Floriana collected their first three points as they defeated Pembroke Athleta 2-1 at the Hibernians Stadium on Saturday.
Led by Giovanni Tedesco, who was making his return with the club after short spells with Birkirkara first and Palermo later last season, Floriana were a better side and deserved to take home the three points. Apart from the defeat, Pembroke were certainly disappointed for the fact that they ended in nine men after having two players sent off.
The Greens had Justin Haber, Alex Cini, Maurizio Vella, Amadou Samb and substitute Gustavo FrancaAmadio making their debut while Adrian Borg, Clifford Gauci, Luke Montebello, Oleksandr Maksymov and substitutes Mateus Regis da Silva and Jhonatan Bernardo Mariano making their first appearance for Pembroke.
Floriana had an excellent start taking the lead on the 11th minute when off an assist by Amadou Samb from the left, Mario Fontanella slotted the ball past goalkeeper Mario Muscat.
Pembroke, however, levelled matters on the 18th minute when Paltemio Barbetti sent Luke Montebello through and despite Enrico Pepe’s attempt to clear the ball into safety, it bounced onto the Pembroke defender’s face to end at the back of the net.
Floriana regained the lead on the 32nd minute when off a cross from the right, Amadou Samb failed to connect but Brandon Muscat was unlucky to deflect the ball past goalkeeper Mario Muscat.
Pembroke were reduced to ten men on the 69th minute when Siraj Arab was sent off by refree Trustin Farrugia Cann for elbowing Floriana defender Enrico Pepe.
The Greens increased the pressure but failed to extend the lead despite creating a number of goal scoring opportunities. Deep into stoppage time, Luke Montebello was also sent off for Pembroke after head-butting Andre Scicluna.
FLORIANA Justin Haber, Andre Scicluna, Antonio Monticelli, Enrico Pepe, Clyde Borg, Maurizio Vella, Jurgen Pisani, Alex Cini, Amadou Samb, Nicolas Chiesa, Mario Fontanella (74′ Gustavo Franca Amadio).
Subs not used: Matthew Grech, Jake Davies, Steve Pisani, Neil Spiteri, Daniel Vassallo, Brooke Farrugia.
Coach: Giovanni Tedesco
PEMBROKE Mario Muscat, Clifford Gauci, Oleksandr Maksymov, Luke Montebello, Siraj Arab Eddin, Zoran Levnaic, Paltemio Barbetti, Brandon Muscat, Manolito Micallef (78′ Jhonatan Bernardo Mariano), Miguel Attard (61′ Mateus Regis da Silva), Adrian Borg.
Subs not used: Craig Abdilla, Zachary Grech, David Fenech, Tyrone Fenech, Neil Grech.
Coach: Winston Muscat
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Assistant Referees: Jurgen Spiteri, Thomas Debono
Fourth Official: Esther Azzopardi
Yellow Cards: Barbetti, Attard, Levnaic, Vella
Red Cards: 69′ Siraj Arab, 90+3′ Luke Montebello
BOV Player of the Match: Amadou Samb