FA Trophy | Naxxar Lions 3 – Floriana 1

Floriana are eliminated from the FA Trophy after suffering a disappointing 3-1 defeat at the hands of Naxxar Lions.

Naxxar Lions - Floriana
Naxxar Lions - Floriana

Naxxar made a flying start to the match as they went ahead after just four minutes. Scott James Fenwick received the ball on the right side of the penalty area and hit a powerful drive that went inside the net.

Matthew Grech denied Fenwick from scoring again on the 8th minute. From a free-kick, Yuri De Jesus Messias delivered a cross that was met by the English striker whose header forced a good save from Floriana’s goalkeeper.

Floriana replied on the 22nd minutes. Nicolas Chiesa fired a shot from a free-kick that failed to hit the target.

The greens lost a golden opportunity on the 23rd minute. Manolito Micallef floored Maurizio Vella inside the penalty area and the referee signalled for a penalty. However, Steve Pisani’s shot from the eleven metres mark was blocked by Christoph Nicht.

Naxxar threatened again on the 34th minute. Messias hit a shot from distance that went high.

On the 43rd minute, Daniel Mateo Bustos of Naxxar sent a shot from outside the penalty area that was neutralised by Grech.

One minute into the second half, Daren Falzon of Naxxar saw his shot from inside the penalty area going marginally over.

However, Floriana restored the equilibrium on the 49th minute through another penalty. Elhadyi Ousseynou Ndoye fouled Juninho Cabral inside the penalty area and the referee pointed towards the spot. In addition to the penalty, the referee also decided to send Ndoye off. This time, it was Mario Fontanella who took charge of the spot kick and the Italian forward saw his shot going past Nicht.

Despite having an extra man on the pitch, Floriana failed to create opportunities on goal as Naxxar remained defensively organised.

On the 79th minute, Floriana’s coach, Giovanni Tedesco was sent off the bench.

A minute later, Floriana went close to score the winning goal. Juninho Cabral sent a cross towards the unmarked Fontanella whose effort went off target.

A minute from time, Messias saw his shot from a free-kick landing on the roof of the net.

The fourth official signalled five minutes of additional time in which Floriana still could not find a way past Naxxar as the game went into extra time.

Naxxar regained the lead on the 93rd minute when Messias sent a pass towards Fenwick who went inside the penalty area and hit a low shot that gave Grech no chance.

On the 109th minute, Micallef of Naxxar received the ball inside the penalty area and hit a shot that was neutralised by Grech.

A minute later, Nicht was on the alert to deny Floriana. Substitute Leighton Grech hit a powerful drive that was tipped behind by Nicht.

On the 114th minute, Floriana’s assistant coach, Jonathan Holland, was also sent off the bench.

Naxxar sealed the issue on the 117th minute. Following a counter attack, Messias went inside the penalty area and finished behind Grech to the joy of Naxxar’s supporters.

Naxxar Lions starting line-up: Christoph Nicht, Scott James Fenwick, Ryan Grech, Manolito Micallef, Daren Falzon (Ryan Gilmour Cassar- 52), Duane Bonnici, Daniel Mateo Bustos (Mark Fenech – 77), Angus Buhagiar, Elhadji Ousseynou Ndoye, Adrian Cascaval, Yuri De Jesus Messias

Floriana starting line-up: Matthew Grech, James Baldacchino, Enzo Ruiz, Steve Pisani, Clyde Borg (Dylan Grima – 95), Maurizio Vela, Juninho Cabral, Alex Cini (Leighton Grech – 110), Arthur Oyama, Nicolas Chiesa (Ignacio Varela- 56), Mario FOntanella.

Referee: Philip Farrugia

Assistant Referees: Jurgen Spiteri, Christopher Francalanza

Fourth Official: Sandro Spiteri

Yellow Cards: Ryan Grech (Naxxar), Christoph Nicht (Naxxar), Alex Cini (Floriana), Enzo Ruiz (Floriana), Angus Buhagiar (Naxxar), Maurizio Vella (Floriana), Ignacio Varela (Floriana), Steve Pisani (Floriana)

Red Cards: Elhadyi Ousseynou Ndoye (Naxxar)