Month: February 2015

Del Re and Filipov inspire victory as joint leaders march on

Mellieħa and Lija remained locked together on 42 points at the top of the First Division after both teams won their respective encounters.

Nikolay Filipov scored four goals as Mellieħa beat Sirens 5-2 to register his team’s fourteenth victory of the season.

Darren Aitchinson added another one for the Northerners.

Lija Athletics emulated their rivals’ success after seeing off Attard 7-2.

Nicola del Re helped himself to a hat-trick for the Athletics with the other goals coming from Zeljko Anicic, Aleksandar Ribic, Floren  Manea and Redeemer Borg.

Naxxar Lions managed to grab three important points after defeating Msida St Joseph 5-3 in a thrilling encounter.

Goals from Andrea Farrugia, Adrian Fenech, Daniel Brincat, Sean Vella and Paul Bugeja helped the Lions to strengthen the third spot in the table.

Msida’s scorers were Marian Gologan, Alexander Kristonijevic and Ryan Xuereb.

Marco Mercieca hit the target three times as Luqa beat Siggiewi 3-2 to return to winning ways after five consecutive defeats.

Mdina Knights continued with their good form of late as they overcome the stiff opposition of Qrendi 6-2.

Despite the scoreline the match was a balanced encounter with Mdina Knights taking advantage of good counter attacks and scoring goals through a brace by Cleavon Portelli, Emerson Bonello, Andrew Camilleri, Paul Saliba and Randall Vella.

Alan Zammit and Fabian Vella were on the mark for Qrendi.

Birzebbuga St. Peter’s registered their first win in the league as  three braces by Peter Mark Cachia, Eric Saliba and Noel Tabone enabled them to beat Mqabba 6-5.

Although they still lie at the bottom of the table, Birzebbuga produced a mammoth comeback after being 4-2 down before the break.

A hat-trick by Etienne Rodo, Steve Falzon and Paul Cumbo put Mqabba on the driving seat.

But a great reaction by the Southsiders enabled them to clinch their first victory of the season.

Mqabba had the chance to grab the draw but B’Bugia keeper Jean Paul Mercieca saved a penalty to deny them of at least a point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Janjic scores in dream debut for Balzan

Slobodan Janjic played his first match in the all red shirt of Balzan , scored his first goal in Maltese futsal and provided two assists in his team’s 6-3 victory over Mosta.

The 28-year-old Serbian prodigy showed his style from the very first minute of the game and will certainly prove an asset for the champions who are showing that they are coming back to business.

Balzan dominated the possession of the game but failed to capitalize in more than one occasion with Mosta operating mostly on counter-attacks.

In one of these, they surprisingly surged ahead through Diego Gomes de Mello.

Boycho Marev’s boys reacted immediately and Mosta’s keeper Karl Balzan was kept busy with some great saves.

However after Frane Despotovic levelled the matters, Balzan grew in confidence and succeeded to add two more goals from Boycho Marev and Slobodan Janjic.

After the break, Balzan continued to impose their style of play and Despotovic had the time to complete a personal brace.

Matthew Borg put Mosta back in contention but the champions had the final say as Glenn Bonello and Boycho Marev hit the target twice.

Former Balzan player, Eslam Khalifa, who was making his official debut, scored Mosta’s third goal of the game.

This win helped Balzan strengthen the third spot in the table and continue their quest to retain the title they had won last season.

Valletta obtained their fifth win of the season after seeing off a mighty Gzira side 5-3.
The Citizens started on a high after finding the net twice through Denis di Maio and Fabio Bandeira.
However in the second part of the first half, Gzira took advantage of some defensive blunders and managed to reduce the score after Hubert Bonello’s first timer finished at the back of the net.
The  Citizens managed to hit the target twice at the beginning of the second half when after two counter attacks Denis di Maio and Fabio Bandeira fired home to complete a brace each.
Despite this double blow, Gzira managed to get back into the game when Frankie Xerri’s fierce shot surprised Valletta’s keeper Matthew Mifsud to make it 4-2.
Valletta reacted swiftly and it was again Denis di Maio who rose for the occasion as he took advantage of a defensive mistake and fired home for his team’s fifth goal.
Liam Cachia reduced the arrears again for Gzira but it was too late as the Citizens controlled the matters to bag the most important three points.

Still looking at changing extra points

Nothing has changed on top of the premiership table, as Hamrun and Luxol shared the spoils in a very thrilling game.

Initially both teams were so tight that the match remained goalless for a long period of time. In fact it was not before six minutes from the end of the first half that the first goal appeared! It was Luxol who broke the deadlock, with a powerful shot from Peter Pullicino.

Four minutes later, a very fast corner taken by Celino Alves directed to his co-patriot William Barbosa who headed Luxol’s second goal. Hamrun Spartans entered into the game two minutes after the beginning of the second half, through Rogerio Dos Santos Filho. However three minutes later, Celino Alves put Luxol again on the lead.

What appeared to be a sure win for Luxol, the Spartans kept on pressing and Jovica Milijic shocked the formers by levelling the result again to 3-3.

In the second encounter, Qormi and Swieqi who were fighting for the fourth place, shared the spoils with an end result of 4-4.

On the 11th and 13th minute, Luke Stivala’s brace gave a double lead to Qormi. In a few minutes, this was followed by Allen Medati who also put his name on the scoreline, by making them 3-0.

Three minutes from the end of the first half, Andrew Decesare reduced the score for Swieqi.

After the break,  the highly motivated Swieqi players managed to turnover the result by making it 4-3 on their advantage. It was Patrick Kinni’s brace and a goal from Sebestian Delsinger which gave the sigh of hope to Swieqi.

The result was sealed in almost the middle of the second half by Charlo Magro who scored for Qormi.

Luxol and Hamrun cross swords for summit quest

This week’s  programme is definitely highlighted by the top of the table clash between league leaders Luxol and their immediate followers Hamrun Spartans. At present, Luxol  have 28 points while the Spartans are second on 27.

It is a very interesting situation which sees the Reds aiming to beat the St Andrew’s side and therefore gain the sole leadership of the table.

Luxol, who have an experienced squad , are still unbeaten, but will have to be on full alert against Hamrun who showed their best form so far this season. In fact, the Spartans showed their firm intentions of making a very strong challenge for this season’s title and it is obvious they are bound to become stronger when newcomers Raphinha and Rodrigo integrate with their new team-mates, thus making James Ciangura’s squad a really formidable one.

Luxol’s playmaker Celino Alves has acknowledged the importance of tonight’s top-of-the table clash.

Celino Alves (Luxol)

“Tonight’s match highlights the leadership of the table. It is an extremely important match and we are well prepared to give our hundred per cent to get the three points that matter.”

Luxol are passing from a bright patch in the league and they are psychologically concentrated for this match.

“We are psychologically positive about our performances. Luxol are improving and our level is getting higher.”

Alves had positive words about his opponents.

“Hamrun Spartans is a great squad, they have strengthened their team in the January transfer window and they have improved a lot.”

On the other hand, Hamrun will try to return to winning ways after being ousted from the KO competition by Qormi.

 

Hamrun’s talisman player, Rogerio dos Santos Filho has acknowledged that his team wasn’t in the best of form last Monday.

Rogerio dos Santos Filho (Hamrun)

“It is important that we win tonight so that we forget our last game against Qormi. We have to try and fix the mistakes we’ve made in the last match to gain more confidence for the decisive part of the season.”

Asked about Luxol, Rogerio admitted that they have a strong squad but are ready for the challenge.

“I believe that tonight will be a great game. It will be a tactical one at first but will intensify as time goes by.”

“We have to respect Luxol as a team  but we will do our best to get the three points to gain the top of the table.”

Hamrun are coming from a run of seven successive wins. The Spartans defeated Gzira, Qormi, Mosta, Swieqi, Balzan and Valletta before beating Zebbug 10-2  last week while Luxol registered wins over  Balzan, Mosta and Swieqi before beating Valletta 7-2 in their last outing.

Luxol will go four points clear at the top if they beat their rivals. Hamrun will top the table if they win.

In the first round, Luxol  beat Hamrun Spartans 6-2.

Whatever happens in tonight’s game, although being a direct encounter between the first and second, there’s a long way to go.

In fact at the end of the second round the first four teams will contend the play-offs and that will bring a real challenge for the league title.

Both teams are expected to be in full strength with the match scheduled to kick off at 19.45 hrs.

Mellieha and Lija remain on the lead, Mqabba and Mdina on the winning ways

Both Mellieha and Lija remain on the lead as they won against B’Buġia and Qrendi respectively.

Lija beated Qrendi with goals from Zeljko Anicic, Ryan Bugeja and Jean Bert Gatt .

In an exciting encounter between Mellieha and B’Buġia, the northenders made it 7-4 against the southenders.

Nikolay Filipov’s hat-trick and braces from Joseph Vella and Radoslav Kovachev made the scoreline for Mellieha.

Mqabba returned back to the winning ways against Luqa 4-2, while the Mdina Knights University Students had their third consecutive win, beating Siggiewi 7-3.

Qormi qualify in Q/F thriller, easy for Luxol, Balzan and Valletta

In the most awaited quarter final fixture Qormi claimed a place in the semifinal of the KO competition after beating Hamrun Spartans 8-5 in a hard-fought contest at the Corradino Pavilion.

It was clearly evident from the initial stages that this was going to be a thriller.

Hamrun opened a double advantage in the first minute through new recruit Rodrigo Patricio and Jovica Milijic.

Despite this double blow, Qormi hit back and took advantage of some defensive frailties to score two quickfire goals by Blendi Gockaj and Basil Emeka Onuta and level the score.

The Spartans were stunned at Qormi’s fierce counter attacks and suffered three more goals before the break through Endrit Kaca and a brace from  Charlo Magro.

Hamrun did make a reaction but found Qormi’s keeper Gaetan Mallia in fine form as he reacted to shots from Rodrigo, Elamari and Milijic.

The contest remained fairly balanced in the second half before Hamrun reduced the arrears from Jovica Milijic.

Qormi, however, again hit back and managed to score their sixth goal from Dario Zampa.

Hamrun pulled two goals back when Rodrigo Patricio scored twice to make it 6-5.

At this point, James Ciangura, Hamrun’s mentor, opted for Jovica Milijic as the flying keeper to instill more pressure on the Qormi rearguard.

But in doing so, the Spartans exposed themselves defensively as Blendi Gockaj and captain Jesmond Micallef found the net to rubber-stamp their team’s progress to the semifinals.

Celino Alves (3) scoring Luxol’s first goal

Luxol managed to qualify for another round in this competition after finding no difficulty to beat Zebbug Rangers 9-4.

Despite this defeat, the Rangers should be lauded for the way they countered the waves of Luxol attacks, even managing to take the lead in one moment of the match.

However, a flurry of goals eventually led to their downfall as Zebbug found it hard to contain their opponents.

Celino Alves (2), George Frendo, Jason Mifsud, Michael Grima, Jonathan Micallef, Beppe Antignolo and William Barbosa were the goal-getters for Luxol.

Zebbug managed to hit the target through a brace by Jamie Portelli, Dillon Bugeja and Gorg Borg.

Meanwhile holders Balzan and Valletta obtained easy victories against their respective opponents to ease through another round of this competition.

Balzan thumped Gzira United 12-1 in a match which they dominated completely.

In the first half, Gzira’s custodian Nicolas Gueydon was busy performing a string of important saves to deny his opponents’ continuous attacks.

But after Karl Azzopardi opened the deadlock, there was no match for the Maroons who succumbed to four more goals before half time when Glenn Bonello, Marco Conti and Boycho Marev and Karl Azzopardi found the net.

In the second half, the plan of the match didn’t change as Karl Azzopardi found the time to score his personal hat-trick.

Although Gzira reduced the deficit through Alessio Restuccia, Balzan continued to score through Giancarlo Sammut, Marco Conti and two braces by Mark Zammit and Matthew Attard,

Valletta saw off Swieqi Utd 8-2 to progress to the semifinals.

The Citizens gave a great performance during this match and scored eight goals from a brace by Melvin Borg while Cedric Sciberras, Denis di Maio, Daniel Mifsud, Fabio Bandeira, Shawn Vella and an own goal completed the score.

Valletta’s players celebrating one of their goals

 

 

 

Eight teams seek semifinal berth

Eight teams seek a place in the semi-final of the Knock-Out competition as four quarter-final clashes will be played between today and Monday at the Corradino Sports Pavillion.

In the first match holders Balzan take on Gzira United (kick-off 20.00 hrs).

The side coached by Boycho Marev is burning with desire to make amends for their recent disappoinments in the league, especially after losing their last outing against Qormi 5-1.

Even Gzira are struggling for consistency in the Premier Division as they lie second from bottom losing 9 of their 10 matches played so far.

Balzan reached this stage after beating First Division sides Luqa St Andrews (13-0) and Lija Athletic (5-1).

The Maroons have knocked-out Naxxar Lions 7-4 and Siggiewi 4-2 in the previous rounds.

They have already met in the league with Balzan beating Gzira 8-2.

In another match at the same venue, Valletta take on Swieqi in a clash between two Premier Division clubs (kick-off 21.30 hrs).

Swieqi are currently fifth on 15 points in the championship while the Lilywhites lie in sixth place on 12.

In the previous round, Swieqi eliminated Qrendi 11-3 while Valletta had the better of Sirens 6-0 and Attard 5-1.

In their previous league encounter this season Valletta edged past Swieqi 8-6.

On Monday, Hamrun Spartans will cross swords against Qormi in the most-awaited quarter finals encounter between two teams that are impressing so far in the league.

Both teams are in high-spirits after obtaining precious victories in their last league outings which put them further up in the table.

The Spartans are over the moon as they are only one point from league leaders Luxol after a great performance in the Premier Division.

Even Qormi are passing from a bright patch in the championship especially after their shock victory against champions Balzan.

In the previous round, both sides eliminated teams from Division 1. The Spartans defeated Mellieha 7-5 while Qormi beat Mqabba 8-1 and Mdina 9-1.

Both teams  have already met in the first round of the Premier Division with Hamrun winning 4-2.

In the last quarter-final clash, Luxol are regarded as favourites to overcome the challenge of bottom Premier Division side Zebbug Rangers.

Luxol are still unbeaten in the league and are fancying a double as they face Zebbug who have lost all the matches played so far.

Luxol have knocked-out Mosta 8-1 while Zebbug qualified automatically for the quarter finals stage.

Luxol have already beaten Zebbug 13-4 in their previous league clash.

 

Attard secure precious win, great comeback by Msida

Attard strengthened the fourth position of the First Division table after a great performance helped them to see off Naxxar Lions 4-2.

This was the third consecutive win for Attard which puts them on the 24-points mark, three ahead of Msida St Joseph.

Despite this defeat, Naxxar still enjoy a five-point lead over their opponents who however have a game in hand.

Matthew Buttigieg, Byron Fenech, Gianni Aquilina and Antonio Marin were on the mark for Attard.

Sean Vella and Andrew Catania were the goal-scorers for Naxxar.

Meanwhile, a stunning second half helped Msida beat Sirens 8-5 to maintain their hopes for a top four position.

Trailing by two goals in the first few minutes, Msida grew in confidence as Zvezdan Vukovic and Chris Cutajar were in fine form after grabbing a hat-trick each. Herbert Spiteri and Milicic added more goals for their team.

A brace by Antoine Galea, Lawrence Vella, Etienne Bonnici and Jeffrey Saliba were the goal-getters for Sirens.

The First Division league resumes this Monday with the following programme:

19.45 – Siggiewi vs Mdina

21.30 – Luqa vs Mqabba

Unstoppable Luxol win again, Champions suffer another defeat

Three braces by Celino Alves, Florin Anton and Peter Pullicino led Luxol to a comfortable 7-2 victory over sixth-placed Valletta.

The in form Luxol players scored crucial goals to pave the way for their club’s win and consolidate the first position in the table. Another goal by Brazilian William Barbosa made the victory more resounding even if the Citizens pulled two back.

The St Andrew’s outfit have thus extended their winning run to four games even though they only enjoy a one point lead over Hamrun Spartans at the top  of the standings.

As for Valletta, they remain in the sixth position in the table four points from the play-off zone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hamrun Spartans confirmed their recent form of late with a bang after thrashing Zebbug Rangers 10-2.

Hamrun produced an assured display against a poor Zebbug side who never got going.

Raphinha scored a poker while Rogerio, Elamari and Jovica Milijic helped themselves with a brace to ensure a resounding win for the Spartans.

Jamie Portelli and Ricky Zammit scored two consolation goals for the Rangers.

Champions Balzan are finding the going tough as they suffered their third defeat of the season after a 5-1 slump against an improved Qormi side.

Mario Gaffiero’s boys had their final say as Albanian duo Endrit Kaca and Blendi Gockaj were in splendid form during this match.

A brace by Endrit Kaca together with goals from Blendi Gockaj, Marwan Telisi and Bazil Onuta paved the way for Qormi’s fifth success of the season to push further up their play-offs bid.

Glenn Bonello scored Balzan’s only goal.

Swieqi returned to winning ways as they held on for a hard-fought and crucial three points from a narrow 2-1 victory over relegation strugglers Gzira.

Fredrik Johansson came to the rescue as he netted a brace for Swieqi to keep their play-offs chances alive.

Frankie Xerri reduced the arrears for Gzira late in the game.

 

Lija continue to impress, positive comeback for Msida and Attard

This week the First Division continued with four more interesting games, where Lija, Msida and Attard had their winning ways. Naxxar and Qrendi share the spoils in a very exciting game.

Hat-tricks by Marian Gologan and Herbert Spiteri, a brace from Chris Cutajar and goals scored by Alan Micallef, Ryan Xuereb, Zvezdan Vukovic and Noel Portelli, made Msida’s scoreline long enough to beat B’Bugia 12-2.

John Paul Barbara and Justin Camilleri found the net for the Southsiders.

Lija continued to impress and reached again Mellieha at the top of the table, beating Siggiewi 9-5.

A hat-trick by Ryan Bugeja and braces from Zeljko Anicic, Aleksander Ribic and Florin Manea gave the important win for Lija.

Siggiewi managed to score five times through a hat-trick by Mark Camilleri and goals from Philip Caruana Turner and Simon Gingell Littlejohn.

Attard also had their second consecutive win, this time against Sirens.

Marc Tabone Ferrante, Gerry Fabbro and Antonio Camilleri scored for Attard.

While Jason Camilleri scored twice for Sirens.

Naxxar and Qrendi shared the spoils, as their exciting match ended 3-3.

Qrendi broke the deadlock through Steve Shead, where he celebrated his goal like Francesco Totti putting his thumb in mouth.

Naxxar immediately reacted and Andrea Farrugia levelled the matters.

Sean Vella and Adrian Fenech continued to increase the score for Naxxar Lions.

Qrendi managed to balance the result, through Steve Shead’s second personal goal and Antonello Brincat.