As we approach the end of 2013, this website looks back at the main events which characterized this year. It was another successful year for the FMA who is striving so hard to improve the level of Futsal in Malta.
It was a year which saw Balzan and Hibernians being the main protagonists with some balanced encounters between them.
2013 was the year which saw a change in the national league. In a council meeting held in late August it was decided that the league would be divided into two divisions: Premier (15 teams) and First Division (13 teams) instead of four divisions.
The main events that marked 2013 were as follows
19th February 2013
Premier Division Match: Balzan vs Hibernians 3-3
Title rivals Balzan FC and Hibernians shared six goals as their direct encounter finished in a 3-3 draw.
The stalemate kept things as they were at the top of the standings as Balzan and Hibs retained their status as joint-leaders with 27 points each, albeit the Reds have a better goal difference.
In a tight game, Hibs led twice but Balzan hit back to draw level.
Boicho Marev, who scored a brace, and Giorgi Gerasimov got Hibs’ goals while Basil Emeka, Nicola Del Re and Cosmin Anton found the net for Balzan.
12th April 2013
Futsal Ref fairing well in Turkey
Futsal referee Franco Cachia received excellent marks for his showing in a European qualifying tournament held in Turkey.
Officiating alongside world-renowned Spanish referee Fernando Gutierrez Lumbrera, Cachia was awarded 8.4 in Turkey-Slovenia, 8.6 in Slovenia-Ukraine and 8.5 in Ukraine-Turkey.
26th April 2013
Balzan claim KO competition
Balzan FC claimed their second major honour of the 2012-13 futsal season after claiming the FXDD KO, organised for the first time by the Futsal Malta Association. In the final, they beat Hibs 6-3 in a hard-fought contest at the Corradino Pavilion.
In front of a record crowd, it was clearly evident from the initial stages that this was going to be a thriller. Balzan opened the score through Basil Emeka but the Paolites drew level just before half-time following a Cedric Sciberras goal.
The contest remained fairly balanced in the second half before Balzan regained the lead w a well-taken Florin Anton free-kick.
Hibs, however, again hit back and Boicho Marev levelled at 2-2.
Balzan had Nicola del Re sent off but they still opened a two-goal lead following goals by Glenn Bonello and Emeka.
With three minutes left, Hibs pulled one back through Sciberras
Then, Balzan were awarded a penalty, converted by Bonello, and they sealed their victory with another gem of a goal from Anton.
Balzan captain Christian Micallef was presented with the KO trophy from Fiona Soler, FXDD general manager, and Donald Spiteri, the FMA president
24th May 2013
Hibs claim League title
Premier Division Play Off Final Second Leg
Hibernians vs Balzan 2-2 (7-2 aggregate)
In front of a record crowd at the Corradino Pavillion, Hibernians won the league of the Premier Division after seeing off Balzan 7-2 on aggregate. Actually the match finished 2-2.
The Paolites, fresh from their 5-0 victory a few days before, controlled their opponents and found the net from Blogovist Marev. Basil Emeka for Balzan found the net to make it 1-1. Balzan scored again through Alexander Ribic but Giorgi Gerasimov had the final say to make the score 2-2.
Therefore Hibernians won the first National League organized by the FMA. President Donald Spiteri presented the trophy to captain Xavier Saliba amidst celebrations from all the Paolites supporters.
21st August 2013
A new format for the Futsal Leagues
After the council meeting held at the Corradino Pavillion it was decided that the National League will be made up of two divisions Premier and First.
After some clubs had decided not to take part in the following season it was decided that the Premier Division would be made up of 16 teams (Hibs, Balzan, Luxol, San Gwann, Qormi, Tarxien, Hamrun, Zabbar, Melita, Luqa, Mosta, Zurrieq, Pembroke, Vittoriosa, Swieqi and Birzebbuga). Eventually Tarxien decided not to take part.
The First Division would be made up of 13 teams (Zebbug, Fgura, Sta Lucia, Valletta, Gzira, Siggiewi, Sirens, Marsaskala, Kalkara, Mqabba, Naxxar, Qrendi and Msida)
2nd September 2013
Hibernians FC make history in Europe
Hibs Futsal returned back in Malta from Finland. They competed in the UEFA Futsal Cup finishing second in a group of four. At the Malta International Airport they were welcomed back by a good number of relatives, supporters and members of Hibernians, who gave their warm congratulations for their historic feat. One could read the following message: HIBERNIANS FC FUTSAL THE FIRST MALTESE CLUB THAT EVER WON ABROAD AND MADE HISTORY.
These were the results of Hibernians in the UEFA Futsal Cup played in Finland:
Ilves Tampere vs Hibs 2-2
Hamburg Panthers vs Hibs 7-2
Hibs vs Gentofte 3-2
28th September 2013
Balzan dominate and win Super Cup
In a thrilling Super Cup Final, Balzan succeeded to win the first title of the season against Hibernians by beating them 5-1. Balzan were dominant from the beginning and managed to score two goals early in the first half by Emil Raducu and Nicola Delre. Hibernians scored their only goal by captain Xavier Saliba and tried hard to bring all levels equal. Balzan continued their positive transition and scored another three goals by Jovica Milijic, Glenn Bonello and Marc Areny Albert, which sealed their victory.
The temper was high and you could feel the tension on both players and supporters. In fact, both teams finished the match with a reduced player when both Levan Kobaidze for Hibernians and Marc Areny Albert for Balzan were sent off after they received the second yellow card.
After the final whistle, there was the Super Cup’s presentation amongst the jubilation of Balzan’s players, staff and supporters present at the Corradino Sports Pavillion.