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VICTOR CIANGURA 23.12.18
A very keen and fast game as both sides had their very good moments. Floriana were the better outfit in the first period while Balzan enjoyed the lion’s share of exchanges after the resumption and they now lead the standings on maximum points from 4 games while Floriana are on 6 points also from 4 games.
The first action was created by Floriana as Matthias Formosa served Erson Schembri on the left flank and after advancing Balzan keeper Bradley Scalpello neutralised the ball after his high cross.
Two actions were then created by Balzan. Michael Bartoli served Eric Atkins with a cross in the area from the left flank and with an open goal at his mercy he drove well over the bar and Bartoli then served Miguel Busuttil with a through ball and Floriana keeper Jamie Sciberras came out of his charge to kick the ball away.
Floriana then mounted all the actions before the break. Matteo Piscopo served Leoandro Agius with a through ball in the area and Scalpello saved his shot in two attempts. Formosa was fouled outside the area and after the free kick by Brady Agius, Scalpello saved a header by Isaac Galea. Formosa released Schembri in the area but he missed the upright and Schembri then released Formosa in the area and Scalpello foiled him with a timely sortie.
Balzan threatened as soon as the second half started. Marc Farrugia served Jacob Bartolo in the area and Sciberras foiled him with a timely sortie, at the other end Leoandro Agius dribbled past two opponents and after entering the area Scalpello saved his shot in two attempts.
Two more actions were then created by Balzan. Busuttil was fouled on the right flank and the ball was cleared to a corner from the free kick by Sheldon Briffa and Busuttil pounced on a faulty clearance just outside the area and the ball missed the upright from his hard drive.
In a Floriana reaction, they mounted three actions. Aleandro Garzia served Formosa with a long throw-in from the left flank and he missed the upright from outside the area. Kieron Azzopardi served Formosa in the area and he drove over the bar and Brady Agius served Schembri with a short pass from a corner kick outside the area who then crossed the ball and Scalpello neutralised it in the air.
Balzan reacted strongly and mounted all the actions up to the end. Substitute Leevi Bondin was fouled on the right flank and Sciberras saved the free kick by Ivin Borg. Busuttil controlled a loose ball after a defensive indecision and from the edge of the area missed the upright by inches and Bartolo was then fouled outside the area and the ball was cleared to a corner following the free kick by Borg.
Two minutes before the end of normal time Balzan forged ahead when substitute Bondin served substitute Isaac Camilleri with a through ball in the area and as he was tripped Busuttil made no mistake from the resultant penalty with a hard low drive and in the first minute of added time they scored a second goal as Bondin served Busuttil in the area who made no mistake with a hard low shot.
Floriana: J.Sciberras, A.Garzia, K.Fenech, R.Mifsud Grech, E.Schembri, B.Agius, M.Formosa, L. Agius, K. Azzopardi, I.Galea (Capt), M.Piscopo
Balzan: B.Scalpello, S.Briffa, M.Bartoli, M.Farrugia, I.Borg, N.Magri, M.Mangion, J.Bartolo (Capt), M.Busuttil, C.Pace, E.Atkins
Player of the match: Michael Bartoli (Balzan)
Referee: Daniel Casha