The score line finished goalless at St Aloysius, as Floriana took on Balzan in a pre-season friendly.

Floriana goalkeeper, Matthew Calleja Cremona impressed for the Green’s when called upon. 

Balzan 0-0 Floriana

After just three minutes of play there was a coming together between Anderson Francisco, Balzan’s number 18 and a Floriana player which resulted in a Green free kick.

The free kick was taken well as Floriana kicked the ball out to the left wing before a clever cross from the Green’s lead to a corner.

10 minutes into the game saw Floriana goalkeeper, Matthew Calleja Cremona being called into action as he saved a Bazlan shot. Cremona spilt the initial save but acted quickly as he dived onto the ball to re-collect possession.

Just two minutes later, Floriana had a chance to lead as they took an ambitious shot from 25-yards out, but Balzan acted quickly to clear the ball.

Cremona was called into action for a second time, rushing off his line to clear the ball from outside of his box, as Alfred Effiong rushed towards him. The situation was handled well as Cremona acted as a ‘sweeper keeper’ in a similar way to Manuel Neuer.

The Floriana shot stopper was again involved in play as he headed the ball over Balzan striker, Bojam Kaljevic. There was an outrage from the Floriana fan’s as a small coming together occurred when Kaljevic collided with a Green’s defender.

The two teams come together following a collision.

Just a minute later, tempers were raised again as Balzan committed a poor foul in the centre of the pitch, which led to the match official warning players that the game was only a friendly.

An aggressive first half came to an end with changes being made, including Wednesday’s hat-trick hero, Amadou Samb coming on for Floriana.

The Senegalese forward was caught offside, two minutes into the second half as a lob through ball was played to his feet.

10 minutes into the second half, Floriana had a chance to break the deadlock. The Green’s had a free-kick on the edge of the area which was taken very well with a low powerful shot just wide of the the bottom left corner.

A brilliant touch by Samb allowed the striker to play in his teammate who was brought down at the 30-yard mark. Floriana were rewarded with a free-kick which was taken well as Balzan keeper, Christian Cassar was called into action making a diving save to his right hand side, denying the Green’s.

Floriana’s best chance of the game came five minutes from full time as their winger managed to keep the ball on the pitch which allowed him to produce a simple pass into the Balzan penalty area, the chance was wasted as the receiving player couldn’t keep control of the ball.

Another chance for the Green’s followed five minutes later as Samb received a long ball which he then lobbed over the Balzan goalkeeper into the top left corner, the play was ruled offside which kept the score at 0-0 as the final whistle was blown.

coming together
A fierce friendly came to an end with the score at 0-0.

Floriana goalkeeper, Cremona spoke to ElWriteBack after the game.

In regards to his ‘sweeper keeper’ style of play, Cremona commented saying, “Neuer is my role model and I learn a lot from him. I enjoy going out for the ball but it is a bit risky.

“You see Manuel Neuer taking some huge risks and sometimes mistakes, but I enjoy going out to intercept balls.”

The shot stopper went on to comment on the result of the game: “It was a good result; it was also positive to keep a clean sheet against a good side.

“It was a good performance. Hopefully we will start the league well.”

matt cremona
Charlie Russell (left) and Matthew Calleja Cremona of Floriana (right)

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