Floriana registered a second win in three matches as they registered an unexpected 2-1 win over Birkirkara to move seventh in the BOV Premier League table.
For Birkirkara, this was a highly disappointing result as the Stripes now fall ten points behind leaders Hibernians although they still enjoy a two-point lead over Valletta. This was the fourth defeat for Paul Zammit’s side.
The Stripes lacked the suspended Rafael Ledesma while Brooke Farrugia was missing for Floriana as both were serving a one-match ban.
Birkirkara had the first attempt at goal on the 3rd minute as Shola Shodiya’s diagonal shot scrapes past the post. Floriana replied with a freekick from which Manuel Briffa had a goal-bound shot blocked on the goal line on 24 minutes.
The Greens took the lead on 28 minutes when off a corner from the right, Piciollo headed the ball into the direction of Steve Bonnici who hit home from close range.
One minute in added time, Steve Pisani pulled Zach Muscat down inside the area, referee Fyodor Zammit ordered a penalty which brought harsh protests by the Greens resulting in the sending-off of Riccardo Gaucci from the bench but from the penalty spot, Haruna Shola Shodiya’s effort was neutralised by Valerio Senatore.
One minute in the second half, Birkirkara equalised thanks to Zach Muscat whose angled shot from the right beat the Floriana custodian.
However Floriana regained the lead on 63 minutes thanks to Vito Plut whose powerful shot from the right beat Haber.
On the 72nd minute, a shot from the left by Amadou Samb was parried by Haber and two minutes later, Piciollo’s effort was turned into a corner.
B’KARA Justin Haber, Matheus Bissi da Silva, Ellinton Antonio Costa Morais (61′ V’yacheslav Shevchencko), Haruna Shola Shodiya, Alejandro Mendoza Corujo (66′ Eliandro dos Santos Gonzaga), Edmond Agius, Paul Fenech, Zach Muscat, Ryan Scicluna (82′ Leighton Grech), Edward Herrera, Ryan Camenzuli.
Subs not used: Ini Etim Akpan, Antoine Borg, Gareth Sciberras, Kurt Zammit.
Coach: Paul Zammit
FLORIANA Valerio Senatore, Andre Scicluna, Douglas Felipe Moreira Cobo, Steve Pisani, Clyde Borg, Vito Plut (75′ Emerson Marcelina), Matteo Piciollo (84′ Luke Micallef), Conor Borg, Manuel Briffa (91′ Neil Spiteri), Amadou Samb, Steve Bonnici.
Subs not used: Andrew Zammit, Giovanni Galea, Isaac Galea, Daniel Agius.
Coach: Giovanni Tedesco
Referee: Fyodor Zammit
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Samy Attard
Fourth Official: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Yellow Cards: Piciollo, Senatore, P. Fenech, Clyde Borg, Liliu
Scorers: 28′ Steve Bonnici, 46′ Zach Muscat, 63′ Vito Plut
BOV Player of the Match: Matteo Piciollo