Chiesa strike enough for Greens to re­turn to win­ning form

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

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.

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