BOV Premier League | Floriana 1 – Ħamrun Spartans 0

Ħamrun’s hopes of playing in Europe are slowly fading away as they suffered a 1-0 defeat against Floriana.

Photo: Christine Borg
Photo: Christine Borg

Both sides came into this match looking to bounce back from last weekend’s defeats. Floriana suffered a shock defeat at the hands of St Andrews in their previous match. On the other hand, Ħamrun Spartans were defeated by Balzan.

Nicolas Chiesa made three changes to his line-up as Steve Pisani, Arthur Oyama and Juninho Cabral replaced Jurgen Pisani, Enzo Ruiz and Michele Paolucci.

Jacques Scerri also decided to make a number of changes in his side. Steve Sultana, Lydon Micallef, Triston Caruana and Luke Sciberras made way for Jake Galea, Karl Micallef, Arthur Faria Machado and Dale Camilleri.

The Spartans created the first opportunity of the match after ten minutes. Daniel Zerafa sent a volley from the edge of the penalty area that went over.

Floriana responded on the 16th minute. Mario Fontanella hit a low shot from distance that was neutralised by Jake Galea.

The greens opened the score on the 27th minute. Juninho Cabral went down the right flank and fired a shot that went past Galea.

Ħamrun nearly equalised on the brink of half-time. From a free-kick, Marco Criaco delivered a cross that was met by Cristian Zaccardo whose header went inches wide.

Two minutes into the second half, Fontanella fired a shot from a free-kick that was saved by Galea.

Floriana lost a golden opportunity to double their advantage on the 64th minute. Following a defensive mistake, Cabral went through on goal and fired a shot that hit the woodwork.

On the 68th minute, Floriana were forced to substitute their goalkeeper as Ini Etim Akpan got injured. Matthew Grech took his place.

Ħamrun suffered another setback on the 74th minute as Thiago Espindola De Paula was sent off after being shown his second yellow card by Malcolm Spiteri.

Chiesa’s side tried to make the most out of their man and had a promising chance on the 79th minute. Alex Cini hit a low shot that was parried by Galea.

In the additional time given by the referee, Ħamrun created another opportunity. From a free-kick, Arthur Faria Machado delivered the ball towards Zerafa whose header went off target.

Floriana starting line-up: Ini Etim Akpan (Matthew Grech – 68), Sebastian Nayar, Enrico Pepe, Enzo Ruiz, Steve Pisani, Juninho Cabral, Alex Cini, Arthur Oyama, Dylan Grima, Mario Fontanella, Emerson  Marcellina

Ħamrun Spartans starting line-up: Jake Galea, Marco Criaco, Daniel Zerafa, Cristian Zaccardo, Guilherme Felipe De Castro, Karl Micallef (Lydon Micallef – 55), Arthur Faria Machado, Thiago Espindola De Paula, Tiago SOuza Da Silveira, Dale Camilleri (Triston Caruana – 65), Alexander Nilsson

Referee: Malcolm Spiteri

Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Dusan Petrovic

Fourth  Official: Sandro Spiteri

Yellow Cards: Juninho Cabral (Floriana), Thiago Espindola De Paula (Ħamrun), Mario Fontanella (Floriana), Thiago Espindola De Paula (Ħamrun), Emerson Marcellina (Floriana), Guilherme Felipe De Castro (Floriana), Arthur Faria Machado (Ħamrun)

Red Cards: Thiago Espindola De Paula (Ħamrun)

BOV Player of the Match: Juninho Cabral (Floriana)

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