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Trillo strikes late to floor Żebbuġ Rangers

Floriana's Jan Busuttil (right) tries to put in a shot against Zebbug Rangers. Photo: Domenic Borg


Trillo 86



D. Formosa-7, A. Magri Overand-6, O. El Hasni-6, M. Veselji-5 (83 N. Cassar) O. Spiteri-6, N, Garcia-6, C. Zammit Lonardelli-6, L. Trulli-6.5, A. Melunovic-6 (46 K. Reid-4), J. Busuttil-6.5, S. Osestad-6 (60 L. De Grazia, 72 Z. Cassar).


J. Azzopardi-6, H. Motta-6, S. Bugeja-6, L. Almeida-6.5, T. Bartolo-6 (61 J. Sciberras-5), C. Lokoli Ngoy-6, R. Sanchez-6, Jeferson-6 (90 G. Tanti), A. Maldonado-7 (84 A. Mizzi), S. Miloskovic-6 (61 K. Bondin), J. Gesualdi-6.

Referee: Darryl Agius.

Yellow cards: EL Hasni, Motta.

BOV player of the match: Charles Lokoli Ngoy (Zebbug Rangers).

Lorenzo Trillo gave Floriana their first win in eight Premier League games as they beat a wasteful Żebbuġ side at the Tony Bezzina Stadium.

Trillo’s 86th-minute goal lifted the Greens to seventh in the league. It was no more than they deserved against a lacklustre Żebbug side who have now lost their third match in the last four.

Gianluca Atzori’s side had looked keen to end their awful run and began much the brighter of the two teams.

Floriana made most of the running but were denied by their own poor finishing and some stubborn Żebbuġ defending.

They nearly scored in the first minute when Oulid El Hasni was presented with a golden opportunity to resolve a goalmouth scramble, but Leandro Almeida blocked his effort off the line.

After 10 minutes, Jan Busuttil went on a magnificent run and picked up Alen Melunovic but the Serbian striker fired his shot straight at Jamie Azzopardi.

The Greens continued to dominate but lacked the cutting edge to open up a resolute Żebbuġ defence well-marshalled Almeida.

With Busuttil and Mattia Veselji in a withdrawn role, Melunovic had little support up front.

On 35 minutes, Trillo galloped down the left and delivered a cross which Melunovic headed wide.

The Serbian striker had made little attacking impact, so at half-time, Atzori made a switch in attack with Kemar Reid replacing him.

Yet, the Greens’ lack of quality in front of goal continued after the break with Reid directing a free header from Busuttil’s cross over the bar.

On 54 minutes, Jeferson threaded a pass through for Charles Lokoli Ngoy but Azzopardi saved his effort.

On the other side, Trillo fired a shot just wide of keeper Azzopardi.

Yet Żebbuġ nearly took the lead on 63 minutes as Floriana failed to make the most of their pressure.

Lokoli Ngoy ran through the Floriana defence after being set up by Almir Soto Maldonado forcing Duncan Formosa, the Floriana goalkeeper, into a smart save. 

Żebbuġ were by now more than matching their opponents.

Robert Sanchez’s outswinging corner was powerfully headed out by El Hasni with Formosa watching on helplessly in the Floriana goal.

On 77 minutes, Lokoli Ngoy embarked on another magnificent run from his own half, and as Carlo Zammit Lonardelli backed off, the Australian fired a shot that was blocked by Formosa.

But Floriana made Żebbuġ pay for their wastefulness.

Trillo picked the ball up in their opponent’s box and let fly an unstoppable left-foot low drive into Azzopardi’s far corner.

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