Second-half goals from Mattia Veselji and Adam Magri Overend on Sunday at the Tony Bezzina Stadium handed Floriana a measure of revenge for their FA Trophy’s shock elimination to Santa Lucia.
Veselji put the Greens ahead in the 54th minute, finding space in the box to smash home into the bottom corner.
Then, Magri Overend finished a flowing move that involved Jan Busuttil and Kemar Reid.
Floriana could not have imagined a better opportunity to grab an early lead. Lorenzo Trillo made headway down the left flank but while hit cross-cum-shot beat Matthew Calleja Cremona, it cannoned off the bar. When the rebound was played into the centre, Jan Busuttil hit the ball goalwards, and Liam Bi Bah stuck an arm to block.
A hesitant Glen Tonna pointed to the spot. But Sta Lucia was given a let-off when Veselji opened his body and screwed his spot-kick, by shooting straight at Calleja Cremona.
Floriana responded to this setback by taking a grip on the game, probing in and around the Santa Lucia area.
Busuttil looked keen on impressing as he fired a swerving shot that Calleja Cremona managed to parry to safety. The Greens carved out another clear opportunity as Calleja Cremona blocked Reid’s close-range drive after 27 minutes.
It took Floriana time to settle into the second half, but Veselji eased their nerves with a thunderous strike to give them the lead in the 54th minute. Magri Overend crossed from the right and Reid chested the ball down for Veselji who delivered a low drive that hit the back of the net beyond the outstretched hands of Calleja Cremona.
Trillo wasted a chance to grab the priceless second on 66 minutes when he glanced Reid’s cross wide from a few metres out.
Former Valletta winger Miguel Alba almost returned to haunt Floriana with an angled effort that finished just wide.
On 71 minutes, Sta Lucia’s uphill was made even more demanding when Busuttil’s cross from the left found Magri Overand who powered a first-time volley past Calleja Cremona.
Santa Lucia’s attacking threat faded as the game wore on and they ran out of ideas well before the final whistle.
SANTA LUCIA 0
Veselji 54, Magri Overend 71
Missed penalty: Mattia Veselji (Floriana) 17.
M. Calleja Cremona-6.5, M. Vella-5 (60 F. Farias), N. Pulis-6.5, R. Bairam-4 (79 D. Francarolli), K. Nwoko-5.5 (60 M. Alba), A. Bah-4 (72 J. Tanti), D. Xuereb-5, J. Pisani-5, R. Soares-6.5, Y. Terzi-6 ( 79 D. Francarolli), R. Hehedosh-4.
D. Formosa-6, A. Magri Overend-6 (78 A. Garzia), M. Veselji-6 (78 A. Melunovic), K. Reid-7, U. Arias-5, O. Spiteri-6 (90 E. Micallef), N. Garcia-5.5, L. Trillo-6.5, E. Callegari-5, J. Busuttil-6.5.
Referee: Glen Tonna.
BOV Player of the Match: Kemar Reid (Floriana).
Full article, here.