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Spiteri’s last-gasp goal hands Floriana win over Balzan

FLORIANA          2           

Rutjens 31

Spiteri 89

BALZAN              1           

Ljubomirac 67


G. Kitanov-6, C. Rutjens-6.5, Z. Cassar-6, R. Hovsepyan-6, U. Arias-6 (58 K. Reid), A. Ciolacu-6.5 (76 J. Busuttil), B. Paiber-7, E. Callegari (4 O. Spiteri-6), E. Rebenja-5.5 (58 K. Keqi), A. Garzia-6 (58 A. Magri Overend), R. Camenzuli-6.5.


J. Galea-6, A. Loof-6.5, M. Grima-6, P. Fenech-6, U. Ljubiomirac-6.5, M. Zlatkovic-6, G. Camilleri-5.5 (58’ M. Djuric), M. Mijic-6.5, A. Andrejic-5.5 (58’ A. Daniels), B. Kaljevic-6 (82’ S. Jalu), S. Cipriott-6.

Referee: Fyodor Zammit.

Yellow cards: Fenech, Ljubomirac, Loof, Kaljevic.

BOV Player of the Match: Brandon Paiber (Floriana).

Floriana kept the pace with leaders Hibernians as a last-gasp goal by Owen Spiteri earned them a 2-1 win over Balzan.

The Greens, therefore, returned to winning ways after the draw with Ħamrun Spartans to move four points behind the Paolites.

Balzan, on the other hand, remain fourth from bottom as they suffered a third successive defeat.

Both sides had a number of changes from their last outing.

Floriana welcomed back Aleandro Garzia and Andrei Ciolacu after serving a one-match ban. They were preferred to Adam Magri Overend and Jan Busuttil while Christian Rutjens deputised for the suspended Oualid El Hasni.

However, coach Gianluca Atzori was forced to make a change after only four minutes, as Spiteri replaced the injured Emiliano Callegari.

Paul Zammit, on the other hand, opted for three changes following the defeat to Mosta, naming Gary Camilleri, Paul Fenech and Aleksa Andrejic in the starting XI

Balzan went out in search of an early goal with Andrejic heading just wide off a cross by Ljubomirac after eight minutes.

However, two minutes later, Ryan Camenzuli threatened with a fine volley from outside the area for Floriana.

On 22 minutes, Camenzuli sent Brandon Paiber through and the latter controlled before lobbing the ball over Galea but the ball missed the target.

Floriana took the lead on 31 minutes. Ulises Arias delivered a free-kick from the left and Christian Rutjens rose high to head home.

Before the end of the first half, the Greens went close once again with a fine effort by Rumyan Hovsepyan, served by Paiber.

Substitute Kemar Reid, who was making his debut for the Greens, Jake Galea on the hour with a header off a cross by Ciolacu.

Three minutes later, Balzan missed a good opportunity when following an assist by Mijic, Ljubomirac served Bojan Kaljevic whose close-range effort was blocked by a defender.

An Alvin Daniels effort, off a cross by Cipriott, was parried by the Floriana goalkeeper. Floriana replied with a powerful drive by Ciolacu which was turned into a corner in style by the Balzan custodian on 66 minutes.

Balzan levelled matters one minute later. Mijic exchanged the ball with Fenech before sending Uros Ljubomirac through and the latter hit low past Kitanov from inside the area.

The Greens hit back with a shot from the left by Camenzuli on 78 minutes and a Magri Overend effort from outside the area on 85 minutes which were both neutralised by Galea.

However, a minute from time, Floriana notched the winner as Owen Spiteri headed the ball home following a corner from the left.

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