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Floriana prevail in five-goal thriller

Floriana striker Kristijan Keqi battles for the ball with Ryan Grech, of Sirens. Photo: Stephen Gatt

FLORIANA         3

Busuttil 4, 64

Keqi 49

SIRENS               2           

Tounkara 18, Bustos 77

Floriana returned to winning ways as they defeated Sirens by the odd goal in five in an entertaining game.

The Greens took an early lead but Sirens reacted well and managed to equalise. However, Floriana regained the lead and increased it before the St Paul’s Bay reduced the arrears.

For Sirens, this was the second defeat in three matches, but they continued to show improvement, giving their opponents a hard time.

Floriana had no less than five changes from the team which lost to Hibernians as Justin Spiteri was preferred to Andrea Cassar in goal while Jurgen Pisani, Nicola Leone, Brandon Paiber and Kristian Keqi were back in the starting line-up.

Sirens, on the other hand could not count on the suspended Thiago Espindola who was replaced by Angel Manuel Bustos while the returning Ryan Scicluna was named in the starting line-up with Wilfried Domoraud starting the game on the bench.

The Greens took the lead on four minutes Ryan Camenzuli found Jan Busuttil who slotted past goalkeeper David Cassar.

Sirens replied with a free-kick by Bustos but Diego Venancio came to his side’s rescue heading the ball into a corner.

However, eight minutes later, Sirens levelled matters when Samba Tounkara concluded a solo effort with a fine rising shot from outside the area which beat goalkeeper Spiteri.

On 29 minutes, Tiago Fonseca exchanged the ball with Brandon Paiber and his low shot from the left was parried by Cassar.

Towards the end of the first half, Floriana went close with a Venancio free-kick which was partially saved by Cassar with Jurgen Pisani first on the rebound but his attempt was blocked.

Then in added time, the Greens threatened with a Busuttil free-kick from the right that ended just over the bar.

Floriana, however, were not to be denied four minutes in the second half.

Nicola Leone delivered a cross from the left, Pisani’s close-range header was blocked by the goalkeeper and Keqi slammed the ball home off the rebound.

Sirens striker Wellington fails to make contact with the ball as he attempted an overhead kick against Floriana. Photo: Stephen Gatt

The Greens maintained the pressure and added another on 64 minutes.

Following a good run by Venancio, Busuttil exchanged the ball with Paiber, beating Cassar with an angled shot from the right, slightly deflected by Pearson.

Sirens reduced the gap on 77 minutes. Ryan Grech delivered a freekick from the left, Domoraud’s header hit the upright and off the rebound, Manuel Angel Bustos headed home from close range.

Two minutes in added time, the Greens were reduced to ten men after having Leone sent off after picking two yellow cards.

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