The Malta Independent 16 December 2019, Monday

BOV Premier League: Entertaining Hamrun-Floriana match ends goalless

Simon Farrugia Friday, 22 November 2019, 21:34 Last update: about 23 days ago
Photo: Jonathan Bugeja
Photo: Jonathan Bugeja

Ħamrun S.          0
Floriana              0

Ħamrun S.:  M. Bartolo, T. Caruana, J. Dodo Soares, W. Domoraud, C. Failla (B. Schembri 87'), N. Leone, S. Lagzir, M. Criaco, K. Micallef, O. Nikolopoulos (D. Borg 82'), M. Cinquini   

Floriana: I. Akpan, E. Ruiz, D. Venancio, K. Keqi (T. Vella 87'), J. Arias Ulises, J. Pisani, M. Garcia, R. Camenzuli, A. Caseres (J. Busuttil 55'), A. Cini, T. Fonseca

Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann 

Asst refs: Roberto Vella, Ivan Galea

4th official: Mario Apap 

Yellow cards: Failla, Nikolopoulos, Garcia

Player of the match: Manuel Bartolo (Hamrun Spartans)

TMI Top 3: 1.  M. Bartolo        2.    J. Dodo Soares            3.  J. Arias Ulises    

Attendance:  795

Leaders Floriana maintained their unbeaten record in the BOV Premier League but failed to grab the maximum points from their match against Hamrun Spartans played last night at the National Stadium. This was their second consecutive draw since in their last outing they were held by Hibernians.

This draw put the Greens five points ahead of Sirens who lie in second place but the latter have a match in hand.

On the other hand Hamrun who were coming from a surprise defeat against Sliema Wanderers join Hibernians on seventeen points.

This was a match between two Italian coaches, Enzo Potenza on one side and Manuele Blasi on the other.

This match marked the return to domestic football after the double encounter of the National team against Spain and Norway and the end of the qualification campaign for the European Championship.

Points were imparative for both teams, Floriana to maintain their lead at the summit and Hamrun following a rather dismal run after such a bright start to the season.

Hamrun were the first team to threaten when in the 4th minute Nicola Leone fired a fierce shot with goalkeeper Akpan replying with an excellent save to deny the Spartans an early lead.

The Greens replied on 15 minutes through a Diego Venancio free kick with the ball ending inches wide from the goal defended by goalkeeper Bartolo.

Four minutes later Floriana protested when Augusto Caseres seemed to have been brought down in the area but the match official waved play on.

The league leaders were now increasing their tempo and in the 22nd minute it was Ulisses Arias turn to try his luck only for his shot to just miss the target.

Nearing the half hour it was Hamrun's turn with Soufiane Lagzir seeing his thunderbolt saved by an agile Akpan. And till the end of the first half play was rather restricted to the midfield sector with neither team threatening.

On the change of ends the Spartans went near in the 52nd minute when an Ailton Soares shot ended over the bar following a solo run by the Hamrun player.  And two minutes later they went close once again when Lagzir's shot hit the upright.

Just on the hour Hamrun goalkeeper Bartolo saved well from close range a Tiago Fonseca effort. And the Spartans goalkeeper was once again in the thick of action in the 70th minute saving once again, this time on Arias.

It was now Hamrun's turn to lodge their protests sixteen minutes from time when Ailton Soares fell in the area but the referee had a different version of the incident.

On 79 minutes Floriana forward Fonseca tested Bartolo which was practically the last chance of the match. In fact though both teams tried to steal victory the match ended goalless but it was an entertaining game which offered some good football and numerous chances.

  • don't miss