The Malta Independent 25 February 2020, Tuesday

BOV Premier League: Fonseca late header keeps Floriana floating

Chris Cassar Saturday, 8 February 2020, 19:11 Last update: about 7 days ago
Photo: Domenic Aquilina
Photo: Domenic Aquilina

Gzira U                 2
Floriana                2

Gzira

J. Haber

F. Barbosa

N. Muscat (J. Corbalan 81')

Z. Scerri

R. Soares

D. Xuereb

H. Kone (A. Samb 75')

S. Borg

M. Criaco

W. Domoraud

M. Davis (A. Cohen 80')

 

Floriana

Akpan

E. Ruiz

D. Venancio

K. Keqi

J. Arias Ulises (J. Busuttil 61')

S. D'Agostino (C. Borg 94')

J. Pisani

A. Cini (T. Vella 85')

M. Dias

R. Camenzuli

T. Fonseca

 

Referee: Fyodor Zammit

Ass.referees: Edward Spiteri, Mitchell Scerri

Fourth Official: Malcolm Spiteri

Scorers: S. D'Agostino 32', M. Criaco 49', 66', T. Fonseca 87'

Yellow cards: J. arias Ulises 38', D. Venancio 62', E. Ruiz 70', N. Muscat 81', A. Cohen 86', T. Fonseca 88', S. Borg 90',

Player of the match: Marco Criaco (Gzira U)

TMI Best Three: 1. M. Criaco, 2. D. Venancio, 3. M. Davis

 

A late header scored by the returning Thiago Fonseca saved Floriana from a second consecutive defeat, and kept the Maroons at bay six points from the top of the table. The result keeps the Greens floating on top of the table, but now equal on points to main rivals and champions Valletta.

The game lived up to its expectations in the second half, after a drab first half which only came to life with D'Agostino's deflected opener on the half hour.

In the second half Gzira went out with a different tempo and scored two great goals from the star of the match Marco Criaco who showed all his class with two breath-taking picture goals. Following this Floriana put their hearts in an attempt to save a desperate situation.

Coach Potenza risked everything putting in the fray Busuttil and Terence Vella and was rewaerded very late in the game with Fonseca's equaliser.

The match took quite a long time to lift off with both sides concentrated on defence especially the Maroons. However Gzira had the first attempt at goal when ex-Hamrun striker Domoraud rounded a defender but his low angled drive hit the side netting.

On 32 minutes Floriana broke the deadlock when from a Venancio corner the ball fell to D'Agostino whose shot was deflected by Marco Criaco, completely deceiving Justin Haber with the ball at the back of the net.

Gzira immediately pushed everything forward and Floriana goalkeeper saved a Criaco header and another one from Domoraud. On 37 minutes Gzira's best chance with a great shot on the turn by Kone just missing the upright.

Sixty seconds later an impressive break from the Greens with keqi';s cross however too high for Marcelo Dias to head home. Just before the break another good Gzira move on the left flank with the ball travelling towards Zachary Scerri who fired slightly over the bar.  

Four minutes into the second half the Maroons drew level. It was an astonishing goal from Marco Criaco who showed all his talent rounding Alex Cini and Akpan in one move before sliding the ball home.

The Greens were now in disarray and Akpan was Floriana's saviour blocking shots from Kone and Zachary Scerri, the latter put through by another Martin Davis good move. On 66 minutes Gzira took the lead with yet another great goal from Marco Criaco who received Dexter Xuereb's cross from the right to first time beautifully home.

Gzira were now in control but the Greens pushed everything forward. Haber was never really tested apart from intercepting several crosses from the flanks. Then with three minutes to go, the Greens' pressure paid off when Thiago Fonseca headed home a Venancio freekick.

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