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BOV Premier League

Floriana outlast Gżira United to move one point behind leaders Hibernians

Floriana's Ryan Camenzuli (right) shoots at goal against Gżira United. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

GŻIRA UNITED                   1         

Maxuell 88 pen

FLORIANA    2         

Busuttil 11, Arias 41

GŻIRA UNITED

D. Zarkov-6, G. Bohrer-6, M. Cosic-5.5, L. Tabone-5 (30’ C. Gauci-5.5), N. Muscat-6, S. Pisani-6, Z. Scerri-6.5, A. Pavic-5.5 (62’ T. Kolega), M. Maia-6, J. De Assis-6.5, J. Mendoza-6.5.

FLORIANA

G. Kitanov-6, A. Magri Overend-6, C. Rutjens-6, Z. Cassar-6, R. Hovsepyan-6 (78’ M. Garcia), U. Arias-7 (62’ E. Rebenja), A. Ciolacu-6 (90+2’ B. Gimenez), B. Paiber-6, E. Callegari-6.5, J. Busuttil-6.5 (78’ M. Bartolo), R. Camenzuli-6.5 (78’ A. Vella).

Referee: Matthew De Gabriele.

Yellow cards: G. Bohrer, C. Rutjens, E. Callegari, R. Hovsepyan, M. Maia

Red card: Kitanov (F) 76.

BOV Player of the Match: Jan Busuttil (Floriana).

Floriana moved to just one point behind leaders Hibernians thanks to a 2-1 win over Gżira United despite having to play with ten men for the last 20 minutes.

The Greens were a better side during the first half and two defensive blunders made things easier for them as they surged into a two-goal lead.

The Maroons held the initiative during the second half but only managed to reduce the gap late in the game.

Floriana took the lead on 11 minutes. Marko Cosic and Luke Tabone failed to control the ball outside the area and Ulises Arias served Jan Busuttil who slotted the ball past goalkeeper Darijan Zarkov. 

Gżira replied with a powerful drive by Jackson Mendoza which was parried away by Kitanov on 12 minutes.

However, the Greens maintained the pressure and on 15 minutes, they went close once again. Arias concluded a good move on the right by serving Ryan Camenzuli who entered the area and hit the crossbar with a rising shot from the left.

Floriana doubled the score on 41 minutes when Andrei Ciolacu intercepted a back pass by Antonio Pavic, rounded Zarkov and served the unmarked Arias who placed the ball at the back of the net.

One minute from the end of the first half, substitute Clive Gauci missed a good opportunity to reduce the gap hitting high from close range following an assist by Zack Scerri.

The Maroons were an improved side in the second half and on 48 minutes, they were unlucky not to equalise when Zack Scerri’s brilliant first-time effort hit the crossbar.

On 75 minutes, Floriana were reduced to ten men after goalkeeper Georgi Kitanov was sent off for denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity as he brought down Toni Kolega just outside the area.

Gianluca Atzori withdrew Jan Busuttil to make way for substitute goalkeeper Manuel Bartolo.

The Maroons pushed harder and three minutes from time, they were awarded a penalty after Garcia floored Jefferson inside the area and from the spot, Maxuell Maia converted to re-open the game.

During the five minutes of added time, Gżira increased the pressure in their bid to notch a dramatic equaliser but in a last-gasp attempt, a goal-bound effort by Jefferson was blocked by Emiliano Callegari.

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