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Watch: Floriana punish Hibernians to join Ħamrun Spartans at the top

Floriana striker Kemar Reid tries to break through the Hibernians defence. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Santa Lucia boost salvation hopes with win over Balzan


FLORIANA       2

Reid 44

Matheus 65


I. Kone, F. Apap (68 H. Fernandes Alves), K. Shaw, J. Degabriele (85 I. Chukunyere), B. Kristensen (31 L. Caruana), A. Radchenko, A. Bruno (68 R. Antwi), A. Radchenko, G. Artiles (85 Z. Grech), C. Bonanni, M. Bagayoko, G. Bastianos.


G. Kitanov, O. El Hasni, M. Veselji (65 U. Arias), K. Reid, Matheus (79 L. De Grazia), D. Vella (79 K. Nwoko), O. Spiteri, M. Garcia, C. Zammit Lonardelli (37 W. Furtado), M. Valadzko, A. Kouro.

Referee G. Tonna.

Yellow cards: Veselji, Kristensen, Spiteri, Valadko, Garcia.

Floriana kept up the pressure on leaders Ħamrun Spartans as they scored a goal in each half to see off Hibernians at the National Stadium.

It was far from a straight-forward win for the Greens who looked second best for much of the first half, with Hibernians creating the better chances.

However, in football one has to convert his chances and the Paolites were made to pay for their profligacy as Floriana took the lead on the stroke of half-time through Kemar Reid and from then on they took control.

After the break, Floriana were in charge and sealed the points with a second goal scored by Matheus to move level on points with Ħamrun Spartans who face Gudja United this afternoon.

Hibernians had a huge chance after 12 minutes when Jurgen Degabriele powered his way through but his shot was blocked by the excellent Maksim Valadsko.

Five minutes later, Ferdinando Apap picked up a short rebound but his volley flashed wide.

Floriana finally threatened on 24 minutes when Alexander Kouro picked up a short clearance and hit a thumping drive that was well blocked by the returning Hibs goalkeeper Ibrahim Kone.

Four minutes later Alex Bruno was lucky to stay on the pitch when he caught Carlo Zammit Lonardelli with his elbow, leaving the Floriana players with a cut on his face, but the officials opted not to sanction the Hibs defender.

The Paolites were forced to make their first change on the half-hour mark when Bjorn Kristensen limped out injured and was replaced by Lucas Caruana.

Eleven minutes on the break, Hibs had Floriana on the backfoot when Radchenko sped clear on the right and his cross was deflected into the path of Caruana whose effort was blocked, with the ball falling into the path of the unmarked Degabriele but he fluffed his effort much to his frustration.

Hibs were unlucky not to take the lead on 39 minutes when Giannis Bastianos’ stinging drive bounce off the upright.

Bu it was Floriana who took the lead against the run of play when substitute Willis Furtado sped inside the area and squared the ball for Kemar Reid who fired home.

On the restart, the Malta international striker had the chance to double his team’s lead when he controlled Kouro’s cross but was denied by the onrushing Kone.

Hibs’s response failed to arrive and it was Floriana who sealed the points when Furtado flicked the ball into the path of Matheus who lobbed the ball over the onrushing Kone and into the net.

The Paolites finally threatened on 71 minutes when Antwi’s shot was blocked by Valadsko and Degabriele fired over from a routine distance.

Furtado came close to put his name on the scoresheet with a thunderous drive that was blocked in two attempts by Kone.

Four minutes from time, it was Kitanov who pushed away Bastianos curling drive from a free-kick.

In stoppage time, Valadsko was unlucky not to add a third when his angled shot hit the upright with Reid denied by Shaw from the rebound.

BALZAN             0


Sena Silva 74


R. Briffa, A. Prates, S. Arab, T. Caruana, J. Busuttil (76 A. Andrejic), H. Euigwon (67 B. Hili), R. Michibuchi (67 D. Oluwatobiloba), N. Zerjal, N. Braunovic (80 M. Aguek), O. Rommens, G. Blackwood (67 A. Katanic).


F. Filho, M. Ellul, A. Ogouvide (90 P. Ramos), D. Letherby (46 N. Virano), A. Bradshaw, J. Pisani, A. Mrdja (90 J. Valletta), S. Moracci (46 L. Sena), A. Piazza (46 O. Temitope), S. Xerri, E. Pinto.

Referee: Fyodor Zammit.

Yellow cards: Temitope, Zerjal.

Santa Lucia produced a battling performance to overcome Balzan 1-0 and clinch three crucial points that boosted their hopes of avoiding relegation this season.

Evandro was the Saints’ inspiration and he set up the winner on 74 minutes, when he robbed possession on the right flank, went on a run and cut the ball for substitute Lucas Sena Silva who slot in via the underside of the bar.

The one-goal lead gave a bit of breathing space for Santa Lucia, who desperately needed points to escape the danger area of the league table.

But the Saints could afford to feel comfortable, knowing the spluttering Balzan looked like a side who had score just two goals in their previous four league matches.

Santa Lucia moved on the 15 point mark, two away from the safety zone.

Balzan remain eighth in the table on 19 points but could have little complaint over the loss.

Gżira United moved out of the relegation zone when they overcame Naxxar Lions 1-0.
Thiago Espindola grabbed the all-important goal on 55 minutes that lifted the Maroons above Mosta, who could only manage a 0-0 draw against Sliema.

In a game of few chances, Paul Zammit’s men dominated but the Blues did not possess the guile to break down Mosta’s resolute defence.




R. Al Tumi, J. Engerer (90 N. Strickland), V. Plut (71 S. da Mata), M, Beerman (71 C. Kouao), J. Arthur, G. Alcino, D. Kondrakov (55 G. Acheampong), N. Frendo, J. Adukor, B. Freire, A. Awad (71 L. Micallef).


D. Akpan, G. Valois, N. Obidike, E. Aneni, H. Nwoga (62 C. Nnaji), L. Tenebe ( 62 K. Tulimieri), G. Sciberras, A. Hovhannisyan (7g JP Farrugia), A. Dao Ben, J. Vassallo, Z. Brincat (62 N. Agius).

Referee Alex Johnson

Yellow cards: Kondrakov, Aneni.

NAXXAR LIONS             0

GŻIRA UNITED              1

Espindola 55


M. Debono, N. Micallef (46 N. Pace Cocks), F. Pereira, M. Fenech (46 Marcilio), Pablo De Carvalho, E. Farias, R. Cassar, T. Yamaguchi, Elizeu (81 R. Blandon), Maicon, Joa Vitor.


D. Zarkov, C. Filho, Z. Scerri, L. Macula (86 K. Spence), L. Riascos, F. Zuniga, Z. Cassar, B. Borg (69 A. Borg), T. Espindola, J. Mendoza (69 T. Knezevic)

Yellow cards: A. Borg, F. Romero, Scerri, Thaylor.

Standings provided by Sofascore

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