The Malta Independent 27 May 2024, Monday
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Floriana lose Premier League leadership following Marsaxlokk defeat

Sunday, 21 April 2024, 06:36 Last update: about 2 months ago

Simon Farrugia

Floriana lost the leadership of the BOV Premier League when they were defeated by a Sunday Akinbule goal against Marsaxlokk in a tight match played at the National Stadium.

This defeat means that Hamrun Spartans are now in pole position to win their tenth league crown when they have now taken a point point lead.

This was a difficult match for Floriana against Marsaxlokk who are holding on the fourth spot which can result in European qualification. Lately the Seasiders have been passing through a good patch grabbing wins against  Ħamrun Spartans, Valletta and Santa Lucia

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Thus points at stake were of utmost importance for both sides. Floriana to keep the two point advantage on Ħamrun Spartans with the direct encounter in sight whereas M'Xlokk in order to keep hold of the fourth place and distant themselves from Hibernians with both teams hoping that they can make it to Europe via their league position.

Floriana were the first team to threaten and Calleja Cremona came at his side's rescue when he saved a double effort by Willis Furtado.

M'Xlokk were giving Floriana a good run for their money and in their first attack they protested harshly when Valadzko handled in the area but referee Farrugia Cann waved play on.

And on the half hour a Furtado shot was turned onto a corner by Calleja Cremona. Till the end of the first forty five minutes though both teams were very active neither goalkeeper was called into action.

On the change of ends play was more restricted to the midfield area with Marsaxlokk going near on the hour. Following a good run on the left flank by Duane Bonnici his pass found Messias but the latter miskicked his shot with the ball ending wide.

Floriana tried to counter and break the opposing rearguard but were finding the Seasiders defence in a stubborn mood. Thirteen minutes from the end the Greens went near to break the deadlock when off a Furtado free kick a Valadzko header just missed the target. 

A cold shower for Floriana eight minutes from the end when a long kick by Calleja Cremona found Messias who squared the ball towards Akinbule who fired into the net past Kitanov for what proved to be the winner.

 

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