Leaders Floriana maintained their unbeaten record in the BOV Premier League but were held in a second successive draw as the clash with Hamrun Spartans at the National Stadium on Friday ended in a goalless draw.
A draw which puts the Greens five points ahead of second-placed Sirens, who however have a game in hand. Hamrun, on the other hand, join Hibernians on the 17-point mark as they obtain the third draw in four matches.
Nicola Leone went close with a powerful drive which was saved with particular difficulty by Akpan on the 4th minute but six minutes later, Diego Venancio da Silva threatened with a freekick which ended just wide. Ulises Arias had a shot from outside the area which just missed the target on 22 minutes. Seven minutes later, Akpan was prominent with another good save, this time on a freekick by Lagzir.
Ten minutes in the second half, Soufiane Lagzir was unlucky to hit the upright for the Spartans but on the hour, Tiago Adan Fonseca served on the right had a shot at point blank turned into a corner by Bartolo. Ulises Arias had a close-range effort, after receiving a cross from the right, blocked into a corner on 71 minutes.
The Spartans had appeals for a penalty after Ailton Soares was grounded inside the area on 76 minutes turned down by referee Trustin Farrugia Cann. Two minutes later, Fonseca’s diagonal shot from the left for Floriana was deflected into a corner. Finally in added time, Bartolo came to the rescue, neutralising a Terence Vella effort from the left.
HAMRUN Manuel Bartolo, Triston Caruana, Ailton Jorge dos Santos Soares, Wilfried Domoraud, Clayton Failla (87’ Bradley Schembri), Nicola Leone, Soufiane Lagzir, Marco Criaco, Karl Micallef, Orestis Nikolopoulos (81’ Darren Borg), Mattia Cinquini.
Subs not used: Jean Claude Debattista, Karl Schembri, Matthew Gauci, Cain Cutajar, Ryan Darmanin.
Coach: Manuele Blasi
FLORIANA Ini Etim Akpan, Enzo Ruiz, Diego Venancio, Kristian Keqi (87’ Terence Vella), Ulises Arias, Jurgen Pisani, Matias Nicolas Garcia, Augusto Caseres (55’ Jan Busuttil), Alex Cini, Ryan Camenzuli, Tiago Adan Fonseca.
Subs not used: Justin Spiteri, Clyde Borg, Bradley Sciberras, Mattias Formosa, Edward Herrera, Jan Busuttil.
Coach: Vincenzo Potenza
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Assistant Referees: Roberto Vella, Ivan Galea
Fourth Official: Mario Apap
Yellow Cards: Failla, Nikolopoulos, Garcia
BOV PLayer of the Match: Manuel Bartolo