The Malta Independent 25 May 2019, Saturday

BOV Premier League: Woo Ling strike retains St Andrews’ hopes of avoiding relegation

Henry Brincat Monday, 22 April 2019, 19:54 Last update: about 2 months ago
Photo: Domenic Aquilina
Photo: Domenic Aquilina

Floriana             0
St Andrews       1

Floriana: I. Akpan, C. Borg (D. Grima 76), K. Keqi, B. Paiber (D. Agius 69), J. Pisani, T. Galvao da Silva, A. Cini, U. Arias (T. Vella 56), A. Oyama, E. Cesani, E. Marcelina

St Andrews: M. Calleja Cremona, A. Satariano, K. Mcfarlane, T. Blagrove, A. Friggieri (K. Reid 86), J. Farrugia, K. Magro, J. Walker (D. Debono 56), M. Davis (D. Jackson 90), L. Sciberras, M. Woo Ling

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Referee: P. Farrugia

Asst refs: L. Portelli, D. Petrovic

4th official: S. Petrovic

Scorers: M. Woo Ling 66

Yellow cards: K. Mcfarlane 71

BoV Player of the Match: M. Woo Ling

TMI Top 3: 1. M. Woo Ling, 2. A. Cini, 3. J. Farrugia

A Matthew Woo Ling strike on 66 minutes gave St Andrews three precious points which keep them hoping to be able to avoid relegation, even if through a play-off.

The goal came following a freekick which goalie Akpan appeared to have grasped well on the line, but somehow he fumbled the ball which finished behind the goalline.

Ahead of the Senglea-Hibernians clash later, St Andrews remained in 12th place, but were just two points behind Senglea with one more match to go.

In fact, the Saints needed all the three points to retain their hopes of remaining in the Premier Division, alive.

The first half was a boring affair as neither team managed to lift the dismal atmosphere surrounding the Ta' Qali Stadium, mostly with the dull weather.

Floriana, with the wind at their backs, dictated play for most of the time. They created the best efforts of the few witnessed during the first half.

The Saints defended stubbornly and operated on counterattacks, but dangerman Martin Davis was left too isolated up front to be of any menace to the Greens defence.

In the second half, Floriana maintained their supremacy in midfield, but rarely were dangerous in front of the Saints goal.

St Andrews defended well and operated in counterattacks from one of which they were awarded a freekick which resulted in the goal that mattered albeit through a freekick by man of the match Woo Ling which Akpan fumbled.

Floriana were all over their opponents at the start as they dominated play from midfield, but they did not produce one single decent shot at goal.

It was St Andrews who threatened in their first foray into the Greens area on 13 minutes as Martin Davis saw his angled shot well saved by Akpan.

The Greens responded with their first attempt soon after. After an Alex Cini cross, a Brandon Paiber effort was deviated to a corner by Kevyn Mcfarlane.

In the 24th minute, it was Clyde Borg who tried his luck from outside the area, but his effort ended over the bar.

Two minutes later, from an Alexander Cini cross, there was a mixup in the Saints defence, but somehow the ball was cleared to safety.

In the 34th minute, Arthur Oyama had a fine effort palmed out by goalie Matthew Calleja Cremona.

In the 39th minute, Kristian Keqi had a great effort hitting the crossbar with goalie Calleja Cremona beaten.

Four minutes later, the Saints goalie was called into action to save a grounder from Galvao da Silva.

And before the interval whistle, it was Aidan Friggieri who set Matthew Woo Ling in the Greens area, only for the latter's shot to hit the crossbar.

Floriana were once again dominant at the start of the second half and Calleja Cremona had to come out of his charge to punch away a dangerous freekick by Paiber.

At the other end, in the 54th minute, Friggieri had a good effort just missing the target.

Floriana had a Keqi effort hitting the upright soon after, but it was the Saints who struck - quite unexpectedly - on 66 minutes. From a Woo Ling freekick, goalie Akpan made a mess as the ball squirmed out of his hands and went over the line.

In the 83rd minute, Akpan saved the Greens fort with an excellent save off a Mcfarlane header which seemed destined for the back of the net.

At the end of the match, the Greens were obviously disappointed although they have no further interest in the proceedings while the Saints were delighted with their success.

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