Match Report: Tarxien R. FC 2 – Floriana FC 2

A goal right at the death by substitute Darren Falzon denied John Buttigieg his first win in charge of the Greens and extended the winless streak of games to five.

It was a game that the Greens were in control of up to the last five minutes but a late foray by Tarxien was enough to deny the Greens who now lost more precious ground from the top half of the table.

John Buttigieg effected four changes from the side that drew against Zejtun on his debut with Marcelo Dias, Tiago Fonseca, Matias Garcia and Jan Busuttil making way for Nicola Leone, Uli Arias, Flavio Cheveresan and Ryan Camenzuli respectively.

The Greens enjoyed some early possession as the high tempo pressure was proving effective in keeping Tarxien locked in their half.

Paiber had an early shot saved by Fernandes and this was the prelude to the goal on 33 minutes when following a swift counterattacking move, Diego Venancio put a low cross from the right and Brandon Paiber came to score with a remarkable low shot that gave no chance to the Tarxien custodian.

The lead wasn’t enjoyed for very long however as Tarxien equalised five minutes later. It was Ivan Paz who wrecked havoc down the left flank and his long cross was met by Rafael Kooh Sohna who heading for the equiliser.

The Greens continued to press forward and were rewarded just before half time with another well worked goal. It was a similar goal as the first one but this time it was Arias who turned provider and his inch perfect cross was once again met by Paiber who score his second goal of the game.

The second half saw the Greens administering the advantage by keeping possession for long stretches but lacking the killer instinct to close the game with a number of erratic last ball passes on a number of counterattacks which proved fatal in the end.

Tarxien came to life five minutes from time when a Conceicao point blank shot was saved brilliantly by Akpan with the help of the crossbar.

This was the prelude to the goal as deep into stoppage time, Darren Falzon took charge of a freekick just outside the penalty area and delivered a sweet stroke to the top corner to earn a point for his team. Man of the match as voted by journalists was Brandon Paiber

This made it five games without a win and the Greens have to rediscover some sort of form fast as the next two games are against title contenders Gzira Utd and Hibernians.

Next game is on Saturday 16th January at 1400hrs at the National Stadium against Gzira Utd. First Round Score: Floriana 2 Gzira Utd 1.

FLORIANA FC Starting XI;  Ini Akpan, Moustapha Beye, Enzo Ruiz (46′ Jan Busuttil), Diego Venancio, Nicola Leone, Kristian Keqi, Uli Arias, Brandon Paiber (85′ Siraj Arab), Alex Cini, Flavio Cheveresan, Ryan Camenzuli.

Subs not used: Andrea Cassar, Rhone Grech Mifsud, Kurt Theuma, Aleandro Garzia, Daniel Agius

Coach: John Buttigieg

Goals: 34′ Brandon Paiber, 38′ Rafael Kooh Sohna, 44′ Brandon Paiber, 92′ Darren Falzon.

BOV Man of the Match: Brandon Paiber (Floriana).

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