Match Day 2: Floriana 1 Hibs 2
Match Day 2: Floriana 1 Hibs 2
28th August 2015
A controversial Marcelo Dias goal got Hibernians their first win as they triumphed 2-1 over Floriana. Andrew Cohen, having started from an offside position, latched onto the end of the Brazilian’s shot-cum-cross but it seems that the ball had already crossed the line before it reached Cohen. This decision by referee Clayton Pisani seemed to be the last straw for Floriana as they had already protested for a soft penalty awarded to the champions.
The Greens thought they had the lead after just four minutes but Chiesa could not make a decent contact with the ball in front of gaping goal after Mario Fontanella headed the ball into the box from Pisani’s free-kick.
After 12 minutes, Pisani caught out the Hibs defence with a surging run on the flank before playing the ball back to Conor Borg but the rearguard closed down.
Hibs had begun to stifle their opponents’ counter-attacks and the breakthrough arrived inevitably through Jorginho when the Brazilian was hauled down in the box by the onrushing Matthew Calleja Cremona. From the spot kick, Failla planted the penalty beyond the goalkeeper.
Fontanella hit the Hibs post in the 24th minute with a powerful left-foot low drive and the Italian striker proved a constant test for the Paolites.
Sensing Hibs’ toils to get their usual passing game off the ground, Floriana increased their efforts in search of an equaliser after the break. In the 55th minute, Substitute Andrea Scozzese, who had just come on for Steven Bonnici, unleashed a powerful drive from outside the box that finished off the post.
Hibs survived another scare when Chiesa lobbed the ball over Jurgen Borg, the Hibs goalkeeper. Their celebrations were curtailed when the assistant referee Edward Spiteri flagged for an offside position. The champions were on the ropes with Floriana swarming forward, an equaliser seemed inevitable.
Referee Clayton Pisani, awarded another penalty this time on the other side when Marcelo Dias brought Monticelli down in the box. From the ensuing kick, Mauricio Villa coolly sent the ball behind Borg.
But two minutes later, defender Enrico Pepe was sent off for a second yellow card. More woes hit Floriana, Clayton Pisani who had come in for strong criticism from the Floriana fans, was again the centre of attention after 72 minutes, when Jackson Lima caught out the defence with long delivery for Dias whose in-swinging shot hit the far post. Floriana Floriana held their defensive line and caught Andrew Cohen in an offside position as he attempted to push the ball over the line. However, the impression from the stands was that the ball had already crossed the line before Cohen’s intervention. The decision to award the goal irked the Floriana president Ricardo Gaucci who protested vehemently and was sent off.
Numerical parity was restored five minutes from time when Hibs midfielder Jackson Lima was shown the red card. Floriana were down but not out and Borg had to draw a fine save to deny Monticelli after being released by Chiesa.
Floriana FC Line Up:
Matthew Calleja Cremona, Manuel Briffa, Jurgen Pisani, Steve Bonnici (Andrea Scozzese), Enrico Pepe, Nicholas Chiesa, Conor Borg (Matteo Picciolo), Clyde Borg, Antonio Monticelli, Mauricio Villa (Steve Pisani), Mario Fontanella.
Source: Times of Malta