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Floriana registered a second win on the trot as a penalty late in the first half enabled them to beat Gudja United 1-0.
With just one point separating the two teams, it was a must-win game for both sides in their bid to steer away from relegation trouble. The Greens ended up collecting the three points to leapfrog the same Gudja and Sirens, moving ninth, one point behind rivals Valletta.
For Floriana, this was therefore their third positive result.
Gudja, on the other hand, suffered their sixth defeat in the last seven matches and now stand sixth from bottom, one point ahead of Żejtun and two ahead of Balzan but the latter have two games in hand.
After the heart-breaking defeat to Mosta on Wednesday, Gudja coach Jesmond Zammit was forced to make one change as Neil Micallef replaced the suspended Llywelyn Cremona.
Floriana, on the other hand, had Brandon Paiber deputising for Diego Venancio who was serving a one-match ban while Marcelo Dias was preferred to Alex Cini.
Throughout the 90 minutes, shots at goal were few and far in between.
During the first half, Gudja went close with an Aidan Friggieri effort from outside the area which just missed the target on 11 minutes but from then onwards, the two goalkeepers were hardly tested.
However, eight minutes from the end of the first half, Floriana managed to take the lead. Kristian Keqi was brought down inside the area by Imanol Gonzalez. Referee Andrea Sciriha ordered a penalty and the Albanian striker made no mistake from the spot.
Nothing changed during the second half with play concentrated in midfield and the two goalkeepers enjoying a relatively quiet evening.
On 69 minutes, Aidan Friggieri had a shot from the edge of the area, deflected by a defender and parried by Akpan.
Four minutes later, the Floriana goalkeeper saved a freekick by substitute Elton da Silva.
In the dying minutes, Gudja tried to push a bid more to try to rescue a point from the game but a Neil Micallef header ended wide two minutes in added time
Just before the final whistle, James Brincat had a shot from outside the area which missed the target.
Referee: Andrea Schiriha
Assistant Referees: Mitchell Scerri, Darko Stankovic
Fourth Official: Ishmael Barbara
RYAN CAMENZULI (FL)
BOV PLAYER OF THE MATCH
|#||Player||Position||Goals||Assists||Yellow Cards||Second Yellows||Red Cards|
|8||Terence Vella 23||Forward||0||0||0||0||0|
|16||Filip Pankarican||Midfielder||0||0||1 (62')||0||0|
|17||Imanol Gonzalez Benac 18||Defender||0||0||0||0||0|
|18||James Brincat 17||Midfielder||0||0||0||0||0|
|20||Elton Silva 22||Forward||0||0||0||0||0|
|22||Hubert Vella 20||Midfielder||0||0||0||0||0|
|23||Vanger Conceicao 8||Forward||0||0||0||0||0|
|25||Juan Andres Bolanos||Defender||0||0||0||0||0|