Valletta with one hand on the title as Floriana move to second place

Monday, March 7, 2011, 13:59

Champions Birkirkara fell to Valletta in last weekend’s key match, allowing the Citizens to build a seven point lead in the BOV Premier League. This gave them a great boost as they edge closer to winning the title although they had to battle hard to beat the resilient Stripes.

In the opening part of the game Birkikrara took the initiative, coming close to Hogg’s goal with the Valletta goalie keeping the threat at bay from a close range Galea shot on the 15 minute mark.

Roderick Briffa injured his thigh in the 16th minute and Ramon was brought in to replace him, and a couple of minutes later the Birkikrara players protested for an alleged penalty that had to be awarded for a foul on Andrei Agius.

Valletta’s Andrade came close to opening the score in the 26th minute with a volley that went over Fraser’s goal and Denni was booked for a simulation of a penalty shortly after.

The citizens went ahead in the 38th minute through Andrade after he managed to slipped past Borg after Fraser dampened Scerri’s close range shot from the left flank. A few minutes later Valletta were down to then man after Jamie Pace hit Trevor Cilia in the face.

In the second half, Birkirkara brought in Ibrahim Babatunde to add more firepower to their forward line and they nearly got the equaliser when in the 63rd minute Babatunde hit the crossbar with Hogg beaten. Andrei Agius prevented Andrade from getting hiss second goal a few minutes later when a sliding tackle prevented the Brazilian from shooting past Fraser. The latter was the protagonist of a great save on Temile a while later as the Stripes threw their forces forward to grab the equaliser.

Paul Fenech’s strong shot found the attentive Hogg ready and in the dying minutes, Denni missed a sitter that could have closed the game.

Valletta now lead the standings with 7 points over Floriana, while Birkirkara move down to fourth position.

Nwoke strikes two to take Floriana up to second position

Floriana’s new coach, Michael Woods, managed his second successive win against Hamrun thanks to an impeccable Daniel Nwoke performance. The Nigerian only needed 5 minutes to get his name on the scoresheet when he connected with Christian Cassar’s freekick that took a deflection off Fenech.

Ivan Woods was unfortunate to see his effort blocked by Omar Borg in the 14th minute, while Hamrun came close in the 20th minute with a powerful shot from Chipev. Hamrun’s Mangion missed a sitter after half an hour of play when his header went wide and five minutes later Draganov saw his header kicked off the goal line thus preventing Floriana from going two goals up.

After the change of ends Floriana took the attacking initiative and their efforts paid their dividends in the 56th minute when Nwoke stole the ball from Fenech and scored his second goal of the game from close range. Hamrun lost hope of getting back into the game as the Greens administered their advantage and slowing the pace of the match to give them a deserved victory.

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