Floriana halt Balzan’s positive record

After winning six of the first eight matches, Balzan lost their unbeaten record as a penalty early in the game and a goal in the final stages gave Floriana a 2-0 win over Oliver Spiteri’s side. Therefore Valletta stay on top the BOV Premier League table, one point ahead of Balzan.

Floriana therefore returned to winning ways following the 1-3 defeat to neighbours Valletta and re-join Mosta in fifth place, five points behind the leaders.

Coach Luis Oliveira named the same eleven players sho had started the derby last Sunday as Conor Borg was ruled out injured. For Balzan, Clive Brincat, Steve Bezzina and Terence Agius were included in the starting line-up with Samir Arab, Maxim Focsa and Lydon Micallef all starting on the bench. Bezzina was therefore back after an absence of one month but Ryan Fenech and Bojan Kaljevic were still unavailable as they are recovering from injuries.

The Greens had a perfect start, taking the lead on the 10th minute when Mario Fontanella converted a penalty after Elkin Serrano brought Matteo Picciollo down inside the area.

Balzan could have equalised five minutes later when Alfred Effiong was floored inside the area by a defender but Aleksandar Vujacic’s effort from the penalty spot was neutralised by Calleja Cremona.

Eleven minutes from time, Balzan were reduced to ten men after Elkin Serrano received a second yellow card for a foul on Fontanella.

Five minutes from time, Floriana sealed the issue with a second goal as Nicolas Chiesa sent substitute Juninho Cabral through and the latter rounded the goalkeeper before placing the ball at the back of the net.

FLORIANA Matthew Calleja Cremona, Antonio Monticelli, Enrico Pepe, Steve Pisani, Clyde Borg, Jurgen Pisani, Filippo Andrea Scozzese, Matteo Picciollo (66′ Juninho Cabral), Manuel Briffa, Nicolas Chiesa, Mario Fontanella (87′ Steve Bonnici).
Subs not used: Tyrone Gauci, Andre Scicluna, Luke Micallef, Daniel Agius, Firas Aboulezz.
Coach: Luis Oliveira

BALZAN Christian Cassar, Dylan Grima (59′ Luke Sciberras), Edison David Bilbao Zarate, Steve Bezzina, Godwin Mensha (75′ Ryan Darmanin), Clive Brincat, Alfred Effiong, Elkin Orlando Serrano Valero, Terence Agius (58′ Lydon Micallef), Aleksandar Vujacic, Justin Grioli.
Subs not used: Valerio Senatore, Jamie Zerafa, Maxim Focsa, Samir Arab.
Coach: Oliver Spiteri

Referee: Alan Mario Sant
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Peter Abela
Fourth Official: Sandro Spiteri
Yellow Cards: Serrano, Grima, Chiesa, Monticelli, S. Pisani, Zarate, Scozzese, Effiong
Red Cards: 79′ Elkin Serrano
Scorers: 10′ Mario Fontanella pen, 85′ Juninho Cabral
BOV Player of the Match: Nicolas Chiesa