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BOV Premier League

Sliema prevail in Old Firm derby to go top

FLORIANA       0

SLIEMA            1

Cisotti 50

Floriana

I. Akpan-6, E. Ruiz-6, N. Leone-5 (57 J. Busuttil-6), K. Keqi-5, U. Arias-5, B. Paiber-5.5 (84 S. Arab), J. Pisani-5 (90 A. Azzopardi), M. Garcia-5, M. Dias-6 (84 A. Cini), R. Camenzuli-5, T. Fonseca-5.

Sliema Wanderers

J. Galea-7, A. Satariano-6.5 (86 A. Milesi), K. Shaw-6.5, J. Mintoff-6 (70 D. Vukovic), J. Cisotti-7.5, Denilson-6, G. Aquilina-6, R. Kakinuma-6.5 (66 Gilmar), Linton-6, J. Farrugia-6.5 (84 S. Comvalius), M. Beerman-6.

Referee: Glen Tonna.

Yellow cards Aquilina, Dias, Shaw, Denilson.

BOV Player of the match Juri Cisotti (Sliema Wanderers).

Sliema Wanderers put behind them their midweek defeat to Ħamrun Spartans as they outwitted Old Firm rivals Floriana to go top of the Premier League standings.

A moment of magic from Juri Cisotti handed the Blues an impressive win over the Malta champions in a derby where they held the edge throughout and their reward is top spot in the Premier League standings as they moved on the 25 point-mark, two clear of Hibernians. 

Floriana, on the other hand, were a shadow of the team that cruised past Valletta last weekend as the Greens looked short of ideas despite long spells of possession to suffer their fourth league defeat of the season.

The match turned out to be a tactical battle for much of the first half.

Sliema were trying to penetrate the Floriana defence through quick forays from the flanks from Juri Cisotti and Riki Kakinuma but were continuously being let down by their distribution towards their main forward Jean Paul Farrugia.

Floriana, on the other hand, were happy to play a more patient game, letting Sliema come out of their half and try to hit them with quick transitions through Kristian Keqi and Ulisses Arias.

Scoring chances were a rarity with the first shot on target coming on the half hour when Ryan Camenzuli hit a thumping drive that just missed the upright.

Sliema finally threatened on 37 minutes with Cisotti hitting a thumping drive from the istance with the ball hitting the upright with Ini Akpan beaten.

Three minutes from the break, Arias’ throughball put Keqi in space but the Albanian saw his angled drive easily blocked by Galea.

Sliema got the breakthrough they deserved five minutes into the second half. They were awarded a free-kick down the left channel and Cisotti’s inswinger surprised Akpan with the ball finishing into the back of the net.

Here, Floriana coach Enzo Potenza withdrew Nicola Leone and roped in Jan Busuttil as he looked to add more flair to his team attacking lines.

The Greens were now seeing more of the ball but continued to lack any form of inspiration as they seemed confused when coming at the final third.

Fourteen minutes from time, Fonseca put Camenzuli in space, but the Malta wingback blasted over.

Sliema should have killed off Floriana nine minutes from time when Farrugia sped clear on the right and sent a low cross towards the unmarked Cisotti who fluffed his shot just in front of Akpan.

The Floriana no. 1 kept his team in the game when a minute from time he dived full stretch to keep out Gilmar’s inswinger.

But despite their late efforts Floriana could not find a leveller as Sliema held on for morale-boosting win.

Standings provided by SofaScore LiveScore

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