A goal by Kristian Keqi on the half hour handed Floriana a narrow win over Birkirkara at the National Stadium on Friday.
A fine start for the team led by coach Vincenzo Potenza and a disappointing result for Birkirkara who were seeking a winning start after an intensive transfer campaign.
Birkirkara coach John Buttigieg named seven new players in the starting line-up, namely Yannick Yankam, Roderick Briffa and foreigners Enrico Pepe, Jefferson Ferreria, Isaac Ntow, Caio Henrique Prado and Miguel Angel Alba. On the other hand, Potenza had four players making their debut – Diego Venancio, Matias Garcia, Augusto Caseres who played for him at Senglea and Ryan Camenzuli.
Miguel Angel Alba was unlucky to hit the crossbar for Birkirkara on the 11th minute and Diego Venancio went close for Floriana with a powerful freekick which was turned into a corner by Hogg eight minutes later.
Floriana took the lead on the half-hour when off a corner by Diego Venancio, Kristian Keqi headed home past Hogg.
On the hour, Roderick Briffa’s powerful drive was neutralised by Akpan aided by the post and on 75 minutes, substitute Federico Falcone hit the crossbar for the Stripes with a cross shot.
B’KARA Andrew Hogg, Jeferson Ferreira, Enrico Pepe, Maurizio Vella, Luke Montebello, Yannick Yankam (85′ Johann Bezzina), Roderick Briffa, Cain Attard, Caio Henrique Prado (46′ Federico Falcone), Miguel Angel Alba (78′ Matthew Guillaumier), Isaac Ntow.
Subs not used: Nicky Vella, Kurt Zammit, Gianluca Bugeja, Terence Agius.
Coach: John Buttigieg
Asst. Coach: Jonathan Holland
FLORIANA Ini Etim Akpan, Enzo Ruiz, Diego Venancio, Kristian Keqi, Ulises Arias (89′ Clyde Borg), Brandon Paiber (65′ Edward Herrera), Jurgen Pisani, Matias Garcia, Augusto Rene Caseres (71′ Tiago Adan Fonseca), Alex Cini, Ryan Camenzuli.
Subs not used: Andrea Cassar, Bradley Sciberras, Jan Busuttil, Terence Vella.
Coach: Vincenzo Potenza
Asst. Coach: Darren Anton Vella
Referee: Fyodor Zammit
Assistant Referees: Duncan Sultana, Duncan Spencer
Fourth Official: Darryl Agius
Yellow Cards: Briffa, Yankam, Arias, Jeferson
BOV Player of the Match: Kristian Keqi