Mosta failed to keep the pace with the teams on top as lost 1-2 to Floriana despite taking an early lead in the first match at the Centenary Stadium.
The Blues were soon in command, going one goal ahead, but the Greens soon started to share the exchanges. Floriana never looked back and after equalising, they notched the winner, early in the second half. This win enables Ian Dawes’s side to move third from bottom on five points, one ahead of Qormi and two ahead of Rabat.
Haruna Bara was making his debut for Mosta but Ryan Grech and Diego Pereira were ruled out injured. Floriana, on the other hand, lacked Andre Scicluna, Sunday Eboh and the suspended Daniel Bogdanovic.
Mosta managed to take the lead on the 6th minute when off an assist by Bojan Kaljevic from the left, Cristian Martins Fernandez hit low past Floriana goalkeeper Daniel Hanford.
Floriana levelled the score on the 18th minute when Gary Muir scored a great goal direct from a freekick.
The Greens were unlucky not to suffer another goal two minutes from the end of the first half when off a cross by Kane Farrugia, Bojan Kaljevic anticipated the goalkeeper but his header ended just wide.
Eight minutes in the second half, Floriana forged ahead when Igor Coronado won possession on the left and managed to beat Omar Borg with a diagonal shot which hit the upright before the ball ended at the back of the net.
Late in the game, Mosta increased their efforts in their bid to save a point from the game but this was not enough.
Photos: Copyright © www.stephengatt.com
FLORIANA Daniel Hanford, Emmanuel Edet Ibok, Steve Pisani, Gary Roberts, Christian Caruana (88′ Luca Casha), Igor Coronado, Clyde Borg, Joseph Borg, Brooke Farrugia (71′ Emerson Bonello), Gary Muir, Sacha Borg.
Subs not used: Sean Mintoff, Jonathan Xerri, Francesco Guzman, Luke Micallef, Diogo Pinheiro de Souza.
Coach: Ian Dawes
MOSTA Omar Borg, Alex Cini (83′ Ishmael Grech), Kane Farrugia, Tyrone Farrugia, Manolito Micallef, Kurt Zammit (65′ Mark Brincat), Lukas Duriska, Ricardo Faria Silva, Cristian Martins Fernandes, Haruna Bara (65′ Nicola Cosentini), Bojan Kaljevic.
Subs not used: Kurt Zammit, Bryan Agius, Giancarlo Sammut, James Brincat.
Coach: Danilo Doncic
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Assistant referees: Edward Spiteri, Jurgen Spiteri
Additional Assistant Referees: Clayton Pisani, Philip Farrugia
Fourth official: Mario Apap
Yellow Cards: S. Borg, B. Farrugia, C. Caruana, T. Farrugia, I. Coronado
Scorers: 6′ Cristian Martins Fernandes (M); 18′ Gary Muir (F); 53′ Igor Coronado (F)
BOV Player of the Match: Igor Coronado
At the Victor Tedesco Stadium, Balzan came back from one goal down to beat Qormi 2-1. This was the first win for Balzan after four defeats and a draw.
Qormi, on the other hand, continue to disappoint with the sixth defeat in eight matches.
Coach Tommaso Volpi, once again, could not count on his best formation due to the absence of Roderick Sammut, Francesco D’Aniello, Triston Caruana, Jorge Pereira da Silva and Emerson Vella. Firas Aboulezz was missing for Balzan.
Qormi took the lead on the 24th when Alfred Effiong concluded a good move with a diagonal shot from inside the area which beat goalkeeper Daniel Miguelez Martinez.
Balzan levelled matters just before half-time thanks to a great header Mark Spiteri off a cross by Justin Grioli which gave Farrugia no chance.
Balzan notched the winner on 66 minutes thanks to a first-time effort by former Qormi midfielder Luke Sciberras which gave goalkeeper Matthew Farrugia no chance.
QORMI Matthew Farrugia, Alfred Effiong, Giuseppe Bellucci, Leighton Grech, Roderick Bajada, Gianluca Nucera (60′ Dylan Pirotta), Owen Bugeja, Duncan Pisani, Jonathan Bondin, Ricardo Innocenti, Leonardo Gabrieli (54′ Christian Terribile).
Subs not used: Steve Sultana, Dormond Micallef, Karl Sciortino, Roberto Sarcia, Clint Barbara.
Coach: Tommaso Volpi
BALZAN Daniel Miguelez Martinez (79′ Jacob Cipriott), Justin Grioli, Steve Bezzina, Rodrigo Frank Pereira (55′ Aaron Agius), Andrew Scicluna, Fabio Vignaroli, Dylan Grima, Luke Sciberras, Mark Spiteri, Gianluca Calabretta (46′ Lydon Micallef), Jose Luis Armario Negrin.
Subs not used: Kevin Camilleri, Ryan Darmanin, Michael Borg, Ejron Beu.
Coach: Jesmond Zerafa
Referee: Chris Lautier
Assistant referees: William Debattista, Luke Portelli
Fourth official: Sandro Spiteri
Yellow Cards: Bugeja, Sciberras, Spiteri, Effiong
Scorers: 24′ Alfred Effiong (Q); 45′ Mark Spiteri (B); 66′ Luke Sciberras (B)