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BOV Premier League

Nine-man Marsaxlokk hold Floriana

FLORIANA 1

Veselji 57

MARSAXLOKK 1

Keqi 12

FLORIANA

G. Kitanov-6, O. El Hasni-5, M. Veselji- 6.5 (70 K. Reid) A. Ciolacu-5, J. Arias-6, E. Juarez-5, O. Spiteri-6 (84 K. Nwoko), L. Trillo-6 (70 Z. Cassar), E. Callegari-5.5, J. Busuttil-5 (84 J. Scicluna), A. Garzia-5.5 (70 A. Magri Overand).

MARSAXLOKK

M. Drobnajk-7, A. Attard-6 (30 C. Uzeh), K. Keqi-6, E. Vella-5.5, A. Ferraris-6.5, D. Mifsud-5 (67 Wellington), J. Aguilar, O. Carniello, L. Aguirre-6, D. Vukovic-5, A. Fonseca-6 (67 F. Moracci).

Referee: Matthew Degabriele.

Yellow cards: El Hasni, Keqi, Carniello, Aguilar, Fonesca, Juarez.

Red cards: Carniello (M) 59; Aguilar (M) 66.

Missed penalty El Hasni (F) 60.

BOV player of the match: Marko Drobnjak (Marsaxlokk).

Marsaxlokk had both centre backs sent off in the second half but the Southseasiders still battled to a 1-1 draw against Floriana.

Oscar Carniello floored Mattia Veselji in the box and was given his marching orders before Juan Cruz Aguilar picked up a second yellow for a foul in midfield on 66 minutes.

Although having a man more on the pitch, fifth-placed Floriana failed to impose themselves in the second half despite they had the better chances.

Both sides surrendered possession too easily early on and when Marsaxlokk gave their opponents a midfield gift, Mattia Veselji was presented with a great chance on 10 minutes but the striker shot straight at Marko Drobnjak.

That miss proved costly as two minutes later, Marsaxlokk made the breakthrough courtesy of Kristian Keqi.

From a short corner taken by Adrian Santiago Ferraris, Leandro Aguirre whipped the ball across from the left flank and the Italian striker rose to nod the ball cleverly behind Georgi Kitanov.

The former Floriana player cupped his ears in celebration in what could have been a message aimed at the Floriana supporters.

Floriana’s response had been lightweight in the extreme, but soon after half-time, José Ulises Arias almost scored directly from a corner – a vicious inswinger that Drobnjak did well to block, backpedaling on his goal-line.

That at least spurred Floriana into action and they equalised on 57 minutes. Lorenzo Trillo played the ball to Veselji and the striker blasted a swerving low shot into the bottom corner via the foot of the post.

What looked like being a tight game was blown wide open when Carniello tackled Veselji, putting the striker off balance enough to send him tumbling to the floor.

The former Birkirkara defender was sent off but the Greens squandered their big chance when El Hasni’s tame penalty was saved by Drobnjak. It was to prove a pivotal moment.

Juan Aguilar was also dismissed six minutes later for a stamp on Arias. From then on it was fairly straightforward for Floriana. 

On 75 minutes, Drobnjak saved substitute Kemar Reid’s fierce drive.

But Marsaxlokk were relieved to be up against an impotent Floriana who could not break through to secure their fourth consecutive win.

Standings provided by Sofascore

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