Month: January 2014

Balzan go first, Hamrun confirm

Balzan joined Hibernians at the top of the table in the FXDD Premier Division, although playing a game more,  after seeing off Qormi 7-2.

It was a collective performance by last year’s KO winners who had a lot of possession during the match with Qormi finding it difficult to penetrate their opponents’ organized defence.

Balzan broke the deadlock after just 36 seconds with Gabriel Dobre and doubled the score one minute later through Christian Wismayer. The Yellows tried a sort of reaction with Peter Pullicino inspiring his team with some good counter-attacks.

Despite all this, Christian Wismayer added another one until the same Pullicino found the net with a great shot to make it 3-1.

Before half-time Balzan scored two more goals with Glenn Bonello and Gabriel Dobre.

In the second half, Qormi tried to organize their defence and limit the scoreline. Glenn Bonello hit the target to score a brace until Peter Pullicino reduced the arrears for Qormi.

Rennie Tanti completed the scoreline for Balzan to win 7-2 and score their 107th goal of the campaign.

In fact, after playing 11 matches Balzan have the best attack as well as the best defence of the league after conceding only 18 goals throughout this campaign.

In the other match, Hamrun won 8-5 against Zabbar to clinch their third consecutive victory and remain unbeaten in 2014.

It was another great performance by the Reds who were inspired by Mohammed Elamari with Zabbar  finding it difficult to halt his powerful runs.

On the other hand, the Southerners did make a reaction when they reached the score to 4-4. But then Hamrun scored four more goals to secure their sixth win of the season.

The Spartans scored their goals from  Mohammed Elamari (3 goals), Christian Cacciatolo (2 goals), Cristian Cuadros Silva, Robert Fenech and an own goal by Kovachev.

Radoslav Kovachev, Glenn Barry, Nikolay Filipov, Omar Toutoungi and Rosen Filipov scored Zabbar’s goals.

Elamari scored a hat-trick and inspired his team to victory




San Gwann qualify for the Q/F

San Gwann became the seventh team to qualify for the quarter finals of the FXDD Knock-Out Competition after defeating First Division Fgura 8-1.

It was a great performance by the Premier Division side that dominated the match.

Despite breaking the deadlock from Andy Mangion, Fgura immediately levelled matters through Jason Gauci.

Before the end of the first half, Alan Borg put San Gwann ahead after a good counter-attack.

In the second half, San Gwann took the initiative and scored six times through Alan Borg, Josef Borg, a brace by Shawn Vella, JeanBert Gatt and Jurgen Pace.

Swieqi, Zurrieq, Gzira, Balzan, Zabbar, Vittoriosa have already booked a place in the quarter-finals after defeating their respective opponents.

The second round will come to an end next Saturday when Premier Division side Pembroke will take First Division side Mqabba.


Mosta and Vittoriosa share spoils

Mosta and Vittoriosa marked their tenth appearance in the FXDD Premier Division by sharing the spoils in an eight-goal thriller in a match played at the Corradino Pavillion.

A draw was a fair reflection on a game in which both sides had their own chances at goal. The goalkeepers were their side’s respective heroes as they made a string of good saves to keep their respective team in the match.

Vittoriosa were leading 4-0 until the 25th minute with goals scored by Luke Stivala (2 goals), Andre Azzopardi and Jason Mifsud. Everything looked settled for an easy win for the Cottonera side.

But Mosta responded and made an exceptional comeback by scoring four times through Matthew Borg, George Douglas Saliba, Timothy Gingell and Armando Gjepali to make the final score 4-4.



Balzan back to winning ways

Balzan quickly returned to winning ways after thrashing Melita 13-0. It was an exceptional performance by Gabriel Dobre’s boys that dominated this game and wanted to give a clear message that they are still league contenders.

In the first half, Melita’s players defended boldly suffering only two goals before half-time. They succeeded in stopping Balzan’s continuous attacks with their keeper continuously busy.

In the second half, it was a different story as Balzan found the net immediately and pressed continuously with Melita unable to halt their opponents’ hunger for goals.

Glenn Bonello, Christian Wismayer, Jovica Milijic, Andrea Dan, Gabriel Dobre, Rennie Tanti, Nicola del Re and Giancarlo Sammut were among the scorers for Balzan who now face Qormi next Thursday.

After this defeat, the St Julian’s side still lie in the middle part of the table.

Meanwhile Zabbar continued their perfect form after narrowly beating Swieqi 13-10. In a match that produced 24 goals. Zabbar’s Frankie Xerri  inspired his team by hitting home three times.

They registered their fourth win of the campaign and have climbed eighth in the table.


A Closer Look at….Delyan Ivanov (Zurrieq Futsal Club)

Name: Delyan Ivanov

Born on the 7th July 1986 (27 years old) in Gabrovo, Bulgaria.

Plays as a goalkeeper with Zurrieq FC.

Works at a Furniture Company (Restoring Furniture).

Hobbies: Football, Table Tennis, Music, Hanging out with friends.


How did you begin to play futsal?

I’ve been playing futsal since the year 2007 . I used to play in second division football . Meanwhile a friend of mine called and proposed me to  join a local futsal team. To tell you the truth, I had never heard about futsal  before so I accepted the challenge and  agreed to join this club.

Talk about the futsal teams you have played with so far.

I played for three years with Capital Boys who then became Marsa FC after the FMA league reform. After this positive experience, I joined Zurrieq FC during this season and I’m satisfied with my performances so far.

Your best moment in Futsal.

Rather than having one best moment in this sport, I prefer to say that there were a lot of instance where I felt satisfied about what I did on the pitch. As an example, when you win a game you feel something special. Even when we lose, we stay together as a team and evaluate our mistakes so that we won’t repeat them.

Therefore I can say that the best moment is always when we stay united as a team no matter if we win or lose.

Being a goalkeeper means having to be always concentrated…

Being a goalkeeper is not an easy job as many people think.You have to show skills and abilities more than any other player because the goalkeeper is last barrier in front of the goal and mistakes are easily visible. You must always focus and have quick thinking when you’re involved in a particular action.

How are you feeling this year with Zurrieq Futsal Club?

As I have already said,  I am feeling very well with Zurrieq. My team-mates and staff praise me a lot and give all the necessary support so that I could feel at ease. I would like to thank them for their continuous backing.

What do you do before a Futsal match in order to be focused and concentrated?

Nothing special! I just think that I have to do my best no matter against whom we’ll playing. It’s always important to be calm and confident. Then everything comes naturally.

Your objectives for this season.

This season is hard as we are nearly at the bottom of the table. Luckily enough we’ve succeeded to win some precious points this season but we must try to do even better. 

Despite all this, I’m optimistic that we can improve our style of play and gain some vital points during this campaign.

Three adjectives to describe yourself.

Cordial, having a sense of humour and honest. (as a person)

Confident,unforgiving and winner. (as a player)

How do you see yourself in 10 years time?

Well, usually I don’t like to look that far in time.  Let’s say that in ten years time I would like to be more serene ,wiser and calmer.  As a player maybe more experienced, more skills with few trophies in the showcase and maybe to start thinking about my retirement!


Delyan Ivanov in action with Zurrieq this season

Qrendi extend winning run

In the big match of the FXDD First Division mighty Qrendi came from behind against second placed Gzira to stretch their winning run to 10 games and increase the advantage in the table over their opponents.

It was an exciting game as it usually happens in these top of the table clashes.

Gzira broke the deadlock from a goal by Leo Brincat but Qrendi quickly reacted and restored parity from a Bertram Azzopardi’s goal.

One minute later, Chris Bezzina put Gzira ahead to make it 2-1 for his team.

However in the second half, Qrendi made a huge comeback and hit the target three times through Gordon Zammit, Ronald Spina and Antonello Brincat to clinch a dramatic victory.

Kalkara hammered Sta Lucia 11-1. It was an extraordinary performance by the Cottonera side.

Claudio Camilleri inspired Kalkara after hitting the target 4 times. Duncan Bonello scored a brace while Vaughan Barnes, Karl Muscat, Aaron Caruana, Keith Attard and Roderick Vella scored a goal each.

Sirens narrowly beat Msida 3-2. As the score indicates, the match was a balanced one with the St Paul’s Bay side scoring their goals from Kenneth Zammit, George Chircop and Robert Darmanin. Msida scored through Thomas Consoli and Alan Micallef.

In another close match Zebbug defeated Fgura 9-5 to return to winning ways after two consecutive defeats.

A hat-trick from Alan Zammit, a brace by Jamie Portelli and Gorg Borg, Kersten Cilia and Dillon Bugeja scored Zebbug’s goals while Fgura’s scorers were Jeremy Cutajar (2 goals), Noel Portelli, Kerstin Muscat and Wayne Hamer.

Valletta registered their second consecutive win after defeating Siggiewi 10-3. Baldassare Borg, Robert Magro, Kersten Theuma and Dylan Agius were some of the scorers for the Citizens who have bounced eighth in the standings.




Kevin Mifsud appointed as new Hibs coach

Kevin Mifsud has been appointed as Hibernians new Head Coach until the end of the 2013/2014 season, the club has confirmed.

National team coach until last week when Malta won Gibraltar 4-3 in an international friendly, Mifsud had been at the helm for the last two years. He had become the first Maltese coach to take charge of the national futsal team. He was appointed at the beginning of 2012 and led Malta in various international commitments.

This website interviewed Mifsud immediately after last Friday’s match between Hibernians and Balzan.

“We made an agreement with the MFA to terminate my current contract as national team coach. The national team commitments will resume next season so during this time I will be the coach of Hibernians.”

Mifsud is enthusiastic at the idea of coaching a local futsal club.

“Coaching futsal is one of my passions. I always wanted to lead a local futsal club. Now I am the new coach of Hibernians and I wish to do well with this team.”

Mifsud, who turns 46 next month, began his coaching career with Pentagon Properties eight years ago. In his second season at the helm, he lead Pentagon to the second division title and promotion to the top league.

After this experience, Mifsud was in charge of Paola Downtown and, at the end of following season, he was appointed assistant to Vic Hermans, the previous national team coach.

Hibs vs Balzan – A Good Promotion for Local Futsal

Last Friday’s match between Hibernians and Balzan brought, in my opinion, a certain degree of positive feelings for local futsal followers.

Besides having one of the biggest attendance so far  at the Corradino Pavillion this season, we have seen some good futsal by two of the greatest teams on the island. In my opinion we need more matches like these to promote this sport furthermore in Malta.

Gabriel Dobre shared the same opinion last Friday when interviewed immediately after the match.

“This game was certainly a good promotion for local futsal. For sure it was an exciting match that brought a lot of people at the Corradino Pavillion. This is a good sign that futsal is becoming even so popular in Malta. I hope that people come to see more matches not only when Balzan and Hibs play.”

Regarding the match Dobre was disappointed but at the same time optimistic about Balzan’s chances for the title.

“We played well especially in the first half but it was not easy for us to penetrate Hibs’ defence. This match meant a lot for Hibernians, they wanted to come back after the early elimination from the KO. They played a very tactical game. I think it was a balanced encounter.

We are a bit disappointed with the result but the championship is long so we’ll try to get back as soon as possible.”

On the other hand, newly-appointed coach, Kevin Mifsud was over the moon after his team’s victory.

“It was a very important match for us. Balzan are one of the best futsal teams in Malta. They had some players who were missing for this match like Clint Cope, Emil Raducu and Carlo Scicluna. We were satisfied with the result we made a great reaction after their goal.”

Despite the victory, Mifsud still thinks that they is room for more improvement in his team.

“We need to work more and improve our physical and tactical play. Once we begin our training sessions together I’ll stress more on these matters.”

Although winning this direct encounter, Mifsud still thinks that the road is long and nothing has been achieved yet.

“The league is long. Winning is important for sure but the decisive part of the campaign is still to come so we’ll keep concentrated.”

Hard – fought win for Qormi

Qormi strengthened their grip on eighth place with a hard-fought win 5-4  against Vittoriosa in the FXDD Premier Division.

It was an entertaining match with both sides producing some good futsal and the result could have gone on either way.

Qormi scored their goals through a brace by Mohammed Abdallah, Mark Mizzi, Ismael Achami and Alen Medati.

Vittoriosa’s goals came from a brace by Clive Calleja, Luke Stivala and Kenneth Spiteri.

This was Qormi’s fifth victory while Vittoriosa suffered their seventh defeat of the season.

A Closer Look at…Andre Ciancio (Mqabba)

  • Name: Andre` Ciancio 
  • Born on the 17th March 1995 (18 years)
  •       Lives in Ħamrun.
  •      Student at MCAST studying for B-TEC Extended Diploma In Sports (Coaching, Development, Fitness)
  •  Under 12 Assistant Coach with Tarxien Rainbows.
  • Hobbies: Things related with sports and gym.

How did you begin to play futsal?

I was approached by Renzo Kerr-Cumbo to try this sport. I was eager to try something new in my life and I accepted immediately. Finally I got used to the technique and rules of the game and now I don’t regret the decision I’ve made.

What are the positives of this sport?

I think that having lots of goal scoring occasions in a short time is quite interesting. Moreover futsal is a fast game so you need to be concentrated.

Something a bit strange you have encountered while getting used to this game.

Well I found the rules a bit awkward at first but thanks to my coach and team mates, I succeeded to learn them in quite a short time.

How are you finding your experience with Mqabba FC?

I am very happy with this team, Despite the negative results, we are very united as a team. I am feeling part of this family!

What are your major objectives for this season?

My great objective for this season is to learn more about this game so that I could develop my skills furthermore. I would like to be better both physically and mentally so that I could improve my level in futsal.

Recently Mqabba succeeded to win their first match in the First Division against Sirens. What does this victory mean to you?

It was a positive outcome for sure that we obtained the first three points of the season. We needed this moral boost. In my opinion, Mqabba played some really good futsal and in some matches we didn’t deserve to lose. Our coach is working hard so that we arrange some tactical details in our game. We are taking our training seriously and we are optimistic about our future matches.

What is your greatest dream?

I would like to play for the national team. I think everyone has a dream to represent his country in the sport he practices.

In the meantime, I am working hard to improve my level in futsal and thanks to my coach Kenneth Fiteni I am optimistic for the future.