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Floriana salvage point against ten-man Sirens

Floriana's Adam Magri Overend (left) and Sirens' Jacob Walker battle for the ball. Photo: Jonathan Bugeja

SIRENS                              2             

Cini 4, Kolev 29

FLORIANA       2             

Ciolacu 73, 75

SIRENS A. Cassar-6, W. Soares-6, M. Muniz-6, K. Sano-6.5, R. Tachikawa-6.5, S. Cipriott-6 (80’ A. Borg), J. Walker-6.5, A. Cini, I. Kolev-6 (72’ W. De Oliveira), G. Ventura-6, D. Jackson-6.5.

FLORIANA G. Kitanov-6, A. Magri Overend-6, C. Rutjens-6, O. El Hasni-6, M. Veselji-5.5 (46’ C. Zammit Lonardelli), K. Reid-5.5 (65’ J. Scicluna), U. Arias-5.5 (46’ E. Hershkovich-6), M. Garcia-6, L. Trillo-6, E. Callegari-5.5 (46’ A. Ciolacu-6.5), J. Busuttil-6.

Referee Daniel Portelli

Yellow Cards A. Magri Overend, O. El Hasni, A. Cini, W. Soares, L. Trillo, R. Tachikawa

BOV Player of the Match Andrei Ciolacu (Floriana)

Floriana came back from two goals down to rescue a point in a 2-2 draw with ten-man Sirens.

Two goals in the first half hour handed the St. Paul’s Bay side a comfortable lead but the dismissal of Sirens captain Alex Cini mid-way through the second half was the turning point for the Greens as they scored twice in two minutes to level matters.

Winston Muscat made two changes to the team which lost to Birkirkara as Jacob Walker and Degran Jackson were preferred to Gary Camilleri and Paulo Vyctor Bento. On the other hand, Gianluca Atzori named an unchanged side following the win over Pieta’ Hotspurs.

Sirens had a perfect start, taking the lead after four minutes when they were awarded a freekick on the left and Alex Cini beat goalkeeper Georgi Kitanov with a well-taken attempt.

A Gabriel Ventura freekick ended over the bar for Sirens three minutes later and Floriana took some time to react until Jan Busuttil tested Sirens custodian Andrea Cassar with a cross from the right. On 28 minutes, Busuttil served Trillo on the left and the latter’s cross for Veselji was intercepted by Cassar.

On 29 minutes, Sirens doubled the score. Degran Jackson delivered a cross from the right and Ivan Kolev slotted the ball past Kitanov from close range.

This second goal shocked the Greens who seemed unable to react and two minutes from the end of the first half, Sirens threatened once again with an Ivan Kolev header from close range which scraped past the post.

Atzori opted for three substitutions at the beginning of the second half, replacing Emiliano Callegari, Ulises Arias, and Veselji with Carlo Zammit Lonardelli, Eden Hershkovich, and Andrei Ciolacu.

These changes enabled Floriana to gain more ball possession but shots at goal failed to arrive with the Sirens rear-guard seeming comfortably in control.

However, on 69 minutes, referee Daniel Portelli showed Cini a second yellow card for time-wasting and the Sirens captain had to abandon the field of play, leaving his side with ten men.

Floriana took full advantage and on 73 minutes, they pulled one back. Adam Magri Overend delivered a cross from the right and Ciolacu slotted the ball past Cassar.

Two minutes later, the Greens levelled matters. It was Ciolacu, once again, who received the ball on the edge of the area and drilled the ball home in the bottom right corner.

In stoppage-time, Sirens went close to regaining the lead but Kitanov was prominent, turning a powerful drive by Rei Tachikawa into a corner.

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