The first match in charge for new Head Coach John Buttigieg ended in a goalless draw thanks to number of remarkable saves by Man of the Match Ini Akpan that salvaged a point for the Greens.
It’s a debut that Coach Buttigieg will be keen to forget and more improvements are needed in the coming matches to rediscover the early season form. This was the first point for the Greens since the derby win against Valletta which was followed by three defeats.
Buttigieg had to contend with the absences of Jurgen Pisani and Daniel Agius but Diego Venancio was back from injury and was joined in the starting line-up by Marcelo Dias and Jan Busuttil in place of Uli Arias and Flavio Cheveresan.
Zejtun were the only team creating any action in the first half and after 10 minutes a freekick by Reid was saved in two attempts by Akpan. On 23 minutes Akpan once again denied Reid and on the following rebound from Vieria it was Beye who cleared the ball off the line.
On 29 minutes Vieira had another shot saved by Akpan and five minutes from half time a shot by Barboza went just wide and just before half time the Greens had the first shot on goal as Garcia’s shot was deflected into a corner kick.
The script didn’t change in the second half as it was Zejtun who once again went close first by Washington and on 58 minutes Akpan continued his goalkeeping clinic with two splendid saves on Vieira and Grech respectively.
In the last twenty minutes the Greens grew into the game and first Diego Venancio tested Cassar on 71 minutes, then a Paiber shot on 83 minutes just missed the post and two minutes later a trademark powerful shot from Venancio just missed the bar. The action ended with a Cassar saved from a Ryan Camenzuli cross shot two minutes from time.
In the end the Greens could be happy to get a point from this match and will definitely need to build on this performance to try and get back to winning ways as soon as possible.
Man of the Match as chosen by journalists was Ini Akpan whilst the Greens are back in action on Wednesday 13th January against Tarxien Rainbows to recuperate the game that was postponed for Match Day 11. Match will be played at the Centenary Stadium with kick-off scheduled at 21:00hrs.
FLORIANA FC Starting XI; Ini Akpan, Moustapha Beye, Enzo Ruiz, Diego Venancio, Kristian Keqi, Brandon Paiber, Matias Garcia, Alex Cini, Marcelo Dias (89′ Siraj Arab), Jan Busuttil (76′ Ryan Camenzuli), Tiago Fonseca.
Subs not used: Andrea Cassar, Matias Formosa, Aleandro Garzia, Kurt Theuma, Rhone Mifsud Grech.
Coach: John Buttigieg
BOV Man of the Match: Ini Akpan (Floriana).