Freitas 48og, Callegari 82
ST GEORGE’S 0
Floriana scored twice in the second half to beat Challenge League side St George’s 2-0 to secure a spot in the quarter-finals of the Izibet FA Trophy.
As expected, the Greens dominated the proceedings but with St. George’s adopting a cautious plan, Gianluca Atzori’s side struggled to penetrate the Saints’ rearguard during the first half.
However, three substitutions at the beginning of the second half paved the way for the opening goal with Floriana adding another late in the game.
Following a quiet start, a cross-shot by Brian Gimenez for Floriana was parried by Andre Spiteri on 21 minutes and seven minutes later, Gianluca Sultana tested Manuel Bartolo with a freekick from the left.
On 33 minutes, Zachary Cassar’s grounder hit the foot of the upright with Keqi obstructing the vision of goalkeeper Spiteri. Four minutes later, an angled shot by Alejandro Garzia hit the crossbar.
The inclusion of Ryan Camenzuli, Jan Busuttil, and Kemar Reid as substitutes at the beginning of the second half made the whole difference as Floriana forged ahead on 48 minutes.
Busuttil served Reid on the right and the latter’s conclusion was deflected by Matheus Freitas da Silva past the goalkeeper for an own goal.
Five minutes later, off a freekick from the left by Keqi, Nicholas Gauci tried to anticipate Oualid El Hasni but the ball was parried by Spiteri.
On 78 minutes, an Alejandro Garzia effort, deflected by a defender, just missed the target.
Floriana doubled the score on 82 minutes when off a Ulises Arias corner, Reid headed the ball towards Busuttil who served Emiliano Callegari, tapping the ball home from close range.
Four minutes from time, Kemar Reid could have added another but his goal-bound shot was cleared off the goal line by Abela.
FLORIANA: M. Bartolo, O. El Hasni, Z. Cassar, K. Keqi (69 M. Veselji), U. Arias (80’ B. Paiber), M. Garcia, B. Gimenez (46 J. Busuttil), A. Vella (46 R. Camenzuli), E. Callegari, E. Rebenja (46 K. Reid), A. Garzia.
ST. GEORGE’S: A. Spiteri, N. Gauci, M. Freitas, I. Abela, R. Cutajar (72 J. Debono), G. Sultana, R. Sammut, A. Sammut, N. Borg (63 R. De Fex), M. Xuereb, J. Sorza Marin.
Referee: Daniel Portelli.