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BOV Premier League

First-half goals do the trick for Floriana

Marcelo Dias (left) hits the ball in attack against Gudja United. Photo: Stephen Gatt

GUDJA 1
Friggieri 90

FLORIANA 2
Venancio 20
Pisani 38

GUDJA: G. Zammit-6, J. Farrugia-6 (76’ J. Brincat), Y. Messias-6, A. Friggieri-6.5, L. Cremona-6, G. Mensah-6.5, I. Gonzalez-6, N. Micallef-6, A. Caseres-6 (79’ T. Gusman), D. Camilleri-5.5 (42’ J. Grioli), P. Mota-6.
FLORIANA: I. Akpan-6, E. Ruiz-6, D. Venancio-7, N. Leone-6 (70’ S. Arab), K. Keqi-6 (81’ J. Busuttil), B. Paiber-6 (89’ A. Cini), J. Pisani-6.5, F. Cheveresan-6 (70’ A. Azzopardi), M. Dias-6, R. Camenzuli-6, T. Fonseca-6 (89’ D. Agius).

Referee Fyodor Zammit.

Yellow cards Mota, Gonzales, Arab

BOV Player of the match Diego Venancio (Floriana).

Floriana scored twice in the first half to beat Gudja United by the odd goal in three and bag their second successive victory.

This win puts the Greens on level points with Hamrun, one behind Hibernians and Gżira United.

Enzo Potenza’s side deserved the three points as they held the initiative throughout the first half, creating the better chances and on the restart, they remained in control although their opponents were aiming to hit back.

Despite the defeat, Gudja once again gave a very good account of themselves and actually enjoyed the lion’s share of ball-possession during the second half as well.

Gudja made two changes from the team which defeated Sliema as Patrick Silva Mota was back after serving a one-match ban while Jurgen Farrugia was named in the starting line-up after being included as a substitute.

Floriana, on the other hand, welcomed back goalkeeper Ini Etim Akpan while Marcelo Dias was preferred to Alex Cini.

The Greens were unlucky not to take the lead on seven minutes when off a Diego Venancio corner, Nicola Leone hit the crossbar with a fine header. On the other side of the pitch, a freekick by Yuri Messias ended just wide on 17 minutes.

Three minutes later, Floriana took the lead. A direct freekick by Diego Venancio, slightly deflected by a defender, gave goalkeeper Glenn Zammit no chance.

Gudja’s reaction consisted of a Jurgen Farrugia effort from outside the area which was neutralised by Akpan on 29 minutes.

On 38 minutes, the Greens doubled the score. Diego Venancio delivered a corner from the left and Jurgen Pisani headed the ball home.

Two minutes later, Floriana could have added another but following a cross by Diego Venancio from the right, Kristian Keqi’s diagonal shot just missed the target.

During the second half, Gudja showed greater determination although the Greens remained in control. However, the team led by Jesmond Zammit created the better chances. In fact, a fierce shot by Aidan Friggieri from outside the area was saved in two attempts by Akpan on 70 minutes and four minutes later, Gabriel Mensah went close with a diagonal shot from the right.

Ten minutes from time, Gabriel Mensah concluded a good move on the right with a shot from just inside the area which was parried by Akpan.

However, Gudja managed to score a consolation goal two minutes in added time. Imanol Gonzalez delivered a cross from the left and Aidan Friggieri beat Akpan with a beautiful header.

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