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Floriana, Santa Lucija collect point

Floriana and Santa Lucija shared the spoils in their opening game. Photo: Joe Borg

Keqi 51 pen., Agius 77

Rodrigues Farias 21, 52

FLORIANA: A. Vella-5.5, A. Magri Overend-6 (67 A. Garzia), C. Rutjens-6, O. El Hasni-6.5, Z. Cassar-6, A. Caseres-6 (67 D. Agius), K. Keqi-6, U. Arias-6 (90+2 M. Formosa), M. Garcia-6.5, B. Paiber-6 (90+2 B. Sciberras), R. Camenzuli-6.

SANTA LUCIJA: J. Archibald-7, A. Prates-6 (90+2 J. Carbone), J. Pisani-6, N. Pisani-6, P. Silva-6, V. Plut-6.5, A. Da Silva-6
(65 E. Camilleri), F. Rodrigues-7, J. Tanti-6 (90 L. Mckay), V. Filho-6, K. Xuereb-6.

Referee: Slobodan Petrovic

Yellow cards: N. Pulis, A. Prates, K. Keqi, J. Archibald, A. Garzia.

BOV Player of the match: Francisco Eliomar Rodrigues Farias.

Floriana and Santa Lucia earned a point each in an entertaining draw which saw Oliver Spiteri’s side take the lead twice but each time, Floriana managed to equalise.

Both sides had several new faces in their line-ups including former Floriana captain Jurgen Pisani who is now at Santa Lucia and goalkeeper Andreas Vella and Adam Magri Overend who moved in the opposite direction during the summer transfer window.

The Greens also had Zachary Cassar, Christian Rutjens and Oualid El Hasni making their debut along with Augusto Caseres, who last season was on loan with Gudja first and Santa Lucia later.

On the other hand, the Santa Lucia line-up featured the other new signings, namely Jan Tanti, Patrick Silva Mota, Vito Plut and Francisco Eliomar Rodrigues and St. Kitts and Nevis international goalkeeper Julani Archibald.

Archibald and Plut left a very good impression along with Rodrigues, who scored a brace.

Floriana held the initiative in the early stages but Archibald was hardly tested.

On the other hand, in their first attempt at goal, on 21 minutes, Santa Lucia forged ahead. Francisco Eliomar Rodrigues Farias dashed past two defenders following an assist by Vito Plut from the right and placed the ball in the top right corner past Andreas Vella.

The Greens’ reaction consisted of a cross shot by Adam Magri Overend which was parried by Julani Archibald on 32 minutes and three
minutes later, Ulises Arias hit wide with a freekick from the left.

However, six minutes in the second half, Floriana levelled matters.

Referee Slobodan Petrovic ordered a penalty after Andre Prates Rodrigues brought Floriana’s Augusto Caseres down inside the area and from the penalty spot, Kristian Keqi converted.

Their joy was short lived as a minute later, Santa Lucia regained the lead.

Vito Plut served Francisco Eliomar Rodrigues Farias whose fine shot from outside the area gave the Floriana goalkeeper no chance.

Atzori made two changes, including Aleandro Garzia and Daniel Agius, and the latter was immediately in the thick of action, testing Archibald with a lob which was somehow saved by the Santa Lucia custodian on 68 minutes.

However nine minutes later, Ryan Camenzuli delivered a cross from the left and the same Daniel Agius headed home to restore equilibrium.

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