Floriana returned to winning ways as they defeated Naxxar Lions 2-1 at the Hibernians Stadium on Saturday. It was a dramatic win for the Greens as it was only a penalty in added time, shortly after a penalty miss, which handed them the three points.
For Naxxar, it was a disappointing result as they were close to notching another positive result after registering their first win last week.
The Greens managed to take the lead on the 41st minute when Ignacio Varela’s fine effort from outside the area gave goalkeeper Christoph Nicht no chance.
However on the 77th minute, Naxxar equalised thanks to Adrian Cascaval who managed to head the ball past goalkeeper Ini Etim Akpan.
Floriana could have regained the lead on the 85th minute when they were awarded a penalty after Maurizio Vella was brought down inside the area but Mario Fontanella’s effort was neutralised by the Naxxar goalkeeper.
But on the 92nd minute, referee Alan Mario Sant ordered another penalty for Floriana when substitute Leighton Grech was floored inside the area. This time from the penalty spot, Mario Fontanella made no mistake to hand Floriana the three points.
NAXXAR Christoph Nicht, Adrian Cascaval, Ryan Gilmour Cassar, Arnaud Mendy, Oussenyou Elhadji Ndaye, Duane Bonnici, Manolito Micallef (73′ Mark Fenech), Ryan Grech, Scott Fenwick, Daniel Mateo Bustos, Yuri de Jesus Messias.
Subs not used: Omar Borg, Jurgen Debono, Gianluca Grima, Daren Falzon, Tristan Nappa Licari, Joel Ellul.
Coach: Stuart Watkiss
FLORIANA Ini Etim Akpan, James Baldacchino, Alex Cini, Enrico Pepe, Enzo Ruiz, Clyde Borg, Nicolas Chiesa (49′ Leighton Grech), Maurizio Vella, Juninho Cabral, Ignacio Varela (46′ Dylan Grima), Mario Fontanella.
Subs not used: Matthew Grech, Mattia Zarb, Jamie Delia, Neil Spiteri, Jake Stensen.
Coach: Giovanni Tedesco
Referee: Alan Mario Sant
Assistant Referees: Roberto Vella, Paul Apap
Fourth Official: Malcolm Spiteri
Yellow Cards: Fenwick, Vella, Grima
Red Cards: Omar Borg (from bench), Giovanni Tedesco
BOV Player of the Match: Ignacio Varela
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Photo: Copyright © Andrew Grima
Meanwhile at the Centenary Stadium, Birkirkara registered a second win in a row as they beat Tarxien Rainbows 3-1.
The Stripes forged ahead on the 43rd minute thanks to Carlos Alberto da Silva’s angled shot, deflected by an opponent, which beat goalkeeper Christian Cassar.
Two minutes in the second half, Birkirakra doubled the score when Luke Montebello sent Fabiano Oliveira through and the latter dribbled a defender before beating the Tarxien custodian with a diagonal shot.
Tarxien pulled one back on the 63rd minute thanks to Matteo Desira Buttigieg – who is on loan with the Rainbows from Birkirkara, who took advantage of an erratic clearance and hit low past David Cassar.
However nine minutes from time, Birkirkara sealed the issue with a third goal when off a Jake Grech freekick, Nikola Vukanac headed the ball home.
B’KARA David Cassar, Nikola Vukanac, Lucas Maia, Mislav Andjelkovic, Fabiano Oliveira, Carlos Alberto da Silva (84′ Llywelyn Cremona), Cain Attard, Kurt Zammit, Mattew Guillaumier, Ryan Scicluna (75′ Jake Grech), Luke Montebello (68′ Edward Herrera).
Subs not used: Philip Schranz, Martin Klein, Landry Mulemo, Ryan Camenzuli.
Coach: Paul Zammit
TARXIEN Christian Cassar, Ebiabowei Baker, Godwin McKay, Matthew Spiteri (70′ Mamadou Traore), Ayrton Azzopardi (87′ Arsene Rye Cilia Mumford), James Brincat, Andrew Agius, Luke Grech (63′ Matteo Desira Buttigieg), Ryan Darmanin, Ricardo Silva Faria, Sean Cipriott.
Subs not used: Antonio Chetcuti, Matthew Brincat, Seyown Zammit, Matthew Degiorgio.
Coach: Jose Borg
Referee: Sandro Spiteri
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Peter Abela
Fourth Official: Mario Apap
Yellow Cards: Vukanac, Cipriott, Scicluna, Herrera, Desira Buttigieg
BOV Player of the Match: Fabiano Montero de Oliviera