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Floriana strike early to overcome Pieta Hotspurs

Floriana's Lorenzo Trillo looks for an opening against Pieta Hotspurs. Photo: Domenic Aquilina

FLORIANA        2

Veselji 12; El Hasni 25 pen



G. Kitanov-6, A. Magri Overend-6 (72 A. Garzia), C. Rutjens-6, O. El Hasni-6, M. Veselji-6.5 (62 C. Zammit Lonardelli), K. Reid-6.5 (72 E. Hershkovich), J. Arias-6 (62 A. Ciolacu), M. Garcia-6, L. Trillo-7.5, E. Callegari-6, J. Busuttil-6.5 (82 J. Scicluna).


S. Alampasu-5, S. Okoh-5, Y.Ito-4, J. Ghio-5 (58 G. Xuereb), T. Agius-5.5 (75 S. Mizzi), A. Schembri Wismayer-4 (46 K. Briffa-6), Z. Leonardi-4, A. Ogungbe-5, A. Sekou-5.5, A. Belibi-5 (46 K. Leonardi-6), T. Yamaguchi (15 N Scerri-5).

Referee: Alex Johnson.

Yellow cards: Agius, Ghio, Alampasu.

BOV Player of the match: Mattia Veselji (Floriana)

Floriana got off to the perfect start as they beat Pietà Hotspurs in an entertaining match.

The Greens maintained their good pre-season form with an energetic performance that was rewarded when Mattia Veselji nodded in a 12th-minute opener with Oualid El Hasni doubling the lead 13 minutes later from the spot kick.

Gianluca Atzori’s team started the campaign on the right footing. It took the Hotspurs most of the first half to adapt to the Greens’ tempo and once they did, they found a solid defence manned by El Hasni and Christian Rutjens.

Jan Busuttil and Lorenzo Trillo, making his Premier League debut, were both impressive, causing Pietà problems down the wings.

The Greens were always on the offensive with Matia Garcia’s legs not being asked to do much in the way of defending.

Floriana started the match in vibrant mode as they took the lead after 12 minutes with Veselji concluding a strong run with a grounder that rolled past the diving Sunday Alampasu and into the far corner of the net.

Takuma Yamaguchi was substituted on 15 minutes after suffering concussion and was transported to hospital with the standby ambulance.

With the Hotspurs looking vulnerable, especially at the back, Floriana maintained their early supremacy.

Floriana doubled their lead in the 25th minute when Alan Schembri Wismayer upended Trillo and Kemar Reid made no mistake from the penalty spot.

The Italian wing-back made a sparkling debut for the Greens. His direct running down the left flank continued to create havoc in the Hotspurs defence in the second half.

Shy the hour mark, the former Frosinone player found space out wide, following Matias Garcia’s flick-on and crossed for Reid who shot wide from a few metres out.

Seven minutes from time, substitute Andrei Ciolacu met Busuttil’s cross only to plant his header just over the bar.

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