Gudja UTD News
Saturday 15 February 2020
Photo: Joe Borg
FLORIANA 1 - 2 GUDJA UNITED
Floriana's loss to lowly Gudja did little to quell speculation that the premier league leaderes have lost their winning touch.
Needing a victory to go three points clear at the top of the standings to put pressure on Valletta ahead of tomorrow's crucial encounter with Birkirkara, Floriana enjoyed the lion's share of possession but they lacked flair and punch in the final third, never mind their positional deficiencies plaguing their midfield.
The absence of Diego Venancio, Floriana's central cog in their midfield machine, compelled Vincenzo Potenza to reshape his team. Ulises Arias dropped back to form a tandem with Matias Garcia in front of the back four.
Floriana tried to enhance their element of unpredictability in their attack by swapping the positions of Stefano D'Agostino and Jan Busuttil behind the main pivot Tiago Fonesca.
In Gudja's formation, the absence of Anderson was compensated for by Llywelyn Cremona as Josef Mansueto also elected to omit Nivaldo from his first XI in favour of Miguel Jimenez.
Floriana looked likely to take the lead as they forced the early pressure. But a solid Gudja's rearguard closed all avenues to goal.
Past the quarter of the hour mark, Floriana went ahead. The Greens played the ball along the byline on the left, towards Marcelo Dias, in came the cross for Garcia to head past Glenn Zammit.
For some time there was a dearth of action, only broken just before half-time when Cremona ran through but his shot was too central to trouble Ini Akpan, the Floriana goalkeeper.
Exchanges did not brighten up after the break as there was hardly a sniff of goal, except for a Akpan blocking save on Winchester after a slip by the Floriana defence.
Gudja started shedding off their submissiveness and midway through the second period Enzo Ruiz glanced a header into his own net from a cross by Justin Grioli.
The cold shower for Floriana came in the 71st minute when MIGUEL P.JIMENEZ advanced through the middle channel before producing a perfectly-flighted shot that soared into the top corner of the net.
Floriana threw caution to the wind but their late enterprise proved fruitless against an organised Gudja rearguard.
BOV player of the match: Miguel P.Jimenez (Gudja United)
Match report: Paul Cachia (Times Of Malta)