With a display worthy of Champions, the Greens put behind last week’s debacle with an imperious 3-0 win against eternal rivals Valletta. It was a dominating performance by the Champions and were it not for some fine goalkeeping by the Valletta goalkeeper the result would’ve been even bigger such was the difference between the teams displayed on the pitch.
Coach Potenza still without Brazilian duo Diego Venancio and Flavio Cheveresan who were still nursing injuries, included Nicola Leone in the starting lineup with Jan Busuttil making way from an otherwise unchanged lineup from the game against Mosta.
The Greens showed their intent from the onset and after four minutes a swift counter attack between Keqi and Paiber put Arias through on goal who was denied by the onrushing Cini to put the ball out for a corner.
Pressure on the Valletta rearguard was constant and it was of no surprise that we went ahead on 26 minutes. Arias put a through ball behind Valletta’s defence with Keqi speeding past both central defenders and putting the ball in the net to continue his fine goalscoring form in derby matches.
The goal didn’t change the game script with the Greens enjoying the lion’s share of possession and Valletta happy to soak up the pressure in the hope of breaking forward. The result didn’t not change at the break with the Greens deservedly up 1-0.
In the second half the Valletta coach tried to change things around by drafting in Aguirre and switching his tactical formation and this enabled the Citizens to get a bit more on the ball but without really troubling Ini Akpan in goal.
On 57 minutes Arias could have made it two when he went in the box but once again was stopped by Cini. However he wasn’t denied for much longer as on 65 minutes he received a sublime defence splitting ball by super sub Jan Busuttil and Arias did not miss to make it 2-0 and score his first ever goal in Floriana colours.
15 minutes later more heartache for Valletta as Joseph Zerafa was given his marching order after a second bookable offence earned him an early shower. It wasn’t until the 83rd minute that Valletta had their first and only shot on target as angled shot from substitute Tonna went wide of Akpan’s goal.
The game was truly over when Keqi piled more misery on Valletta as he scored his second on 87 minutes. It was another assist for Busuttil as he put Keqi through on the left who kept his cool to put the ball under Cini and score his second.
That brought to an end a truly one sided affair and a great morale booster in what will be a busy December for the Greens to finish off 2020.
Man of the Match as chosen by journalists was Kristian Keqi, whilst the Greens are back in action on Wednesday 9th December against Tarxien at the Centenary Stadium with kick-off at 17:00hrs.
FLORIANA FC Starting XI; Ini Akpan, Enzo Ruiz, Kristian Keqi, Nicola Leone (68′ Jan Busuttil), Uli Arias (90′ Aleandro Garzia), Brandon Paiber (90′ Daniel Agius), Jurgen Pisani, Matias Garcia, Marcelo Dias (81′ Alex Cini), Ryan Camenzuli, Tiago Fonseca.
Subs not used: Andrea Cassar, Siraj Arab, Ayrton Azzopardi.
Coach: Vincenzo Potenza
BOV Man of the Match: Kristian Keqi (Floriana).