Paiber 59; Keqi 84
SLIEMA WANDERERS 0
G. Kitanov-6; A. Magri Overend-6.5, O. El Hasni-6.5, Z. Cassar-6.5, A. Ciolacu-6 (83 A. Caseres), M. Garcia-6.5, B. Paiber-7 (83 M. Micallef), E. Callegari-6.5, E. Rebenja-5 (56 K. Keqi-6.5), J. Busuttil-6.5 (56 D. Agius-6), A. Garzia-5 (56 R. Camenzuli-6.5).
T. Aquilina-7; J. Morales-5, K. Shaw, M. Scerri-5 (56 G. Aquilina-5), O. Elouni-5 (46 J. Engerer-5), I. Gui-5 (77 D. Holla), E. Agius-5, Y. Uchida-5 (62 J. Farrugia), M. Beerman-5, D. Vukovic-5, V. Berisha-5.
Referee Trustin Farrugia Cann.
Yellow cards Callegari, Scerri, Agius, Morales.
Red card Kurt Shaw (SW) 57.
BOV Player of the Match Brandon Paiber (Floriana).
The second Old Firm derby of the season went Floriana’s way as goals from Brandon Paiber and Kristian Keqi added more woes to Sliema Wanderers.
Kurt Shaw’s red card midway into the second half proved to be turning point of the game as immediately after Floriana took the lead and dominated the remaining minutes without any trouble.
Gianluca Atzori’s team moved second with 23 points, trailing leaders Hibernians by eight.
On the other hand, Sliema’s trouble continue as they remain anchored at the bottom with four points after 12 games. They remain seven points adrift of trio Mosta, Santa Lucia and Gudja United.
Chances in the first 45 minutes were at a premium with the game failing to spark into life. Floriana captain Matias Garcia tested Timothy Aquilina, Sliema’s goalkeeper, as the latter smothered his shot.
Moments later, Jan Busuttil headed the ball towards goal but Aquilina was alert to avert the danger.
The Greens continued to dictate proceedings but could only bank on their shooting options as the Sliema backline proved resilient to break down.
Floriana’s best chances of the game dropped on the feet of forwards Andrei Ciolacu and Eugeniu Rebenja, but on both occasions they were denied by Aquilina from close-range.
On the brink of half-time, Sliema had a couple of shots that went wide courtesy of Inters Gui and Dejan Vukovic before Floriana’s Paiber fired the last shot of the half that went wide past Aquilina’s goal.
After the change of ends, Floriana coach Atzori reshuffled his attacking options by deploying Kristian Keqi, Daniel Agius and Ryan Camenzuli.
A minute later, Floriana forged ahead from a Paiber free-kick from the edge of the area which was the result of Kurt Shaw’s foul on Andrei Ciolacu, leading to the Malta international defender being sent off.
The numerical advantage and the leading goal transformed Floriana as they now grabbed the game by the scruff of its neck in search of a second.
Aquilina was forced into action twice when he denied an Adam Magri Overend’s volley from tight angle before blocking a Daniel Agius low drive from inside the penalty box.
Edmond Agius tried to level terms with a low drive that was blocked into corner by defender Oualid El Hasni.
Paiber tried his luck from another free-kick but this time he could not beat Aquilina who managed to parry his lob.
Nonetheless, Floriana made sure of the game when Kristian Keqi sent his curling effort into the far net six minutes from time.