A brace by Sunday Wasiu paved the way for Floriana as they brought to an end Balzan’s positive run with a comfortable 3-1 win.
This was the third successive league win for Stephen Azzopardi’s side which puts them on level points with Balzan, therefore reviving the Greens’ hope of a securing a top-six finish. On the other hand, for Balzan, this first defeat after eight positive results was a major setback in their bid to make it to the Championship Pool.
Photo: Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar
The Greens lacked the injured Ryan Darmanin while Matthew Camilleri was missing for Balzan.
Pedro dos Santos Calcado had the first attempt at goal on the 12th minute with a direct freekick from the left which was parried by the Floriana goalkeeper.
However a minute later, Floriana took the lead when a cross shot by Duncan Pisani from the right was turned by goalkeeper Fredrick Tabone onto the upright and off the rebound, Akanni-Sunday Wasiu’s first effort was blocked by a defender but the same player, regained possession, hitting the ball home following a deflection.
Floriana doubled the score on 35 minutes when off a freekick by Igor Coronado from the right, Sunday Wasiu rose high to head the ball home past goalkeeper Fredrick Tabone.
The Greens increased the lead on 48 minutes thanks to a long-distance freekick from the left by Igor Coronado which was not held by goalkeeper Fredrick Tabone with the ball ending at the back of the net.
Balzan pulled one back six minutes from time when Elton da Silva served substitute Christian Caruana and the former Floriana striker controlled the ball before hitting the ball past goalkeeper Tony Warner.
Akanni-Sunday Wasiu was voted BOV Player of the Match.
FLORIANA Tony Warner, Kane Farrugia, Trevor Cilia (63’ Thomas Paris), Aman Verma, Igor Coronado (75′ Valdo Alhinho), Sunday Wasiu, Mark Spiteri (77′ Brooke Farrugia), Duncan Pisani, Tyrone Farrugia, Clyde Borg, Sacha Borg.
Subs not used: Jonathan Debono, Owen Bugeja, Henrique Celestino, Carl Tremarco, Brooke Farrugia, Valdo Alhinho.
Coach: Stephen Azzopardi
Asst. Coach: Alan Keeling
BALZAN Fredrick Tabone, Jacob Dominico Borg (62’ Malcolm Licari), Matthew Mendy, Stefan Giglio (46’ Bjorn Bondin), Yessous Camilleri, Rennie Forace, Jamie Pace (46’ Christian Caruana), Dylan Grima, Renato Garcia Conceicao, Pedro Calcado, Elton Alexandre da Silva.
Subs not used: Matteo Farrugia, Martin Deyanov, Jonathan Francica, Aaron Agius.
Coach: Joe Borg
Team Manager: Ivan Zammit
Referee: Marco Borg
Assistant Referees: Mitchell Scerri, Luke Portelli
Fourth Official: Glenn Tonna
Yellow Cards: Pedrinho, C. Borg, Verma, Camilleri
Scorers: 13’ Akanni-Sunday Wasiu, 35’ Akanni-Sunday Wasiu, 48’ Igor Coronado, 84’ Christian Caruana
Photo: Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar
Meanwhile Sliema Wanderers returned to winning ways as they defeated Mosta 2-0. A win which puts the Wanderers in fifth place on 23 points, one ahead of Mosta.
The team led by Steve D’Amato therefore missed the opportunity to close in on a place in the Championship Pool.
Mosta lacked the suspended Bryan Agius and Luke Dimech and the injured Steve Bezzina. Sliema, on the other hand, welcomed back goalkeeper Henry Bonello but John Mintoff was missing.
Sliema Wanderers held the initiative during the first half but the first real scoring opportunity occurred on 26 minutes when goalkeeper Justin Haber managed to turn into a corner a header by Stefano Bianciardi. A minute later, a shot from outside the area by Ariel Laudisi was parried by Mosta goalkeeper Justin Haber. On the other side of the pitch, a Danail Mitev effort was saved in two attempts by substitute goalkeeper Glenn Zammit.
The Wanderers took the lead six minutes from the end of the first half when off a freekick from the left by Luigi Ruggiero, Ariel Laudisi flicked the ball past goalkeeper Justin Haber.
Sliema continued to hold the initiative and on the 71st minute a freekick by Paltemio Barbetti from the right ended just over the bar. Mosta replied with an Obinna Obiefule volley following a cross by Jonathan Bajada but goalkeeper Glenn Zammit turned the ball into a corner on 76 minutes. Two minutes later, a freekick by Danail Mitev from the right ended just wide.
Nine minutes from time, the Wanderers doubled the score when off a Paltemio Barbetti freekick, a great shot by substitute Josef Mifsud beat Justin Haber.
Luigi Ruggiero was voted BOV Player of the Match.
MOSTA Justin Haber, Alex Cini, Manolito Micallef, Steve Onyii Chiemeka (60’ Ousseni Zongo), Ryan Grech, Jonathan Bajada (86′ Wayne Chetcuti), Danail Mitev, Firas Aboulezz (70’ Kurt Zammit), Carlos Campagnoli, Daniel Bogdanovic, Obinna Obiefule.
Subs not used: Noel Attard, Jean Noel Azzopardi, Giancarlo Sammut, David Maia dos Santos.
Coach: Steve D’Amato
SLIEMA Henry Bonello (23’ Glenn Zammit), Alex Muscat (31’ Andrew Decesare), Luca Martinelli, Paltemio Barbetti, Mark Scerri (63’ Josef Mifsud), Luigi Ruggiero, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Ivan Woods, Ariel Laudisi, Beppe Muscat, Stefano Bianciardi.
Subs not used: Omar El Ghaouti, Alain Faccini, Matias Muchardi, Miguel Ciantar.
Coach: Alfonso Greco
Asst. Coach: Jo Jo Bajada
Referee: Fyodor Zammit
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Sammy Attard
Fourth Official: Alan Mario Sant
Yellow Cards: R. Grech, J. Haber, J. Bajada, L. Martinelli, A. Cini, Ruggiero
Scorers: 39’ Ariel Laudisi, 81′