Three penalties and two red cards in a draw which suited neither side

BOV-Premier-LeagueThree penalties and two red cards stole the show as Qormi and Floriana shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw. A draw which suited neither side as they will be starting their Relegation Pool commitments on eight points and eleven points respectively – the same amount they were due to start with before this game since their points would have been halved and rounded up.

Therefore Naxxar will start the second phase on 14 points, followed by Floriana on 11, Vittoriosa 9, Qormi and Tarxien 8 and Rabat 5.

On a more positive note, Floriana managed to end their losing streak after suffering five consecutive defeats. On the other hand, Qormi have now gone eight matches without a win.

Jonathan Bondin and Jorge Pereira da Silva were back on the bench for Qormi after recovering from injuries. Floriana, on the other hand, lacked Andre Scicluna and Dylan Kokavessis.

Qormi had the first attempt at goal on the 6th minute with Raffaele Simone Quintieri serving Lucas Cantoro on the left and the latter’s shot was blocked by Daniel Hanford.

Floriana took the lead on 26 minutes when John Roland Emeka concluded a solo effort by rounding a defender and the goalkeeper before placing the ball inside the empty net.

Three minutes later, Qormi went close to equalising when Floriana goalkeeper Daniel Hanford rushed to the edge of the area to block an Alfred Effiong effort, Lucas Cantoro took the rebound, trying his luck with a fine lob but Gary Muir came to the rescue clearing the ball off the goal line.

Six minutes from the end of the first half, Emeka received a good pass from the right, managed to avoid the goalkeeper but his goal-bound shot was cleared into safety by Gianola.

Three minutes in stoppage time, Qormi equalised when they were awarded a penalty after Hanford floored Effiong inside the area. From the penalty spot, Lucas Cantoro made no mistake.

Floriana regained the lead on the 61st when they were awarded another penalty by referee Sandro Spiteri after Giorgio Gianola was adjuged to have floored Christian Caruana inside the area; Gianola received his second yellow card and was therefore given marching orders and from the penalty spot, Gary Muir converted.

Five minutes later, it was Qormi’s turn to be awarded another penalty after Ibok Edet tackled Cantoro inside the area. Ibok Edet was sent off as he received his second yellow card and Alfred Effiong made no mistake from the penalty spot to equalise.

Lucas Cantoro hit the upright with a fine header off a Triston Caruana corner on 74 minutes for Qormi. On the other side of the pitch, Farrugia managed to turn into a corner a John Roland Emeka header.

In added time, Daniel Hanford managed to turn a fine Effiong effort into a corner.

QORMI Matthew Farrugia, Roderick Sammut, Owen Bugeja, Giorgio Gianola, Emerson Vella, Roderick Bajada (88′ Jorge Pereira da Silva), Triston Caruana, Raffaele Simone Quintieri (66′ Duncan Pisani), Lucas Maximilian Cantoro, Dylan Pirotta (53′ Leighton Grech), Alfred Effiong.
Subs not used: Steve Baldacchino, Jonathan Bondin, Mohammed Bance, Karl Sciortino.
Coach: Karel Zeman

FLORIANA Daniel Hanford, Sunday Eboh (40′ Darrell Baldacchino), Emmanuel Ibok Edet, John Roland Emeka, Christian Caruana (79′ Steve Pisani), Igor Coronado, Clyde Borg, Joseph Borg, Brooke Farrugia (72′ Diogo Pinheiro de Sousa), Gary Muir, Sacha Borg.
Subs not used: Sean Mintoff, Jonathan Xerri, Luca Casha, Isaac Galea.
Coach: Ian Dawes

Referee: Sandro Spiteri
Assistant Referees: Ingmar Spiteri, Alan Camilleri
Additional Assistant Referees: Clayton Pisani, Adrian Azzopardi
Fourth Official: Malcolm Spiteri
Yellow Cards: Gianola, Caruana, Edet, Bugeja
Red Cards: 60′ Giorgio Gianola, 64′ Emmanuel Ibok Edet
Scorers: 25′ John Roland Emeka (F); 45+3′ Lucas Cantoro pen (Q); 60′ Gary Muir pen (F); 66′ Alfred Effion pen (Q)
BOV Player of the Match: Lucas Cantoro
Attendance: 595