Flo­ri­ana draw blank to fall fur­ther off the pace

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Flo­ri­ana’s woe­ful run of form con­tin­ued as they played a goal­less draw against Hiber­ni­ans, thus ex­tend­ing their win­less run.

Flo­ri­ana were solid rather than in­ven­tive, al­though in flashes they showed some spirit and will­ing­ness to win.

Hiber­nains might have played slighly the bet­ter, more co­her­ent foot­ball, but suf­fered from a lack of con­cen­trated cut­ting edge.

In fact qual­ity was in short sup­ply for most of the 90 min­utes but the loose­ness of the game meant both sides got chances.

Flo­ri­ana made a com­plete reshuf­fle from the side that lost to Sliema Wan­der­ers be­fore the in­ter­na­tional break. They dropped Steve Pisani, Ig­na­cio Varela, Mario Fon­tanella and the sus­pended En­rico Ruiz and re­placed them with An­dre Sci­cluna, Clyde Borg, Amadou Samb and Ryan Ca­men­zuli.

Hiber­ni­ans had Clay­ton Failla and Jo­hann Bezzina miss­ing as Juan Manuel Varea and Jorginho started in­stead.

In an evenly bal­anced first half, nei­ther side man­aged to take the up­per­hand. Both sides were un­able to take ad­van­tage from dead­ball sit­u­a­tions with An­dre Sci­cluna for Flo­ri­ana and Bjorn Kris­tensen for Hiber­ni­ans head­ing well over the bar.

Hiber­ni­ans’ keeper Hogg was the busier keeper though. Mid­way through the half, he palmed out a Chiesa ef­fort from the right and on the half hour Hogg again re­pelled Samb’s shot.

Flo­ri­ana put in Mario Fon­tanella for Ca­men­zuli at half­time to give them more at­tack­ing op­tions.

But when Jorginho played a free­kick in the path of Telles and he ad­vanced in­side the area, De­gabriele’s fi­nal touch was ruled off­side and the goal was rightly dis­al­lowed.

On the other end, keeper Hogg stretched him­self again to hold out Samb’s firm header.

The match be­came lively as Hiber­ni­ans’ counter had Telles ex­change the ball with Jorg­ingho, run for the re­turn pass and shoot slightly over.

The rhythm was again pedes­trian soon af­ter that as both sides were ex­hibit­ing a waste­ful­ness in the fi­nal third.

As Soares limped off to be re­plaqced by Jonathan Pear­son, Steve Pisani went in for Flo­ri­ana. He im­me­di­ately fluffed a good chance on 68 min­utes, miss­ing the tar­get when in front of goal, off a Sci­cluna cross.

The Pao­lites’ at­tacks were more spo­radic but Flo­ri­ana did not make any in­roads either and the stale­mate pre­vailed till the end.

Hibs de­fender An­drei Agius tack­ling Flo­ri­ana’s Nico­las Chiesa - Photo: Michael Camil­leri

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