Chiesa penalty goal seals is­sue in favour of Greens

Malta Independent - - SPORT - Henry Brin­cat

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.

Photo: Domenic Aquilina

Ja­cob Borg of Gzira United (right) speeds away from the chal­lenge of Steve Pisani of Flo­ri­ana (left)

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