I. Akpan-7, M. Beye-6.5, E. Ruiz-6, D. Venancio-6.5, K. Keqi-5.5, B. Paiber-5.5, M. Garcia-6, A. Cini-5.5, M. Dias-5.5 (89 S. Arab), J. Busuttil-6 (76 R. Camenzuli), T. Fonseca-5.
C. Cassar-6, L. Moreira-6.5, K. Reid-6, T. Bonfim-6, C. Grech-6, S. Barboza-6 (86 J. Suda), V. Vieira-6.5, D. Washington-6 (90 A. Carabott), E. Herrera-6, N. Tabone-6.5, Andersson-6.
Referee: Darryl Agius.
Yellow cards: Tabone, Venancio, Anderson.
BOV Player of the Match: Ini Akpan (Floriana).
Żejtun Corinthians will surely be rueing at themselves for their failure of bagging all three points against reigning champions Floriana who somewhat held on to a goalless draw.
For much of the opening hour of the match, the Corinthians were constantly on the attack, creating several scoring opportunities but Floriana goalkeeper Ini Akpan’s five-star performance kept them at bay.
Much more was expected from Floriana, who had coach John Buttigieg making his debut. The Greens, who were coming from three successive defeats, only tried to create something in the final 20 minutes and all in all, a draw must be considered as a positive result considering their performance.
Buttigieg could not count on Jurgen Pisani who was unavailable but still opted to leave out Ulises Arias and Flavio Cheveresan.
Diego Venancio was back for the first time in over six weeks while Marcelo Dias and Jan Busuttil were drafted in the starting line-up for the Greens.
On the other hand, Żejtun had Brazilian attacking midfielder Douglas Washington making his debut. Washington and Herrera replaced Diego Albanese and Adrian Carabott from the team which defeated Tarxien on Thursday.
Żejtun held the initiative throughout the first half, going close to taking the lead on ten minutes with a Kemar Reid free-kick saved in two attempts by Akpan.
On 23 minutes Kemar Reid’s effort was blocked by the Floriana custodian and off the rebound, Vitor Vieira’s conclusion was cleared off the line by the Moustapha Beye.
The Corinthians threatened again with a Vieira effort from the edge of the area which was blocked by Akpan on 29 minutes.
Five minutes from the break, a low drive by Sergio Barboza from outside the area scraped past the post.
Floriana finally threatened just before half-time, with Matias Garcia seeing his shot deflected to corner by Christian Grech.
Three minutes in the second half, a powerful drive by Douglas Washington ended just wide.
Akpan was prominent with a fine save on a Vieira free-kick on 58 minutes and from the resulting corner, Akpan performed another great save on Grech.
Eventually, the Greens became more confident and Venancio tested Cassar with a cross from the right on 71 minutes.
An angled shot by Paiber scraped past the upright on 83 minutes and two minutes later, they could have easily taken the lead with a powerful drive by Venancio which, however, ended just over the bar.
Finally, two minutes in added time, Cassar performed a good save on a cross shot from the left by substitute Ryan Camenzuli.