The Malta Independent 21 March 2019, Thursday

BOV Premier League: Floriana make sure of win with second half goals

Henry Brincat Wednesday, 13 March 2019, 19:58 Last update: about 7 days ago
Photos: Joseph Galea
Photos: Joseph Galea

Pieta H.          0
Floriana         2

Pieta: N. Vella, T. Ose, D. Agius, P. Chimezie (N. Pisani 73), J. Busuttil (J. Scicluna 81), G. Mensah, JM Artiaga, C. Grech, U. Calistus, I. Jalo (J. Ghio 62), A. Macedo

Floriana: I. Akpan, E. Ruiz, K. Keqi, B. Paiber (E. Herrera 81), J. Pisani, T. Galvao da Silva, A. Cini, U. Arias (C. Borg 69), A. Oyama, E. Marcelina, L. Vieira Da Silva (T. Vella 60)

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Referee: Emm. Grech

Asst refs: A. Camilleri, D. Stankovic

4th official: A. Sciriha

Scorers: B. Paiber 63, E. Marcelina 71

Yellow cards:  I. Jalo 31, P. Chimezie 60

BoV Player of the Match: E. Marcelina

TMI Top 3: 1. E. Marcelina, 2. B. Paiber; 3. J. Busuttil

Floriana returned to winning form yesterday as they beat bottom placed Pieta Hotspurs by two clear goals scored in the second half.

Brandon Paiber and Emerson Marcelina scored the goals that mattered killing almost all the remote hopes Pieta might have entertained of ever avoiding relegation.

The Hotspurs remain firmly anchored to the bottom on 10 points with just five matches remaining for the end of the campaign. They are certainly more than firm favourites for the Big Drop.

On their part, Floriana are now breathing more easily as the three points have lifted them onto the 25-point mark, a massive 8 points away from the relegation zone.

In the first half, goalmouth actions were few and far between.

Floriana dominated proceedings for long stretches as Pieta appeared to be intent on adopting a defensive stance in an effort to obtain a positive result after 10 consecutive defeats which saw them dropping into the bottom position.

The Greens took command of midfield right from the first whistle, but despite their dominance, they found it difficult to get through as Pieta's defensive wall never allowed them enough space to take aim at goalie Nicholas Vella, except perhaps on two occasions, early in the match and just before the interval whistle.

Pieta's resistance, however, lasted till the 63rd minute when Floriana finally took the lead. From then on, it was an uphill battle for them as they only threatened the Greens fort once near the end.

Floriana started on attack and on 4 minutes, from a Jurgen Pisani pass, it was Lucas Vieira da Silva who forced Pieta goalie Nicholas Vella into a save to corner.

On 31 minutes, Floriana were again in threatening mood as Brandon Paiber received a good ball on the right of the Pieta area, but his dangerous low cross shot found no takers in front of goal.

Pieta's first chance arrived on 35 minutes when Paul Chimezie tried to go past at least four Floriana defenders, but was eventually robbed of the ball before he could shoot at goal from close in.

Kritian Keqi also had an effort going wide for Floriana on 39 minutes and on the 45th minute, it was Paiber who tested goalie Vella seriously for the first time, but the goalie did well to punch the ball away.

Floriana started the second half like the first - on attack, and they had an Ulises Arias shot turned to corner by Vella.

The Greens broke the deadlock on the 63rd minute. It was Brandon Paiber who beat goalie Vella with a low diagonal shot with the ball going in via the left upright.

The Hotspurs replied with a Chimezie shot on 67 minute, but his effort went just wide.

Four minutes later, Floriana scored a second goal when following a cornerkick action, the ball was cleared out to Emerson Marcelina who fired home a brilliant first timer which gave goalie Vella no chance.

Before the end, Pieta had a good chance to reduce the gap, but a fine Calistus effort was excellently turned to corner by Ini Akpan.

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