Month: October 2015

Terrific Valletta gives no treat to Hamrun

In the weekend of Halloween, Hamrun ends up with no treat as they were terrifically beaten by Valletta 11-4. This was a particular encounter between these two teams, to fill up the vacant place in the Super Cup Final left by Balzan who were last KO Winners.

The match was played in front of large number of supporters mostly Citizens, as Hamrun Spartans were involved in the same time in the 11 a side’s First Division.

Hamrun lacked not only from supporters but also from initiative and found a dominant opponent, who eventually were fairly organized. Valletta’s goalkeeper Neil Cuschieri was always focused and the main protagonist definitely was Hamrun’s ex player Mohamed Abdussalam Elamari who scored four goals. Valletta sealed their place in the final with braces from Denis Di Maio and Jovica Milijic,together with goals from Melvin Borg, Christian Cuadros Silva and Liam Cachia.

The Spartans maneged to score through Raphael Felipe Ortiz de Oliveira’s braceand goals from Rodrigo Ticz Patricio and Michel Melo Jose.

Now Luxol will have Valletta as their opponents in next Friday’s Super Cup Final, which will be played at the Corradino Sport Pavillion and kicks off at 8pm.

 

Formations

Valletta: Neil Cuschieri (GK); Matthew Mifsud (GK); Jovica Milijic; Christian Cuadros Silva; Melvin Borg; Mohamed Abdussalam Elamari; Xavier Saliba (C); Dylan Musu; Denis Di Maio; Daniel Brincat; Liam Cachia; Alex Ellul; Jurgen Pace; Jesmond Micallef.

Hamrun: Brian Baldacchino (GK); Gabriel Manuseto (GK); Eslam Khalifa;Michel Melo Jose; Marwan Telisi; Robert Fenech; George Frendo; Rodrigo Ticz Patricio; Jason Mifsud; Raphael Felipe Ortiz de Oliveira; Daniel Mifsud

 

 

 

 

The weekend of Halloween brought no treat for Hamrun, but a terrific beat of 11-14 by Valletta. This was a special encounter between these two teams, in order to fill up the vacant place in the Super Cup Final left by Balzan, who were the last KO Winners.

 

A huge number of supporters watched this match, mostly Citizens, as Hamrun Spartans were involved at the same time in the 11 a side’s First Division.

 

Apart from the lack of support, Hamrun where also short of initiative in front of a dominant fairly organized opponent. Neil Cuschieri, Valletta’s goalkeeper remained focused throughout, and the main protagonist definetely was Hamrun’s ex player Mohamed Abdussalam Elamari who scored four goals. Valletta sealed their place in the final with braces from Denis Di Maio and Jovica Milijic,together with goals from Melvin Borg, Christian Cuadros Silva and Liam Cachia.

 

The Spartans managed to score through Raphael Felipe Ortiz de Oliveira’s brace and goals from Rodrigo Ticz Patricio and Michel Melo Jose.

Now Luxol will have Valletta as opponents in next Friday’s Super Cup Final, which will be played at the Corradino Sport Pavillion, and kicks off at 8pm.

 

Big Rivals clash in today’s Super Cup semifinal

Today’s Hamrun-Valletta match at the Corradino Pavillion (kick-off 20.00hrs) is a decider for a place in the Super Cup final against league champions Luxol.

It is the second appearance for both clubs after winning their respective first round matches to make it to the Gatorade KO quarter final.

This match was called after last year’s KO winners, Balzan declined from the local futsal scene.

Another opponent was needed, therefore both Hamrun and Valletta who have reached the play-off semifinals last year, were eventually considered to contend this not-so-common encounter.

For both clubs, this is a good chance to gear up for their league commitments as well as to book a place into the Super Cup final and potentially aim to clinch the first honour of the season.

It is still a very interesting situation which will make today’s encounter very interesting to watch.

Although we are still in the premature stages of the season, one expects a bumper crowd at the Corradino Pavillion this evening.

This website contacted Hamrun’s chairman Edward Psaila who seemed already geared up for the encounter.

His club has been working so hard during these days to be in shape for this decider.

“We have been performing some intensive training. Although we started later our pre-season, we are on track as our coaches have prepared some good training sessions.”

When asked about the team’s ambitions for this year, Psaila admitted that this year all the teams have been strengthened.

“It is hard to say. Our aim is to achieve a top four position in the championship and eventually participate in the play-offs.”

Asked about some potential contenders, Psaila mentioned Luxol, Valletta, Lija and Swieqi together with Msida who are ready to give a challenge for the final honours.

The Spartans have obtained some new signings for this season. They have still to monitor the fitness of two players Andy Mangion and Ibrahim Tarek.

On the other hand, Valletta’s president, Dassier Borg is considering this decider as a decisive one.

“This semifinal can be considered as a final. When Valletta play against Hamrun, it’s always an attractive encounter.”

The Citizens acquired some new blood in their squad as they took former Spartans players Mohammed Elamari, Jovica Milijic and Cristian Cuadros Silva. They have also registered Ricardo Ortega Toro, Alex Ellul, Daniel Brincat, Dylan Musu, Joseph Borg and Jesmond Micallef who have a great deal of experience in the local futsal scene.

12182667_1164082000274326_5988921936076216735_oBorg is positive in his ambitions for this season.

“We would like to participate in the Super Cup final against Luxol. More than that, our aim is to advance to the  play-off league final.”

This plum fixture will be preceded by an initiative taken by the FMA to support the Pink October activity.

Malta sign off with a 6-3 defeat in FIFA qualifiers

Malta ended their commitments in the FIFA Futsal World Cup qualifiers when they lost to second placed Albania 6-3 in Kaunas.

For Peter Pullicino’s boys this was their third successive defeat in Group C after losing to France (8-2) and hosts Lithuania (2-1)

Despite this upset, Malta had a good performance against Albania pulling back three goals in the process.

Azem Brahimi put Albania ahead on 8 minutes before Rej Karaja made it 2-0 on 11 minutes.

The Maltese pulled a goal back 24 seconds later through Andy Mangion but the Albanians restored their two-goal lead before the break through skipper Roald Halimi.

The same Halimi scored Albania’s fourth on 22 minutes until Xavier Saliba bridged the gap for Malta two minutes later.

This goal galvanised the Albanians that were venturing forward as keeper Reuben Grech was being kept busy with some good saves.

Eventually Begaj and Brahimi managed to widen the gap for Albania as Malta pulled another one back through Jovica Milijic.

France finished top of the group on nine points after a 6-0 rout over Lithuania.

Fantastic goal by Milijic, dramatic defeat against Lithuania

In their second encounter, the Maltese National Futsal Team had a very positive performance against Lithuania. Both Lithuania and Malta attempted to score, but in the fifth minute, a fantastic shot by Jovica Milijic put the Maltese on the lead.

Around six minutes later, Deividas Stradalovas levelled the matters and this was the score till the referee blew the whistle for half time.

The  second half left the Maltese breathless as the goalkeeper Reuben Grech had various saves and both Matthew Attard and Xavier Saliba had their shots blocked.

The Lithuanians kept pressing their opponents in the final minutes and managed to get the winning goal, scored by Rolandas Leščius.

The Maltese players led by their coach Peter Pullicino, learned a lot from yesterday’s match against France. Malta had eight attempts on target and seven attempts off target, while Lithuania had sixteen goal attempts on target and thirteen attempts off target.

The final encounter for Malta will be next Sunday against Albania at 10 am.

Two goals not enough to avoid a bitter defeat

The Maltese National Futsal Team could do nothing more than scoring a goal in each half against France, which are the most favourites to make their fifth appearance in the FIFA Futsal World Cup.

As from the initial seconds, the French had various scoring opportunities, including Gasmi who hit the woodwork and ended up to be the player of the match with his hat-trick.

Grech had various saves until Rabei opened the score in the seventh minute.

France netted two more goals in the first half through Bensaber and Gasmi. Luke Stivala replied for Malta in the final seconds of the first half.

Les Bleus were definitely dominant with two more goals from Gasmi and a goal each from Ramirez, Mohammed and Aiogoun. Carl Azzopardi, Matthew Attard, Gary Inguanez, Luke Stivala, Xavier Saliba and Dylan Musu also had their scoring opportunities.

In the last minutes Musu scored the second goal for Malta, but was also sent off after he received the second yellow card. From this foul, France were awarded a penalty missed by Rabei.

Tomorrow at 16:00 Malta will be facing Lithuania and on Sunday at 10:00 against Albania.

Raphinha hits seven as Hamrun go through QF

Raphinha was Hamrun’s inspirational player as he scored seven goals and was the catalyst behind his team’s 13-3 romp over Zebbug after the first round of the Gatorade KO was played at the Corradino Sports Pavilion.

Hamrun found goals harder to come in the first half as Zebbug defended boldly and resorted to quick counter attacks that were sometimes lethal.

On the other hand, Gallen Mifsud, the Zebbug keeper, distinguished himself with great saves to keep his team in the game.

But in the second half, the Spartans were a different lot and Raphinha came into limelight as he resumed his scoring spree to annihilate the Zebbug rearguard.

Raphinha hit the target seven times with Eslam Khalifa, Ibrahim Tarek, Andy Mangion, Djordje Maksimovic, Daniel Mifsud and an own goal by Gorg Borg completing the mission for the Spartans.

Inigo Dolora, Jamie Portelli and Patrick Bonnici reduced the score for the Rangers.

Mohammed Elamari’s hat-trick helped Valletta’s  overcome newcomers Sliema Wanderers 9-5.

Valletta produced a stunning display in the first half scoring seven goals in the process.

However the second half was a different story as the Wanderers improved their performance and roared back when they scored four goals to produce a thrilling finale.

A brace by Melvin Borg together with targets from Daniel Brincat, Denis di Maio, Jovica Milijic and Dylan Musu added more goals for the City.

David Calleja netted twice while Ryan Dalli, Darren Agius and an own goal were the other goal-getters for Sliema.

In a drab encounter, Lija Athletic saw off Msida St Joseph 5-1 to advance to another round of this competition.

The winners, who are considered one of the main challengers for the championship, had Luke Stivala, Wallace Oliveira, Jason Gauci, Stefan Vella and Nicola del Re putting their names on the score sheet.

Herbert Spiteri scored Msida’s only goal.

Mdina Knights edged Qrendi 7-6 in an exciting encounter full of goals.

Striker Cleavon Portelli notched a hat-trick while Neil Cauchi, Dalziel Bugeja, Roberto Sarcia and Ryan Micallef added more goals for the Knights.

A brace by Alan Spiteri, Bertram Azzopardi, Maxime Landais, Saviour Sammut and Haitam Saghar were the goal-getters for Qrendi.

Swieqi registered a 5-3 hard-earned win against newcomers Marsaskala to join the last eight of the KO.

Gabor Balan and Daniel Sant scored two goals while Diego Gomes de Mello added another one for Swieqi.

Josef Balzan, Reuben Degabriele and Steve Gambin were on the mark for the Southsiders.

Mqabba didn’t find any difficulty to oust debutants Gozo FC 9-2.

A brace by Lydon Baldacchino, Matthew Buttigieg, Fabio Grech, Kevin Loughborough and Conrad Dimech completed the rout for Mqabba.

Jean Paul Abdilla and Joel Grima reduced the arrears for Gozo FC.

 

 

 

 

 

A Closer Look At … Josef Balzan (Marsaskala)

Name: Josef Balzan

 

Born on the 30th April 1985

 

Place of Birth: Marsascala

 

Works as a teacher

 

Plays with Marsascala

 

How did you start playing futsal?

I started three years ago, with Santa Lucia, a new team formed by my colleagues.

 

Speak about the teams you have played with so far.

I spent two years with Santa Lucia where we finished twice in the last place. Then, last year I joined Mellieħa and finished 2nd in the first division.

 

What do you like and dislike in futsal?

I like the fact that it is a quick game and is played indoors.

 

The best moment you have experienced so far.

The best moment was during the first year with Santa Lucia, when we played against Siġġiewi in the second round. This was the first time that we experienced a win. We had not won a match before. We were winning 3-0 but then Siġġiewi managed to balance the score. However, at the very last minute I scored and brought the first victory to the club.

Last year ending in 2nd place with Mellieħa was also a great experience.

 

 

What are your objectives as a team?

This year we are a newly formed team with almost all players having never played in the futsal league so far. Thus our objectives are to gain experience and give the best challenge possible to all teams.

 

What are your personal objectives?

My objectives are to continue playing, learning and enjoying thee beautiful game of futsal.

Msida Futsal unveil new squad

Msida St Joseph presented their new signings during a press conference held at their clubhouse on Friday. 

Following the confirmation of Kevin Agius as their coach, Msida added nine new players in their squad. These are Armando Gjepali, Clayton Farrugia, Clayton Borg, Giuseppe Torrente, Norvic Deguara, Ivan Cassar, Jeremy Cutajar, Floren Manea and Alan Galea.

Addressing the media, Msida president, Mike Pace welcomed all the players on board and showed great appreciation to all the members of the committee and coaching staff that are working hard to improve the level of the club.

He even thanked the sponsors for their continuous help and support.

Vice-President, Ian Micallef acknowledged the mother club, Msida St Joseph Football Club, who showed faith and support with the committee to participate again in the FMA competitions.

Micallef said he was satisfied with the work done so far and recognized that all the teams participating in this new league format will be extremely competitive.

The club managed to bolster the squad with some new and experienced players that will give the expected level for the squad.

While welcoming the new players to the club, team coach Kevin Agius said that Msida intend to maintain the good level that was achieved last season and try to fight for a top positions in the league.

Msida St Joseph will make their official debut in the FMA competitions when they face Lija Athletic in the Gatorade KO on October 9th at 21.45 hrs.