Darmanin 72; Bustos 83
E. Elezaj-6.5; L. Bittaye-6.5; W. Domoraud-6.5; E. Callegari-6.5; A. Borg-6; J. Walker-6; S. Tounkara-6.5; R. Scicluna-6 (68 R. Grech); T. Agius-6 (73 R. Darmanin) ; M. Bustos-6.5; T. Jammeh-6.5.
A. Cassar-6; E. Ruiz-6; D. Venancio-6; K. Keqi-6; U. Arias-6 (84 J. Busuttil); B. Paiber-5; J. Pisani-6; F. Cheveresan-6.5; M. Dias-6; J. Lumu-6; R. Camenzuli-6.
Referee Philip Farrugia.
Yellow cards Borg, Jammeh, Ruiz, Venancio, Dias, Paiber.
BOV Player of the Match Kristian Keqi (Floriana).
Champions Floriana have succumbed to their ninth defeat of the season after losing 2-1 to Sirens, coached by former Greens mentor Giovanni Tedesco.
A defeat that continues to add more woes to the Floriana clan as they have now slipped into the red zone with 19 points.
One of last year’s heroes Kristian Keqi had put them ahead just before the break as Floriana were in the driving seat for a much-needed victory.
However, Tedesco’s tactical intuition in the second half helped him turn the score around to chalk up their seventh win of the season.
The St Paul’s Bay side are now seventh on 25 points.
After four minutes, Ryan Scicluna, of Sirens, attempted his luck from the edge of the area but his effort sailed over.
Moments later, Samba Tounkara followed Scicluna with another long-range effort but failed to hit the target.
Sirens looked more in control of the game, through their pragmatic approach but they could not create any clear-cut chances.
Floriana replied through an Ulisses Arias shot on 25 minutes that failed to hit the target.
When it looked as though it would be goalless at half-time, Floriana were handed a penalty after Adrian Borg floored Jerome Lumu inside the area.
Keqi converted from the spot for his fifth goal of the season.
At the restart, Keqi almost doubled the score with a fantastic effort only to see Entonio Elezaj blocking his shot.
Past the hour mark, Tounkara squandered a glorious chance to level terms when he headed wide from close-range.
Twenty minutes from time, Tedesco inserted Ryan Darmanin to have further offensive presence on the field and the striker left his mark instantly as he fired home with his first touch from a corner kick.
Moments later, Wilfried Domoraud almost turned the score around with a shot from inside the area that finished inches wide.
Floriana’s Diego Venancio tried his luck from a trademark free-kick but his effort sailed over while at the other end Manuel Bustos’ came close with a curling effort.
However, Bustos was not to be denied seven minutes from time when he connected to a Ryan Grech free-kick and headed past Floriana’s goalkeeper.
In the closing stages of the game, coach John Buttigieg deployed Jan Busuttil in an attempt to salvage a draw but Sirens managed to preserve their lead to earn three valuable points.