The Malta Independent 21 September 2021, Tuesday

Premier League: Dominant Greens register convincing win over neighbours

Simon Farrugia Sunday, 12 September 2021, 06:29 Last update: about 8 days ago

A dominant Floriana defeated neighbours Valletta by a convincing score registering their first win of the season and inflicting on the Citizens the first defeat. It was a deserved win for the Greens who were in fine form and practically left no spaces for their opponents.

The Citizens defeated Hamrun Spartans  in the first match by a 2-1 scoreline and in their last match before the international break they won by a solitary goal against Balzan.

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On the other hand the Greens went into this match undefeated though they were still in search of their first win following two draws against Santa Lucia and Sliema Wanderers respectively.

Gianluca Atzori made three changes from their last match whereas his counterpart Cardoso Mendes sticked to the same eleven that started the match against Balzan. Their latest signings Andrei Cosmin Ciolacu and Eugeniu Rebenja were not included in their match day squad.

Valletta dominated the early stages of the match but it was Floriana who went near on fifteen minutes when following a good run by Arias his shot was saved by Guarnone with the ball finally falling into Garcia’s path only for his shot to be saved once again by the Valletta goalkeeper.

Floriana were now pressing more and on 22 minutes Arias brought Keqi in an ideal position and the Italian forward with only Guarnone to beat had his shot saved by the Valletta custodian. And six minutes later off an Arias corner a Gauci headed clearance hit the woodwork.

The goal was in the making and in the 38th minute Floriana drew first blood. Zerafa lost possession with Caseres making a good run, finding Magri Overend on the right flank his cross perfectly met by Jose Arias who headed past Guarnone.

In the final minute of the first half Camenzuli floated a cross in the area and Zerafa was on time to clear onto a corner before Arias could connect.

Valletta started the second half pressing forward and in the 58th minute a Curjuric shot from the edge of the area was deflected into a corner.

The Greens were controlling the matters and even finding time to head forward. In fact on 65 minutes Busuttil countered finding Veselji but the latters diagonal shot was saved by Guarnone. And in the 70th minute a Paiber shot was easily saved by the Citizens goalkeeper.

A minute later Pena Beltre found Dimech in the area but his header sailed just over the bar. Floriana responded on 74 minutes when a Magri Overend sent a cross in the area with Veselji’s flying header saved by Guarnone.

Valletta were dealt a severe blow fifteen minutes from the end when Christian Gauci was sent off for a foul on Caseres which was his second bookable offence in the space of a few minutes.

Fourteen minutes from the end Guarnone made a wonderful save tipping into a corner a Paiber scorcher. And in the 79th minute Valletta responded through Fontanella whose low shot was saved by Kitanov.

The Greens doubled their lead three minutes from the end  through Daniel Agius who fired a shot from inside the area into the corner.

After Valletta hit the post in the 90th minute through a shot by Tulimieri, Floriana sealed the issue two minutes into stoppage time when Camenzuli changed the ball with Paiber and placed the ball into the net to the jubilation of the Floriana supporters.

Photo: Domenic Aquilina

 

 

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