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Floriana roar back to see off Gudja United and move within a point of Ħamrun Spartans

Floriana came from a goal down thump Gudja United 5-1. Photo: Domenic Borg


Furtado 33 pen., 36

Reid 48, El Hasni 55

Rovas 70


Friggieri 26


G.Kitanov, O. El Hasni, K. Reid, M. Nogureira (66 C. Rovas), D. Vella, O. Spiteri (73 G. Yameogo), M. Garcia (73 J. Grech), C. Zammit Lonardelli, M. Valadsko ( 66 A. Garzia), A. Kouro (29 J. Arias) L. Furtado.


J. Pisani, M. Bremmer, S. Attard (61 M. Conti), M, Muchardi, L. Gatt (61 W. Serrano), R. Nanitelamio, Z. Grech, A. Friggieri (77 E. Gentile), M. Esposito, G. Joseph, G. Zammit (61 I. Salis)

Referee: Ezekiel Barbara.

Floriana threw the title race wide open yesterday when they took advantage of Ħamrun Spartans’ second consecutive half slip-up and overcome Gudja United. 

Suggestions that the Premier League race had became a procession for Ħarmun Spartans were completely dismissed yesterday as Floriana beat Gudja 5-1 to cut the gap with Ħamrun to just one point.

The Greens fell behind to an early Aidan Friggieri strike but hit back quickly through a quick-fire double by Luis Furtado and from then on they never looked back.  

As expected Floriana applied the early pressure, forcing a succession of early set pieces, with James Pisani, the Gudja goalkeeper, producing a smart save on Carlo Zammit Lonardelli after 19 minutes.

But as the Greens appeared to be gathering momentum, Gudja took a surprise lead when Friggieri scored an audacious goal from almost the halfway line after seeing Floriana goalkeeper Georgi Kitanov off his line.

Nevertheless, Floriana continued to put Gudja on the backfoot.

Mauro Camoranesi brought on Josè Arias in lieu of Alexandros Kouro with the Greens switching from a back three to back four, in a bid to strengthen the midfield against a team who was putting 10 men behind the ball.

The move paid dividends as 33 minutes as the score became level. Floriana were awarded a penalty when Kemar Reid was clipped from behind by Luca Gatt. Furtado stepped up to equalise.

Three minutes later, Reid fed Furtado on the right and his drilled shot from a tight angle gave Pisani no chance.

The Greens moved further ahead two minutes into the second half Furtado unpicked Gudja’s defence released Reid who hit a low drive past Pisani.

Floriana skipper served up goal number four after 55 minutes with a header following another neat pass from Furtado.

Substitute Rovas ensured the win was an emphatic one with a well-taken goal on 70 minutes.

GŻIRA UNITED            0


Freire 59 pen., Frendo 90


D. Zarkov, C. Filho, A. Borg, T. Aldama, M. Dias, L. Riacos (46 T. Knezevic) K. Spence (76 D. Boadu), F. Zuniga, B. Borg, T. Espindola, J. Mendoza.


R. Al Tumi, J. Borg, V. Plut (86 D. Kondrakov), S. Da Mata (77 E. Agius), M. Beerman, J. Arthur (90 N. Frendo), G. Alcino, C. Kouao (86 J. Engerer), J. Adukar, H. Murilo, G. Acheampong (86 M. Awad).

Referee: Fyodor Zammit

Yellow cards: Alcino, Aldama, Beerman, Jackson

Red card: Mendoza (G) 68.

Earlier, Sliema Wanderers strengthened their grip on third place with a 2-0 win over rivals Gżira United.

Gżira United coach Andrew Cohen brought Kyle Spencer in for Macula while Marcelo Dias took over from Zachary Cassar and Andrew Borg replaced the suspended Zach Scerri.

Paul Zammit made only one change as Joachim Adukar replaced Joseph Minala, suspended. But there was no place in the starting line-up for the match-winner in the previous encounter Mohamed Abdulahi Awad.

There was not much to shout about at either end in the first half as scoring chances were rare.  

On 25 minutes, Christ Kouao drove a ball across the face of goal but Dias cleared off the danger before a Sliema player could get a touch.

 The Wanderers had a lucky escape when Thaylor Aldama headed straight at Darijan Zarkov.

However, it was left to the defender Gustavo Alcino to go closest with a 44th-minute header which dropped just over the bar.

The match burst into life on 54 minutes when Sliema were awarded a penalty after Dias was penalised for stepping on Adukar. From the ensuing spot kick, Bernardo Freire buried the ball home to breach Zarkov’s net after 386 minutes.

The situation got worse for Gżira when Jackson Mendoza was sent off after receiving two yellow cards in quick succession.

The Gżira captain already on a booking, clipped Adukor’s foot and was shown a second card by referee Fyodor Zammit.

Sliema were not done though and sealed the points when substitute Neil Frendo struck in the sixth minute of injury time, slamming a low shot into the corner.

Mosta came from behind to stun fourth-placed Marsaxlokk and boost their hopes of avoiding relegation this season.

The Blues came into the match under a bit of pressure as with just one win from their last four matches, nothing less than a win would help them to move out of the relegation zone.

And Joe Grech’s men duly delivered as despite falling behind in the first half they managed to turn the tables on Marsaxlokk to move up to ninth on 23 points, one clear on the drop zone.

On the other hand, Marsaxlokk remain fourth on 29 points, level with Birkirkara.

 Nevin Portelli had given Marsaxlokk the lead on 31 minutes when Nevin Portelli headed home from a Duane Bonnici cross.

But Mosta refused to throw in the towel and seven minutes later they equalised Jamie Scerri fired home from close in.

The Blues grabbed the winner on 53 minutes when Ben Aziz Dao fired home from a Precious Tenebe free-kick.


Portelli 31


Scerri 38; Dao 54


M. Drobnjak, Weder, N. Portelli, J. Ghio, Y. Messias, D. Bonnici (84 L. Aguirre), J. Walker (78 S. Boakye), N. Raden, R. Scicluna, J. Gomes, A. Obonogwu (64 S. Akinbule).


Akpan, G. Chara, H. Chidera (87 M. Ihekuna), P. Tenebe (64 T. Tegwi), G. Sciberras (78 S. Cachia), A. Hovhannisyan, B. Aziz Dao, W. Dagou, J. Scerri (87 J.P. Farrugia), J. Vassallo, K. Tulimieri (78 C. Nnaji).

Referee: Darryl Agius.

Yellow card: Walker.

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