Floriana see off Rabat in dramatic finale

BOV-Premier-LeagueFloriana re-joined Naxxar Lions in sixth place, one point behind Mosta, thanks to a 3-2 win over Rabat Ajax.

The Greens seemed heading towards a comfortable win after Igor Coronado gave them a 2-0 lead but Rabat hit back with two goals in the final ten minutes. However in stoppage-time, captain Gary Muir converted a penalty to give them the three points.

This was the third consecutive win for Ian Dawes’ side while Rabat have now gone eight matches without a win.

The Magpies lacked Montenegrin duo Pavle Velimirovic and Ivan Carapic together with the injured Adam Smeir and Jonathan Bajada. Sacha Borg was missing for Floriana.

The Greens appealed for a penalty on the 15th after Steve Pisani rounded the goalkeeper and tried his luck with an angled shot but Rabat defender Shaun Gauci stopped the ball with his arm with the referee judging this as unintentional.

Diogo Pinheiro de Sousa then had a close-range effort blocked in style by the Rabat goalkeeper on the 20th.

Floriana took the lead on the 29th minute when off a cross from the right by Christian Caruana, Steve Pisani’s shot was partially saved by Azzopardi and off the rebound, the unmarked Igor Coronado placed the ball at the back of the net.

Five minutes in the second half, the Greens doubled the score when off a cross by Steve Pisani, Rabat defender Joseph Caruana slipped leaving Igor Coronado unmarked to hit past Azzopardi.

Rabat pulled one back nine minutes from time when Ryan Micallef received a through pass by Clifford Gauci, advanced into the area, before slotting the ball past Hanford.

Floriana went close to restoring the two-goal lead on the 85th when following an over-head kick by Diogo Pinheiro de Sousa, the ball bounced on Dylan Falzon and onto the cross bar before ending into a corner.

Two minutes later, the Ajax equalised when they were awarded a penalty after Diego Carrillo was floored inside the area by Emmanuel Ibok Edet; the Nigerian striker was sent off and from the penalty spot, Daniel Pelaez Bellido made no mistake.

However one minute in added time, Floriana regained the lead thanks to a penalty by Gary Muir after Moises Avila Perez floored Steve Pisani inside the area.

Three minutes in added time, Moises Avila Perez could have notched the equaliser when he received a perfect pass on the left but all alone in front of the goalkeeper, the Spanish striker hit wide.

FLORIANA Daniel Hanford, Gary Muir, Andre Scicluna, Emmanuel Ibok Edet, Darrell Baldacchino, Clyde Borg, Joseph Borg, Diogo Pinheiro de Sousa (86′ Giacomo Favero), Christian Caruana (57′ Brooke Farrugia), Igor Coronado, Steve Pisani.
Subs not used: Sean Mintoff, Sunday Eboh, Jonathan Xerri, Isaac Galea, Luca Casha.
Coach: Ian Dawes

RABAT Jonathan Azzopardi, Shaun Gauci, Zachary Tanti (69′ Malcolm Licari), Joseph Caruana, Dylan Falzon, Clifford Gauci, Diego Carrillo Pendas, Daniel Pelaez Bellido, Moises Avila Perez, Ryan Micallef, David Azzopardi.
Subs not used: Andrew Zammit, Patrick Borg, Darren Borg, Chris Vella, Aidan Azzopardi, Wayne Borg.
Coach: Steve D’Amato

Referee: Chris Lautier
Assistant Referees: Paul Apap, Jurgen Spiteri
Additional Assistant Referees: Clayton Pisani, Malcolm Spiteri,
Fourth Official: Marco Borg
Yellow Cards: Micallef, Falzon, C. Caruana, B. Farrugia, Avila Perez
Red Cards: 88′ Emmanuel Ibok Edet
Scorers: 29′ Igor Coronado (F), 50′ Igor Coronado (F), 81′ Ryan Micallef (R); 88′ Diego Pelaez Bellido pen (R); 90+1′ Gary Muir pen (F)
BOV Player of the Match: Igor Coronado