Floriana registered a most dramatic 3-2 win over Mosta as they came back from two goals down to return to winning ways after collecting just one point from the previous three matches.
Mosta seemed heading towards victory after taking a comfortable two-goal lead during the first half. However the Greens had other thoughts and after reducing the gap, they scored two late goals to secure victory.
The Greens could not count on the injured Tyrone Farrugia and Ivan Woods and the suspended Owen Bugeja but Manuel Bartolo was back after serving a one-match ban. Mosta welcomed back Italian defender Federico Tisbi but lacked Nikola Bogdanovic and the suspended Kurt Magro.
The Blues managed to take the lead on 18 minutes when Gilbert Martin received a good pass on the right and with a powerful shot from inside the area, he managed to beat the Floriana custodian.
On 27 minutes, Mosta went close once again with a pass by Maki Mvondo for Gilbert Martin whose low shot was parried by Bartolo. The one minute from the end of the first half, Martin had a powerful drive from the edge of the area blocked by the Floriana goalkeeper.
Mosta doubled the score on 45 minutes with a direct freekick by Ian Zammit from the right which was not held by Bartolo.
Floriana pulled one back two minutes in the second half thanks to Joseph Borg who received a pass on the right and with a low shot from the edge of the area, he beat goalkeeper Glenn Zammit.
On 69 minutes, a header by Lucas Pessanha was cleared off the goalline by Arilson Mello da Silva. Six minutes later, Ryan Darmanin headed just over the bar off a Pablo Doffo freekick.
Glenn Zammit then managed to turn the ball into a corner off a Christian Cassar freekick on 78 minutes. On the other side of the pitch, a fierce shot by Maki Mvondo ended just wide.
Floriana finally notched the equaliser three minutes from time when a rising shot by Andre Grabowski, deflected by a defender, beat the Mosta custodian.
On the 89th minute, Glen Zammit managed to turn the ball into a corner off a Christian Cassar freekick. From the resulting corner, Christian Cassar beat Zammit, with the ball probably being deflected by Ian Zammit.
Gilbert Martin was voted BOV Player of the Match.
MOSTA Glenn Zammit, Adrian Borg, Kane Farrugia, Federico Tisbi, Yannick Ossok, Arilson Mello da Silva (81’ Sheldon Grech), Alex Cini, Jonathan Bajada (63’ Luca Martinelli), Gilbert Martin, Ian Zammit, Michel Bertrand Maki Mvondo.
Subs not used: Jonathan Debono, Bryan Agius, Steve Schembri, Pio Vassallo, Firas Aboulezz.
Coach: Oliver Spiteri
Asst. Coach: Ramon Zammit
FLORIANA Manuel Bartolo, Thomas Paris, Pablo Doffo, Mano Micallef, Duncan Pisani, Joseph Borg (59’ Christian Caruana), Lucas Pessanha (74’ John Mintoff), Andre Grabowski, Ryan Darmanin, Christian Cassar, Clyde Borg.
Subs not used: Jurgen Borg, Luke Agius, Jermain Brincat, Brooke Farrugia, Cesco Guzman.
Asst. Coach: Frank Schembri
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Assistant referees: William Debattista, Thomas Debono
Fourth official: Andre Arciola
Yellow Cards: C. Borg, I. Zammit, J. Borg, Bajada, Tisbi, Doffo, Paris, Martinelli, Cassar
Scorers: 18’ Gilbert Martin, 45’ Ian Zammit, 47’ Joseph Borg, 87’ Andre Grabowski, 90’ Christian Cassar
Two second-half goals enabled Birkirkara to turn defeat into victory as they defeated Balzan Youths 2-1.
Birkirkara are now fourth on nineteen points, six behind leaders Valletta, five behind Hibernians and one behind Floraina. Valletta and Hibs however have a game in hand.
Balzan lacked Clifton Ciantar but Yessous Camilleri was back after serving a one-match ban. For Birkirkara, goalkeeper Aleksandar Canovic was preferred to Jorge Mora.
The Stripes had the first attempt at goal on the 4th minute with Terence Vella having a close-range effort blocked into a corner by Matthew Camilleri.
A minute later, Balzan managed to take the lead when Dylan Grima served Kris Bright whose low shot from the edge of the area beat goalkeeper Aleksandar Canovic.
Direct from corner, Pedrinho threatened the Birkirkara rear-guard on 15 minutes but Canovic performed a good save, aided by the crossbar. Birkirkara replied with a Rodrigo Pereira freekick which was parried by Camilleri on 24 minutes. On 38 minutes, off a cross by Zerafa from the left, Paul Fenech had a shot partially saved by Camilleri.
Birkirkara levelled matters six minutes in the second half thanks to Paul Fenech who received a pass from the right and beat Matthew Camilleri from close range.
The Stripes forged ahead on 68 minutes when off a cross by Angus Buhagiar from the right, Moises Avila Perez scored a great goal with an overhead scissor kick which gave Camilleri no chance.
Moises Avila Perez was voted BOV Player of the Match.
B’KARA Aleksandar Canovic, Trevor Cilia (81’ Andrew Decesare), Gareth Sciberras, Dragan Perisic, Joseph Zerafa, Angus Buhagiar, Rowen Muscat (90+3′ Ryan Camenzuli), Paul Fenech, Rodrigo Pererira, Terence Vella (73’ Leighton Grech), Moises Avila Perez.
Subs not used: Jorge Mora, Alan Tabone, Ryan Scicluna, Shola Haruna Shodiya.
Coach: Paul Zammit
Asst. Coach: Peter Pullicino
BALZAN Matthew Camilleri, Roderick Farrugia (71’ Lydon Micallef), Bledjon Guga, Jonathan Francica, Rennie Forace, Yessous Camilleri, Nikola Tasic (79’ Fagner Lins Bernardes), Dylan Grima, Pedro dos Santos Calcado, Kris Bright, Miguel Ciantar (41’ David Fenech).
Subs not used: Fredrick Tabone, Silvan Ciscaldi, Bjorn Bondin, Michael Borg.
Coach: Joe Borg
Team Manager: Ivan Zammit
Referee: Marco Borg
Assistant referees: Edward Spiteri, Duncan Sultana
Fourth official: Fyodor Zammit
Yellow Cards: Guga, Perisic, Francica, Buhagiar
Scorers: 5′ Kris Bright, 51′ Paul Fenech, 68′ Moises Avila Perez