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Żebbuġ Rangers pay the penalty against ten-man Floriana

ŻEBBUĠ RANGERS          0

FLORIANA 1

El Hasni 65 pen.

ŻEBBUĠ RANGERS

J. Azzopardi-6.5, S. Bugeja-6, L. Almeida-6, T. Bartolo-6 (82 S. Buttigieg), Wilker-5, Y. Tonna-6 (61 G. Mifsud-5), A. Mizzi-6 (82 J. Sciberras), R. Sanchez-5 (46 G. Gesualdi-5), C. Ngoy Lokoli-5, A. de Jesus-5 (55 K. Bondin), S. Miloskovic-5.

FLORIANA

G. Kitanov-6, O. El Hasni-6, K. Reid-6.5 (82 M. Veselji), U. Arias-6 (90 J. Scicluna), E. Juarez, O. Spiteri-6, C. Zammit Lonardelli-5.5 ( 62 K.Nwoko), L. de Grazia-7, L. Trillo-6, J. Busuttil-5 (82 Z. Cassar), A. Garzia-5 (82 A. Magri Overand).

Referee: Matthew de Gabriele

Yellow cards: Sanchez, Reid, Gesualdi, Bartolo.

Red card: Juarez (F) 31.

BOV player of the match: Kemar Reid (Floriana)

Ten-man Floriana returned to winning ways yesterday when a 65th minute Oulid El Hasni penalty proved enough to beat Żebbuġ Rangers.

Though Floriana were keen to end their rough patch, their disjointed efforts were betrayed by lack of cohension and they only came alive in the second half.

On the other hand, Brian Spiteri will feel hard done by this result as they failed to capitalise on their numerical advantage when Floriana were forced to play with ten men for a whole hour.

Gianluca Atzori’s team knew only victory would end a four-game winless streak and they started with a verve.

Inside the first minute, Lorenzo Trillo’s cross was met by Kemar Reid but his shot ended wide.

The early stages of the opening 45 minutes were fairly-balanced with both teams wary of each other.

Goal scoring chances were scarce with Floriana retaining control without troubling Żebbuġ beyond routine.

The Greens were under intense pressure to return to winning ways and they were placed under even greater strain on 31 minutes when Fernando Juarez was shown a straight red card for a foul on Shaun Bugeja.

It was on the stroke of half-time that Floriana pieced together another flowing move, Trillo and Reid combined well again as the Jamaican striker headed straight at Jamie Azzopardi.

Floriana started the second half in more adventurous mode. They could have taken the lead a minute into the second half had Carlo Zammit Lonardelli not shot into the goalkeeper after a surging run and a good ball from Jan Busuttil unhinged the defence wide open.

But, on 65 minutes, Żebbuġ’s spirits were doomed when Jan Busuttil cut inside from the left flank, powered his way past a clutch of defenders before being brusquely challenged by Wilker Rocha Santos and a penalty was ordered.

From the spot, Oulid El Hasni sent Azzopardi the wrong way.

Żebbuġ found it hard to muster a reaction.

At death, Azzopardi denied Floriana a second goal when anticipating De Grazia and blocking Adam Magri Overand’s low cross.

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