Floriana moved fourth in the BOV Premier League as they registered a third win in five matches, beating ten-man Naxxar Lions 4-1.
For Naxxar, on the other hand, this was the third defeat in four matches, therefore remaining joint-fourth from bottom.
Naxxar lacked Angus Buhagiar and Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro but had Ghanian defender Albert Bruce who joined the club from Qormi making his debut when he was included as a substitute. Andre Scicluna and Amadou Samb were missing for Floriana.
Floriana went close to taking the lead on the 11th minute when a long-distance shot by Emerson Marcelina hit the crossbar with goalkeeper Julian Azzopardi beaten. Five minutes later, Vito Plut was unlucky to hit the foot of the upright with a fine shot from the left.
The Greens forged ahead on 22 minutes when off a cross by Gary Muir from the left, Steve Pisani headed the ball home from close range.
On the 35th, Floriana were awarded a penalty after goalkeeper Julian Azzopardi brought Vito Plut down inside the area. Referee Fyodor Zammit sent off the Naxxar goalkeeper and from the penalty spot, Gary Muir beat substitute goalkeeper Luke Pecorella.
Naxxar pulled one back on the 45th when off a Pablo Doffo corner, Daren Falzon’s header hit the woodwork and off the rebound, Uchenna Emenike Mbachu placed the ball at the back of the net.
Nine minutes in the second half, off a cross by Plut, Piciollo almost surprised Pecorella with a header with the ball hitting the crossbar before being cleared into safety.
Floriana went 3-1 ahead on 57 minutes when they were awarded a penalty after substitute Albert Bruce handled the ball inside the area. From the penalty spot, Douglas Moreira Cobo converted.
Two minutes later, the Greens scored the fourth goal as substitute Brooke Farrugia entered the penalty area from the right, serving Matteo Piciollo who slammed the ball home past the Naxxar custodian.
FLORIANA Tyrone Gauci, Douglas Felipe Moreira Cobo, Emerson Marcelina (68′ Neil Spiteri), Steve Pisani, Clyde Borg (57′ Brooke Farrugia), Vito Plut, Matteo Piciollo, Conor Borg, Emanuel Briffa, Gary Muir, Steve Bonnici.
Subs not used: Andrew Zammit, Rodrigo Felix Aguiar, Giovanni Galea, Isaac Galea, Luke Micallef.
Coach: Giovanni Tedesco
NAXXAR Julian Azzopardi, Andrew Scicluna, Emmanuel Ibok Edet, Terence Vella, Pape Gueye (37′ Luke Pecorella), Daren Falzon (71′ Duane Bonnici), Uchenna Emenike Mbachu, Ryan Gilmour Cassar, Pablo Doffo, Mattia Del Negro (42′ Albert Bruce), David Alejandro Reano.
Subs not used: Kurt Drago, Victor Bellia, Jurgen Debono, David Fenech.
Coach: Jesmond Zerafa
Referee: Fyodor Zammit
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Sammy Attard
Fourth Official: Marco Borg
Yellow Cards: Falzon, Bruce, Edet, Farrugia
Red Cards: 35′ Julian Azzopardi
Scorers: 22′ Steve Pisani, 37′ Gary Muir pen, 45′ Uchenna Emenike Mbachu, 57′ Douglas Moreira Cobo, 59′ Matteo Piciollo
BOV Player of the Match: Matteo Piciollo