The Champions returned to action in the BOV Premier League after almost a month following the postponement of the game against B’Kara when we faced Balzan at the Centenary Stadium.
The game ended in a frustrating 0-0 score which doesn’t reflect the level of domination that the Greens produced in the second half and had it not been for the heroics the Balzan goalkeeper the result would’ve been much different.
Coach Potenza effected three changes from the team that beat Gudja in our last outing with Uli Arias making his league debut for the season and Jan Busuttil and Matias Garcia returned to the starting XI. Flavio Cheveresan and Nicola Leone were out of the squad with a couple of minor injuries.
The first half was equally balanced although the Greens held territorial advantage but finding it hard to find openings in the attentive Balzan rearguard.
In fact it was Balzan who went close in the 35th minute when Pisani sent a ball to Ljubomirac who in turn crossed towards Dimic whose shot was denied brilliantly by Akpan. From the following corner, Pisani went past a couple of defenders and his cross-shot was saved again by Akpan in what were to be the only two forays from Balzan throughout the whole match.
In the second half it was one way traffic with Balzan deciding to park the bus and the Greens spending the majority of the second 45 minutes in the Balzan half.
The chances started coming one after the other and the first one fell to Keqi who was fed by Busuttil but his shot was saved by Vranes.
On 56 minutes a glorious chance fell again to Keqi whne Arias’ shot was miraculously saved by Vranes and from the rebound Keqi headed over the bar with the goal at his mercy.
On 66 minutes Arias was through one on one and after rounding Vranes he shot towards the open goal but his shot was too weak and it was clear away by Johnson.
Seven minutes later another brilliant save by Vranes when somehow he managed to keep out Tiago Fonseca’s shot from point blank range.
The chances kept on coming and on 82 minutes it was substitute Siraj Arab’s turn when his shot after a cross from Dias from the right was once again somehow stopped.
Deep into stoppage one last chance when Arias hit a rising shot that hit the post and somehow Balzan held on for a point.
Man of the Match as chosen by journalists was Diego Venancio, whilst the Greens are back in action on Sunday 29th November against Mosta at the National Stadium with kick-off at 18:15hrs.
FLORIANA FC Starting XI; Ini Akpan, Enzo Ruiz, Diego Venancio, Kristian Keqi (75’ Brandon Paiber), Uli Arias, Jurgen Pisani, Matias Garcia, Marcelo Dias, Jan Busuttil (81’ Siraj Arab) Ryan Camenzuli, Tiago Fonseca.
Subs not used: Andrea Cassar, Alex Cini, Daniel Agius, Ayrton Azzopardi, Aleandro Garzia.
Coach: Vincenzo Potenza
BOV Man of the Match: Diego Venancio (Floriana).