Day 22 Valletta 1 Floriana 1 Published on: 04-03-2012

Floriana produced a gallant performance to take a point from their derby with bitter rivals Valletta at the National Stadium.

The 1-1 draw was a fair outcome as there was little between the two teams with Floriana showing great resilience and tactical discipline to frustrate their much-vaunted opponents.

Floriana stunned Valletta by taking an 11th-minute lead. John Mintoff was the provider as his excellent cross from the left sailed towards the unmarked Ivan Woods who headed past Andrew Hogg, much to the delight of the Greens supporters.

Conceding so early was a blow for Valletta who were finding it difficult to force a way through Floriana's dense midfield.

The champions nearly made it 1-1 but Roderick Briffa's looping shot came off the woodwork. At the other end, Erik Akoto headed wide from Pablo Doffo's corner.

Valletta began to see more of the ball as the first half progressed.

Edmond Agius went close with a curling shot from outside the area but Patrick Jansen, the Floriana goalkeeper, turned the ball away for a corner.

Still, Floriana continued to frustrate their opponents with their aggressive pressing. Seven minutes from the end of the first half, Floriana threatened again. Brazilian forward Alandson sent the ball forward and the enterprising Woods ran behind the back-tracking City defenders before hitting a powerful drive that brought a fine save from Hogg.

Valletta had a penalty claim turned down by referee Mario Apap after Briffa went down in the box after being challenged by Clyde Borg.

In first-half stoppage time, Valletta equalised. They were awarded a free-kick after Michael Mifsud was felled just outside the box and Ousseni Zongo curled his shot beyond the defensive wall and away from the diving Jansen.

Valletta piled the pressure on their opponents after the restart. Zongo hit wide after Florianah had struggled to deal with a Valletta attack and Denni was denied by Jansen moments later.

As the second half moved on, Valletta's early pressure fizzled out as Floriana raised their game. Scoring chances were few and far between but, 21 minutes from time, Valletta came close to a second goal but Ian Azzopardi headed over after meeting Denni's free-kick.

At the other end, Floriana defender Eric Akoto fired over after Valletta failed to clear a cross from the right.

Another cross, this time from a Doffo set-piece, unsettled the Valletta defence as Akoto headed backward and Grabowki's volley was deflected towards Caruana who failed to connect with the ball.

Caruana's central header from Grabowski's free-kick was blocked by Hogg.

In the closing stages, Gilbert Agius, who had come on for Mifsud, hit two dangerous cross after robbing Owen Bugeja of the ball but Floriana doused the danger to hold on to the point.

Ousseni Zongo was named BOV player of the match.


VALLETTA : A. Hogg, R. Briffa, E. Agius, D. Dos Santos, J. Caruana, I. Azzopardi, O. Zongo,  S. Mady Panadetiguiri (W. Barbosa), A. Cekulajevs (A. Effiong), S. Borg, M. Mifsud (G. Agius)

FLORIANA:  P. Jansen, M. Micallef, I. Woods (C. Caruana), E. Akoto, O. Bugeja, J. Mintoff, P. Doffo, D. Pisani, J. Borg, A. Da Silva (A. Grabowski), C. Borg

BOV Premier League
Date: 04-03-12     Time: 16:00    Venue: National Stadium

Scorers: 11' Ivan Woods (F), 47' Ousseni Zongo (V)

Yellow Cards:  S. Panadetiguiri, I. Woods, A. Effiong, E. Akoto, S. Borg, A. Grabowski.

Man of Match: Ousseni Zongo (V)

Referee: Mario Apap