Osagie sent Daniel Nwoke through and the latter rounded two players before his powerful shot hit the posts before ending at the back of the net.
Carlo Polli was unlucky to hit the upright for Hamrun on 72 minutes but five minutes later, Kevin Sammut restored equilibrium for the Spartans, hitting low past Farrugia after receiving a perfect pass from the left.
One minute in added time, Gianluca Calabretta brought Jorge Pereira down inside the area. Referee Marco Borg ordered a penalty and from the penalty spot, Joseph Farrugia made no mistake to hand Qormi the three points.
Matthew Bartolo was voted BOV Player of the Match.
Photos: Copyright © www.stephengatt.com
HAMRUN Omar Borg (93′ Andrea Cassar) Nikica Gacesa, Massimo Grima, Rupert Mangion (72’ Carlos Eduardo Toneto Porcari), Roderick Fenech, Anderson Mendes Ribeiro (85’ Lee James Agius), Kevin Sammut, Matthew Gauci, Carlo Polli, Gaetan Spiteri, Gianluca Calabretta.
Subs not used: Glenn Azzopardi, David Camilleri, Steve Bonnici, Clyde Camoin.
Coach: Jesmond Zammit
Assistant Coach: Vince Carbonaro
QORMI Matthew Farrugia, Jeffrey Chetcuti (81’ Dino Cachia), Roderick Sammut, Matthew Bartolo, Joseph Farrugia, Daniel Nwoke (93′ Gabriel Buttigieg), Luke Sciberras, Kenneth Scicluna, Jorge Da Silva Pereira, Stephen Wellman, Abubakar Bello-Osagie (72’ Joseph Chetcuti).
Subs not used: Steve Sultana, Carmelo Farrugia, Charlon Sammut, Steve Agius.
Coach: Stephen Azzopardi
Technical Advisor: Steve D’Amato
Referee: Marco Borg
Assistant referees: Edward Spiteri, Sammy Attard
Fourth official: Fyodor Zammit
Yellow Cards: Bartolo, Mangion, Nwoke, Ribeiro, Calabretta
Scorers: 7’ Luke Sciberras, 45’ Massimo Grima, 63’ Daniel Nwoke, 77’ Kevin Sammut, 90+1′ Joseph Farrugia (pen)