Chiesa penalty goal seals issue in favour of Greens
A penalty goal on 25 minutes by Nicolas Chiesa sealed the issue in favour of the Greens in yesterday’s first match at the Victor Tedesco Stadium.
The victory enabled Floriana to move onto the 14-point mark in the standings while Gzira remained on nine points.
It was a second consecutive win for the Greens while for the Maroons is was a third consecutive loss, having lost to Valletta and Birkirkara in their previous two matches.
Floriana were the better team from the outset and dictated matters from midfield, where Nicolas Chiesa, Steve Pisani, Clyde Borg and Maurizio Vella were definitely in command.
The Greens enjoyed territorial superiority, but failed to turn it into goals; in fact, they had to be content with just one goal at the end.
Despite the Greens’ domination, Gzira also had their good moments, but these were few and far between and Floriana goalie Haber was hardly ever tested seriously.
The Maroons could not penetrate a strong Floriana defence in which goalie Haber returned to the starting line-up which also had Ruiz and Jurgen Pisani outstanding in defence.
In the 2nd minute, it was Gzira who went close through a Corbalan incursion into the Greens area, but goalie Haber rushed out to block to corner.
Floriana’s reaction arrived on the 14th minute, as Fontanella entered the area on the left, but his angled shot hit the side rigging.
The Greens were awarded a penalty on the 25th minute when Maurizio Vella was floored in the area by Antonio Machedo Neto.
From the spotkick, Nicolas Chiesa made no mistake sending the goalie the wrong way.
In the 38th minute, a Samb dangerous cross into the Gzira goalmouth ended with Machedo Neto clearing from near the line.
Soon after, at the other end, a Ledesma freekick bounced awkwardly in the Floriana area, but goalie Haber was in time to turn to corner with some difficulty.
As the second half started, Flo- riana almost doubled their lead, when Fontanella dribbled round goalie Borg on the edge of the area, but his low shot found Diamoutene standing on the goalline to clear in extremis.
At the other end, a Conti shot was easily dealt with by Haber.
On the 62nd minute, Floriana again went close through a fine Samb effort from the edge of the area with the ball missing the target by a few centimetres.
On 77 minutes, Samb set Vella on the left flank.
The latter advanced into the area, but his shot was turned onto the post by goalie Jurgen Borg with the ball being eventually cleared by a Gzira defender.
Jacob Borg of Gzira United (right) speeds away from the challenge of Steve Pisani of Floriana (left)