Under the guidance of new coach Mark Miller, Qormi ended their negative run as they earned a point in a 2-2 draw with Floriana. But the result could have been even better had they not allowed Floriana to comeback from two goals down to hold them in a draw.
The Greens will therefore start the third round on 15 points, two behind fourth-placed Balzan while Qormi will start the second phase on 9 points, together with Zebbug, two points behind Naxxar, Pietà and Tarxien.
Floriana lacked the injured Andre Scicluna and Manolito Micallef and the suspended Clyde Borg, Steve Pisani and Amadou Samb. Qormi, on the other hand, had Spanish defender Alejandro Mendoza and Swedish striker Alex Nilsson making their debut after joining the club from Birkirkara. Miller made three changes from the team which lost to Zebbug as Alejandro Mendoza, Steve Agius and Ryan Micallef replaced Joseph Chetecuti, Edafe Uzeh and Frank Temile. Leighton Grech was ruled out injured.
Qormi managed to take the lead on the 3rd minute thanks to a fine curved shot by Marcelo Roberto Lima de Mattos from the left, outside the area, which ended in the top right corner.
They doubled the score on the 14th when off a Marcelinho freekick, Alfred Effiong served Clifford Gauci who beat Calleja Cremona with a low shot from outside the area.
Three minutes from the end of the first half, Alfred Effiong almost managed to add another when he managed to try his luck despite being rounded by the goalkeeper and two defenders, hitting the foot of the post with a header and then his final conclusion being deflected into a corner.
Eleven minutes in the second half, Floriana were awarded a penalty after Steve Agius handled the ball inside the area. From the penalty spot, Gary Muir’s effort was not held by Matthew Farrugia with the ball ending at the back of the net.
Two minutes later, Floriana equalised when off a Vito Plut cross from the right, Matteo Piciollo flicked the ball past the Qormi goalkeeper.
FLORIANA Matthew Calleja Cremona, Rodrigo Felix Aguiar (50′ Gary Muir), Douglas Felipe Moreira Cobo, Marcelina Emerson, Vito Plut, Matteo Piciollo, Conor Borg, Neil Spiteri, Manuel Briffa, Brooke Farrugia (46′ Giovanni Galea), Sacha Borg.
Subs not used: Tyrone Gauci, Darrell Baldacchino, Luke Micallef, Glen Tabone, Daniel Agius.
Coach: Giovanni Tedesco
QORMI Matthew Farrugia, Alejandro Mendoza Corujo (62′ Alex Nilsson), Marcelo Roberto Lima de Mattos, Billy Berntsson, Steve Agius, Alfred Effiong, Clifford Gauci, Ryan Micallef (62′ Bjorn Bondin), Zoran Levnajic, Duncan Pisani, Jonathan Bondin.
Subs not used: Jurgen Cilia, Roderick Sammut, Karl Sciortino, Emerson Vella, Mario Muscat.
Team Manager: Mark Miller
Referee: Marco Borg
Assistant Referees: Thomas Debono, David Castillo
Additional Assistant Referees: Clayton Pisani, Sandro Spiteri
Fourth Official: Jurgen Spiteri
Yellow Cards: Plut, C. Borg, S. Agius, Pisani
Scorers: 3′ Marcelinho, 14′ Clifford Gauci, 56′ Gary Muir pen, 58′ Matteo Piciollo
BOV Player of the Match: Matteo Piciollo