Coronado sinks Magpies
Coronado 53, 63;
Rabat Ajax 1
Igor Coronado stopped Rabat Ajax from recording only their third win of the season as the Brazilian livewire struck two quick second-half goals to push his team away from the drop zone.
Rabat coach Silvio Vella cut a lone figure yesterday as for a second successive match he saw his team throwing away the lead with the Greens profiting fully from the Magpies’ lax defending to score twice in the space of 10 minutes for three priceless points.
In fact, Floriana can now breathe more easily as they opened a 10-point cushion over second-bottom Rabat and only a meltdown could see them en-gaged in the relegation fight.
The match was rather low-key for much of the opening stages with scoring chances at either end a rarity.
However, the boredom was broken on 22 minutes when Diego Carrillo Pendas delivered an inviting ball towards David Azzopardi who headed past a stranded Tony Warner, the Floriana goalkeeper.
Floriana threatened 10 minutes later when Carl Tremarco picked Steve Pisani inside the area but his chip was tipped over the bar by alert Rabat keeper Sean Mintoff.
Vella was forced to make his first change on 34 minutes when Clive Brincat limped out injured.
Brincat was replaced by Malcolm Licari.
On the restart, Iain Brunskill withdrew Brooke Farrugia and Udo Nwoko and roped in Kane Farrugia and Mark Spiteri in a bid to revive his forward line.
Those changes soon left the desired dividends as on 53 minutes Spiteri sent a cross inside the box where Coronado showed great skill to control and hit an acrobatic overhead kick that gave Mintoff no chance.
Floriana almost struck again soon after. Coronado released Cilia who hit a low drive that beat Mintoff but Dylan Falzon was on hand to clear the ball off the line.
The Greens were not to be denied and four minutes later Pisani forced his way past two defenders before releasing Coronado who tapped in an empty Rabat net.
Coronado almost completed his hat-trick on 77 minutes when he was first to the ball after Mintoff spilled Paris’s shot. However, the Brazilian was denied by the goalkeeper.
Six minutes from time, Jose Luis Armario Negrin missed a glorious chance when he broke free inside the Greens’ box but incredibly he fired wide with only Warner to beat.
T. Warner-6, G. Roberts-6, O. Bugeja-6, C. Tremarco-5.5, T. Cilia-6, T. Paris-6.5, C. Borg-6, B. Farrugia-5 (46 K. Farrugia-6), U. Nwoko-4 (46 M. Spiteri-7), S. Pisani-7, I. Coronado-7.5.
S. Mintoff-6, G. Gesualdi-6, I. Carapic-6, J.L. Armario Negrin-5, M. Fuster-4.5, D. Falzon-5, P. Borg-5, C. Brincat-5 (34 M. Licari-5), D. Carrillo Pendas-6, D. Azzopardi-6, C. Gauci-5.5.
Referee: Chris Lautier.
Yellow cards: Paris, Pisani, Carapic, Bugeja, C. Borg.
BOV player of the match: Igor Coronado (Floriana).