Month: April 2014

San Gwann a whisker away from play offs

San Gwann almost made it to the play-offs in the FXDD Premier Division Championship Pool after overcoming a great hurdle against Hamrun Spartans 2-1.

It was an exciting match in all senses as both teams  pushed forward in search of the important victory.

Both teams operated some good counter attacks and kept a  high rhythm of play.

Hamrun broke the deadlock 30 seconds from the break through Martin Svihalek to give his side a good advantage.

Eventually San Gwann surged forward and succeeded to level matters through Shaun Vella.

Clayton Felice, the San Gwann mentor, decided to put substitute Daniel Mifsud in and his choice  seemed to bear fruit as the latter scored the winning goal 7.46 minutes from the end.

The last five minutes were critical for Hamrun as they put everything on the attack deploying Steve Gambin as their flying keeper. Despite all this, San Gwann kept their cool and defended boldly to secure three precious points that make them favourites to feature among the top four of the table.

Shawn Vella levels the matters for San Gwann

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the second match, Mosta won a dramatic match against Vittoriosa 4-3 to secure  their Premier Division status next season.

Mosta controlled the first five minutes with great possession and goal scoring opportunities with nippy striker Diego de Mello dangerous in two consecutive actions.

Vittoriosa replied with good counter attacks but rarely found the desired target.

But as the clock struck the 10th minute Luke Stivala had his try saved before the line by Mosta’s James Mangion.

The Cottonera side surged ahead through Kenneth Spiteri well served by Sean Vella to end the first half 1-0 up.

In the second half, Steve Ferriggi doubled the score for Vittoriosa after firing a shot that gave no chance to keeper Karl Balzan.

However, Mosta returned into the match and managed to reduce the arrears through Ryan Caruana after a great shot from outside the semi circle.

One minute later it was the same player who restored parity after a great action from the Mosta players.

Kenneth Spiteri was unlucky to hit the post for Vittoriosa but the same player restored his team’s advantage when he unleashed a great shot to make it 3-2.

Mosta didn’t take long to level the matters as substitute Timothy Gingell scored from close range.

The result seemed to end in a draw but Mosta succeeded to find the winning goal as Dylan Buhagiar hit the target to put his side ahead among the elation of all the Mosta clan.

Mosta’s Armando Gjepali tries a shot

 

Valletta and Zebbug close to promotion

Valletta and Zebbug Rangers are one step away from being promoted to the Premier Division next season after some hard-fought wins to continue marching on in the FXDD First Division.

Valletta saw off eleventh placed Siggiewi 4-2 to maintain their top spot with Zebbug and Gzira.

It wasn’t an easy stroll for the Citizens as they found a bold Siggiewi side who proved to be a tough opposition.

Valletta scored their most important goals from a brace by Robert Magro, Ilija Milivojsa and Dylan Agius.

Consequently Zebbug emulated their rivals’ success as they disposed of Fgura 6-1. Alan Zammit pushed his team forward with a hat-trick, Karstin Cilia scored a brace and Jonathan Scerri added another one for the Rangers who obtained their fifteenth success of the season.

Naxxar consolidated their top five position in the standings after defeating Marsascala 6-4.

Kalkara and Sirens obtained a vital win against their respective opponents to climb further up in the  table.

Kalkara beat Santa Lucia 5-2 to obtain their ninth victory of the season while Sirens managed to win 7-2 against Msida.

Matthew Buttigieg, Duncan Bonello, Gerry Fabbro, Marc Tabone Ferrante were among the scorers for Kalkara.

 

Gzira win to push promotion hopes

Gzira United……6

Qrendi…………… 2

(H.T 1-2)

A great second half and a magnificent performance  gave Gzira United an important win against Qrendi to get closer to promotion and emulate their rivals Valletta and Zebbug. The Maroons now need only a point to secure promotion to the Premier Division.

Qrendi played well in the first half especially when they found themselves a goal down as they made a comeback to score two goals before the break. A balanced encounter followed through as Gzira were operating on counter attacks but were erratic in front of goal.

But in the second half, it was a different story as Gzira recovered well and scored five goals without reply to get the points that mattered.

Josh Parry broke the deadlock for the Maroons after three minutes but Luke Zammit levelled the matters for Qrendi in the 15th minute.

Antonello Brincat managed to find the net for Qrendi  to gain a 2-1 advantage before half-time.

The second half was a different story as Gzira dominated the proceedings and it was no surprise that they the scored more goals.

Two minutes after the break Alessio Restuccia restored parity for Gzira and Josh Parry surged his team forward.

Alessio Restuccia completed a brace to extend his team’s lead.

Qrendi tried to make a sort of reaction but Gzira’s defence controlled well their opponents’ timid attacks.

Eventually Joseph Mifsud scored twice for the Maroons to complete the mission for his team.

Gzira United: Neil Camilleri, Warren Galea, Douglas Mifsud, Chris Bezzina, Jurgen mifsud, Aurelio Burgio, Alessio Restuccia, Charlo Debattista, Joseph Mifsud, Gordon Mizzi, Josh Parry, Kenneth bonnici, Noel Bilocca, Robert Zammit

Qrendi: Dwayne grech, Svetlic Busuttil, Clayton Borg, Kevin Vella, Gordon Zammit, Shawn Rogers, Luke Zammit, Saviour Portelli, Antonello Brincat, Bertram Azzopardi, Alan Spiteri

Referee 1: Robert Darmanin

Referee 2: Stephen Vella

Time-Keeper: Roberto Attard

 

Hibernians increase the gap on Luxol

Hibernians kept their leadership in the FXDD Premier Division, in their top of the table clash against Luxol with a 5-3 victory.

Luxol managed to break the ice and Eslam Kalifa opened the score.

Kurt Bartolo levelled the matters with a fine finish.

Hiberninans kept on pressing their opponents and scored another two goals by Mark Zammit and Levan Kobaidze.

In the beginning of the second half Mark Zammit scored his second personal goal for Hibernians.

Tarek Ibrahim’s goal was Luxol’s tentative to enter back on track.

Kurt Bartolo scored again and made it more comfortable to the Paolites.

The third and final goal for Luxol came from their captain William Barbosa who was one of the best in play.

Hibernians collected 55 points from 19 matches and are just three points ahead from Balzan.

Luxol went down to the third place and are two points behind Balzan.

Balzan will face Luxol on Friday 9th May.

In the following week,  on Thursday 15th May, the match between Hibernians and Balzan  could decide who’s going to win the title.

Balzan step up bid for second spot

Balzan overcame another hurdle in the FXDD Premier Division after beating Zabbar 7-3 to climb second and leapfrog Luxol who had lost previously against Hibernians.

Gabriel Dobre’s boys had the lion’s share of play and managed to end the first half 5-1 up. In the second half they managed to score two more goals to secure the victory.

It was in the final minutes that  Zabbar made a reaction and scored two more goals to reduce the arrears.

A brace by Clint Cope, Giancarlo Sammut, Andrea Dan and Nicola del Re were among the scorers for Balzan who play the Knock-Out final next Friday.

Clint Cope scored a brace for Balzan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

San Gwann continued to confirm their top four position in the table when they saw off Pembroke 10-5.

It was a great showing by San Gwann who managed to end the first half 4-3. However in the second half, Pembroke managed to level matters immediately after their opponents scored again to extend their advantage.

Dennis di Maio once again proved to be San Gwann inspirational player when he hit the target four times. A brace by Dylan Musu, Andy Mangion, Shawn Vella, Daniel Mifsud and an own goal added more goals for the winners.

Dexter O’Brien, Alexander Ribic and Floren Manea were among the scorers for Pembroke.

Hamrun continued their positive season as they had the better of neighbours Qormi 4-1.

Qormi managed to break the deadlock thanks to a Mark Camilleri goal to end the first half 1-0 up.

However in the second half,  the Spartans managed to make a great comeback after restoring parity through Mohammed Elamari.

Eventually Hamrun continued to score through Martin Svihalek, Mohammed Elamari and Darren Galea to gain the points that mattered.

 


 

Luxol back to be the second best

Luxol back to be the second best after beating Qormi 5-2.

It was a quiet game, lacking of exciting actions.

Alan Galea opened the score for Qormi.

Karl Saliba releveled the matters for Luxol.

Qormi’s second and final goal came by Mark Camilleri.

Luxol took control of the game with braces by George Frendo and Florin Anton.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A brilliant win by Vittoriosa Stars on Melita with the score of 9-4.

Melita had the bitter side with Jean Debattista’s injury  in the first half.

Six minutes from the end of the match, Edwin Gauci was sent off for Melita after receiving the second yellow card.

In this situation, Melita defended bravely and wisely, even though the result was already well in favour of Vittoriosa Stars.

Melita found the net with Rudy Alhinho, Kaene Cassar Degabriele’s brace and with Melita’s player and coach Mark Muscat.

Vittoriosa’s goals came from the braces by Leandros Calleja and Luke Stivala, hat trick by Kenneth Spiteri and a goal each for Melvin Xuereb and Darton Bugeja.

A Closer Look at…Francesco Ronsisvalle (Coach Vittoriosa Stars)

Francesco Ronsisvalle

Date of Birth: 14th June 1987.

Age: 26 years.

Has been coaching futsal for the past four years.

This is…my fourth season coaching futsal. The first three years however were spent as a player/coach but this is my first year focusing only on coaching.

Why Futsal?  I like futsal because it is a relatively new sport in Malta that is growing rapidly with a number of enthusiasts willing to learn more about the game.

Futsal is..a good mix of skills: speed, endurance and flair that coupled with the high tempo required, can involve everyone and thus contributes towards a strong team spirit.

I am..satisfied with my team’s performance so far. Despite the fact that the team had to compete unexpectedly in the top league, we still managed to achieve some good results. Added to this, it is a great satisfaction that we managed to qualify for the Knock Out final.

We need to…keep working to improve technically, tactically and physically in order to achieve more positive results.

My personal objective as a coach is …to lead the team and achieve the objectives set by the  club for  this season. Moreover I would like to develop my players’ skills  to improve our style of play.

Then rather than an objective, at this stage, it would be a dream to win the Knock Out Trophy.

B’Bugia back to winning ways

Birzebbugia returned to winning ways in the FXDD Premier Division Relegation Pool after a bold display and a great 10-3 victory.

Claudio Calleja pushed his team forward after netting four goals, Aaron Dalli scored a hat-trick while a brace by James Galea and a goal by Javier Abad Juni added more goals for the Southsiders who climb eighth in the table.

A brace by the league top scorer Tyron Borg and a goal by Josh Farrugia reduced the arrears for Zurrieq.

Swieqi registered their second consecutive win after having the better of Luqa 5-2.

 

 

A Closer Look at…Alex Falzon (Coach Luqa St Andrews)

Name… Alex Falzon     

Date of Birth… 31st December 1980

Age: 33 years old

Profession… Sales Manager at Progress Press Co. Ltd.

 I have been involved in futsal for the last 9 years…. I started playing futsal in 2005 when school friends Chris Meliak and Patrick Azzopardi asked me to join their futsal team, Classics FC. The next season I joined Pentagon Properties BFC who were under the guidance of former National Coach Kevin Mifsud. I started to understand and love this game. This experience lasted 3 seasons, in which we got promoted and won the championship decider in the second year. In the following season we placed in the fifth place overall to qualify for the championship playoffs, where we eventually lost to the strong Serbian champions, ‘White Eagles’. A few weeks later I sustained a serious injury in an 11-a-side match which put my playing days to a halt. This is when I started focusing on coaching and my first experience was as an assistant coach to Kevin Mifsud who had moved to Paola Downtown. The next season I coached ‘New Team’ in the third division and ‘Progress Press’ in the following season. Last year I had a break from coaching as I took up the position of General Secretary of the newly formed FMA. This year I returned back to coaching with Luqa St. Andrews in the top division.

 Why futsal? Futsal is an entertaining high tempo game, from a coaching point of view; the game gives you a lot of different tactical options directly influencing the game.

Current season… we have found the top division very challenging on various fronts; most players in my squad lacked top division experience, lack of sponsors and no backup from the member club has made our experience in the top division an uphill struggle but not withstanding these limited resources the coaching staff has tried to instillqa tactical discipline and fighting spirit into our players in order to keep premier division status next year. 

 We need to… win the last 3 games

 My personal objective is… continue coaching and hopefully win the Futsal Premier league 

 Personal achievements as a coach… won the section with Progress Press and qualifying to the playoffs. 

 Special thanks goes out to… my wife who supports me and is very understanding and patient, Kevin Mifsud who has been an inspiration and a mentor, Karl Magro a friend and assistant coach, Luqa St. Andrew’s committee members Karl Micallef and Andrew Scerri and all the players, committee members and coaches I have worked with in the last 9 years. 

 

 

Hibs and Balzan confirm

Title challengers Hibernians and Balzan cruised to important victories when they eased off past Zabbar and Pembroke respectively to continue their challeng for the championship.

Hibernians defeated Zabbar St Patrick 10-5 to keep the top position of the table.

It was a great win by Kevin Mifsud’s boys who produced a great performance that stunned the Zabbar side.

After a 5-1 advantage before the first half, Hibernians continued their dominance and scored five more goals to make sure of their victory.

The Paolites scored their goals from a hat-trick by Levan Kobaidze, two braces by Jose Carlos Careca and Celino Alves and a goal for Xavier Saliba, Kurt Bartolo and an own goal.

Omar Toutoungi, Radoslav Kovachev and Frankie Xerri were among the  scorers for the Southsiders.

Balzan beat Pembroke 7-3 to go temporarily second in the table having played one match more than Luxol.

Balzan tried to impose their style  of play with Pembroke players defending boldly their opponents’ continuous attacks.

Pembroke operated with counter-attacks and were unlucky in a couple of occasions. First Stefan Cauchi, undoubtedly one of their best players, hit the post from close range. In another attempt, Karl Azzopardi’s shot was well saved by Balzan goalie Matthew Xerxen.

The first half ended with Balzan having a 4-2 advantage.

The winners eventually dominated the second half and managed to score three more goals to secure their most important three points.

Balzan’s goals were scored from two braces by Gabriel Dobre and Andrea Dan, Jovica Milijic, Rennie Tanti and  Boycho Marev.

Pembroke managed to score from Christopher Azzopardi, Stefan Cauchi and an own goal by Andrea Dan.