The Malta Independent 21 April 2024, Sunday
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Premier League: Floriana drop precious points in draw against Balzan

Monday, 19 February 2024, 07:09 Last update: about 3 months ago

Floriana could only manage a 2-2 draw against relegation haunted Balzan, losing two precious points in their fight for Hamrun Spartans for the title. The Spartans, as expected, had an easy win against Sirens in the morning and now they enjoy a five-point lead over the Greens.

With nine matches remaining this gap could be fundamental for Hamrun to retain the title. At this stage Floriana cannot drop further points, especially against sides from the bottom part of the table.

For Balzan it was a precious point as the relegation battle intensifies. With Sirens and Gudja’s fate almost already set, it will be an interesting battle between Gzira, Balzan, Mosta, Naxxar, Valletta and Santa Lucia for the remaining two places to complete the relegation quartet.

Floriana had a good start with Nwoko hitting over the bar on seven minutes and five minutes later Floriana won a penalty when Furtado was floored by Prates and from the penalty spot Luis Furtado, who as voted as the man of the match, fired the ball home.

Hal way through the first half a Valadzko grounder went inches wide and Balzan drew level just past the half hour with their first attempt at goal. Ex-Floriana starlet Jan Busuttil, who presented flowers to his former supporters, shocked the same supporters when he surprised Kitanov with a fierce drive.

Two minutes from the break Floriana were back in front when from a corner action, Owen Spiteri nodded down towards Noguriera who scored from close range. In stoppage time Floriana were unlucky not to add to their tally when an Owen Spiteri cross was headed by Nwoko with the ball finishing against the post.

On the resumption both sides had attempts missing the target and on the hour Balzan goalkeeper Golovic blocked a Kemar Reid effort. On 65 minutes Balzan drew level for a second time when an Awosanya shot was partially blocked by Kitanov and from the rebound Triston Caruana fired home.

The Greens pushed forward in the remaining minutes and went close with a Nogureira effort going inches wide and with Golovic saving Balzan with a great save off a Luis Furtado freekick.

Photo: Domenic Aquilina

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