Chiesa strike enough for Greens to return to winning form
A 39th minute strike by Nicholas Chiesa was enough yesterday for Floriana to beat a stubborn Mosta side.
Apart from returning to winning form, the victory enabled the Greens to join Hibernians on the 14-point mark, ahead of today’s clash between the same Hibernians and St Andrews.
The Greens dominated for most of the time, but with Mosta adopting defensive tactics, they found it difficult to penetrate and Mosta could therefore remain in contention till the end.
In fact, they almost surprised the Greens near the end as they nearly obtained an equaliser.
The first half was mostly uneventful with Floriana dominating from start to finish. Goalmouth actions were few and far between and the sparse crowd had little to shout about except on that occasion when their side took the lead.
It was a one-sided affair with Floriana launching one attack after another and with Mosta concentrating mainly on defence.
In fact, Ivan Zammit’s boys rarely, if ever, reached the edge of the Floriana area and did not even bother Greens goalie Matthew Grech at least on one occasion.
Floriana found it difficult to penetrate the 10-man Mosta defence, but when they scored, it immediately became an uphill task for Zammit’s boys.
In the second half, the match followed the same pattern with the Greens on attack and with Mosta trying their utmost to move forward in search of an equaliser.
But once again they failed to provide one anxious moment for Floriana goalie Matthew Grech until the final moments when they threatened seriously to equalise.
Floriana took the initiative from the start and on six minutes, an Amadio header was well saved by goalie Cini.
In the 17th minute, Steve Pisani crossed perfectly into the Mosta area, but Ignacio Varela’s header went straight into the waiting hands of goalie Cini.
In the 25th minute, off an Amadio freekick, it was Pepe who headed just wide, although the official had whistled for an infringement. Floriana continued to dominate and four minutes later, Steve Pisani set Nicholas Chiesa outside the area, but the latter’s shot went wide.
Floriana finally opened the scoring on the 39th minute. From a long throw-in into the Mosta area, the ball was cleared by a Mosta defender and it hit Nicholas Chiesa with the ball ending at the back of the net.
Just before the interval whistle, from an Alex Cini cross, it was Varela who headed weakly into Cini’s hands.
At the start of the second half, Floriana were awarded a freekick on the edge of the area, but Ruiz shot wide.
In the 56th minute, Mosta goalie Yenz Cini risked a lot when he rushed out of his charge and lost control of the ball, but somehow, it ended in a throw-in for the Greens.
Soon after, following a S. Pisani cornerkick, Varela’s header was turned to corner in style by Cini.
In the 63rd minute, Steve Pisani’s 30-metre effort went over the bar.
In the 68th minute, Samb headed weakly from an ideal position and the ball was easily saved by Cini.
Near the end, Mosta almost equalised in their only real scoring chance during the 90 minutes. From a cross from the right it was Oseghale who headed goalwards, but the Greens goalie Matthew Grech saved with difficulty in two attempts.
The final whistle saw the Greens celebrating their return to winning form.