The Malta Independent 21 May 2019, Tuesday

BOV Premier League: Dull encounter between Floriana and Balzan ends goalless

Simon Farrugia Saturday, 9 March 2019, 19:21 Last update: about 3 months ago
Photos: Domenic Aquilina
Photos: Domenic Aquilina

Floriana                  0
Balzan                     0

Floriana: I. Akpan, E. Ruiz, K. Keqi, B. Paiber (C.Borg 74'), J. Pisani, T. Galvao da Silva, A. Cini, J. Arias Ulises, A. Oyama, E. Herrera (D. Agius 79'), E. Cesani  

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Balzan: S. Mintoff, A. Kosoric, S. Pisani (J. Grioli 84'), S. Bezzina, P. Fenech, A. Effiong, U. Ljubomirac (A. Majdevac 68'), I. Bozovic, E. Serrano Valero, R. Correa Duarte, M. Lepovic (S. Cipriott 46')

Referee: Stefan Pace   

Asst refs: Luke Portelli, William Debattista

4th official: Philip Farrugia

Yellow cards: Ruiz, Lepovic, Bezzina, Cini  

Player of the match: Enzo Ruiz (Floriana)

TMI Top 3:  1. E.Ruiz        2.  R. Correa Duarte        3.  A. Oyama   

Balzan and Floriana took a point each from their match in which positive football was missing from the agenda. In fact this goaless draw never got off to a start and much more was expected from both sides. But this was a confirmation that their position is no fluke and the table always reflects nothing but the truth.

Balzan were passing through a rough ride lately with only just two wins from their last seven matches. Their last outing was the 2-1 defeat at the hands of Valletta succumbing in the latter stage of the match after being in front till the 80th minute.

Even Floriana have had a roller coaster season with only two wins from their last nine matches. The Greens have made numerous changes during this season and this has left a great impact on the squad. For them inconsistency was the order of the day.

Emerson Marcelina was ruled out through suspension for Floriana. Balzan had goalkeeper Steve Sultana on the bench with Majdevac starting on the bench but coming on in the second period, Balzan defeated Floriana  by a 2-0 scoreline.

On 12 minutes the Greens were awarded a corner with Oyama taking charge of it but Enzo Ruiz conclusion ended just over the mark. Two minutes later Diego Paiber had his central shot saved by goalkeeper Sean Mintoff. On 16 minutes an Alfred Effiong cross was met was Milos Lepovic which ended wide.

Till the end of the firs half play was rather dull with neither team going near to breaking the stalemate. In fact both goalkeeper had an easy afternoon.

Ten minutes into the second half a Balzan were awarded a free kick from inside the area but a  Ricardo Correa Duarte shot was blocked by the Floriana rearguard, the ball fell into Steve Pisani's path only for his shot to be deflected by Akpan.

Seven minutes from the end Akpan saved a low drive by Ricardo Correa Duarte. And on 82 minutes a long range shot by Clyde Borg just scraped the crossbar.

Three minutes from the end of the match Ricardo Correa Duarte had his shot hit the Floriana woodwork and from the rebound a Kosovic shot ended well over the bar.

The final whistle found both teams still locked on a 0-0 score with their performance leaving much to be desired. They need to up their game if they wish that they will end the season much better than it is at the moment.

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