Floriana brought Valletta’s fine run on top the BOV Premier League table as they defeated them 2-0, possibly opening wide once again the race for the championship as Hibernians and Balzan would move to just three and five points respectively behind the Citizens should they win this weekend.
The Greens, on the other hand, are still fifth, three points behind Birkirkara, who however have a game in hand.
Goalkeeper Matthew Calleja Cremona and Enrico Pepe were missing for Floriana while Valletta could not count on Ryan Camilleri.
A Matteo Piciollo effort from the edge of the area was deflected into a corner on the 25th. Three minutes later, Valletta were reduced to ten men after Romeu Romao received a second yellow card after bringing an opponent down just outside the area. From the resulting freekick by Chiesa, Henry Bonello turned the ball into a corner
However in added time, Floriana managed to take the lead when off a short freekick by Nicolas Chiesa, Matteo Piciollo served Mario Fonatanella who slotted the ball past goalkeeper Henry Bonello.
Six minutes in the second half, it was the turn of Manuel Briffa to receive a second yellow card and therefore receive marching orders by referee Fyodor Zammit. From the resulting freekick, Jhonnattann hit the upright with the ball bouncing onto the goalkeeper and into a corner.
On the 62nd, Fontanella missed an incredible chance to double the score heading wide from close range following a cross from the right by Piciollo.
The Greens doubled the score on the 72nd minute when off a cross by Piciollo from the left, Mauricio Villa slotted the ball past Bonello.
FLORIANA Matthew Grech, Andre Scicluna, Antonio Monticelli (13′ Juninho Cabral)(46′ Mauricio Villa), Steve Pisani, Clyde Borg, Matteo Piciollo (90′ Neil Spiteri), Steve Bonnici, Manuel Briffa, Nicolas Chiesa, Mario Fontanella, Emerson Marcelina.
Subs not used: Jake Taliana, Jake Davies, Daniel Agius, Firas Aboulezz.
Assistant Coach: Michael Woods
VALLETTA Henry Bonello, Jonathan Caruana, Juan Cruz Gill, Roderick Briffa, Federico Falcone, Llywelyn Cremona (54′ Ian Azzopardi), Claudio Pani (86′ Jurgen Suda), Uchenna Calistus Umeh, Jhonnattann Benites da Conceicao, Abdelkarim Nafti (70′ Michael Mifsud), Romeu Romao.
Subs not used: Nicky Vella, Daniel Camilleri, Jean Borg, Nicholas Pulis.
Coach: Paul Zammit
Referee: Fyodor Zammit
Assistant Referees: Roberto Vella, David Castillo
Additional Assistant Referees: Malcolm Spiteri, Philip Farrugia
Fourth Official: Duncan Sultana
Yellow Cards: Umeh, Briffa, Juninho, Scicluna, Nafti, Umeh, Caruana
Red Cards: 28′ Romeu Romao, 51′ Manuel Briffa
Scorers: 45+1′ Mario Fontanella, 72′ Mauricio Villa
BOV Player of the Match: Matteo Piciollo