Late goals sink 10-man Floriana
Birkirkara earned a hard-fought victory over 10-man Floriana with two late goals.
Mislav Andelkovic scored a stunning goal three minutes from time before substitute Jake Grech added another goal in injury time to help his team collect three valuable points to climb second with Balzan and Sliema, one point behind leaders Gzira United.
Floriana cannot but be commended for a bold and solid performance after the Greens defender Alex Cini was expelled late in the first half, leaving them with the arduous task of playing a full half with 10 men.
Cini was red-carded by the referee after collecting two yellow cards in a matter of minutes following tackles. Cini’s send yellow-card offence, seven minutes from half-time, was an unnecessary challenge from behind on de Sequeira on the left flank.
Still scoring chances were at a premium.
Varela went on a surging run but his shot was blocked by Danilo Chapoval as Naumovski was relieved to see the ball roll to a corner-kick.
The Argentine striker was a veritable thorn in the heart of the Birkirkara’s defence. His angled shot after 74 minutes was tipped over the bar by Akpan.
But with three minutes to go, Marcelo’s effort had Jurgen Pisani clearing the ball into the path of Mislav Andelkovic, who blasted the rebound into the roof of the net.
Floriana nearly forced a draw but for a stupendous flying save from Naumovski who stopped an excellent Pisani header on a cross from Varela.
The Stripes punished Floriana’s flat-out approach as de Sequeira squared for substitute Jake Grech who stab it home. That was that. Birkirkara were safely through.