Month: March 2016

Mqabba maintain play-off hopes, Mdina edge Marsascala

Mqabba strengthened their hopes to be among the final four of the Gatorade First Division after a convincing 8-1 triumph over lowly Gozo.

Kevin Loughborough’s side dominated the match from start to finish leaving no space for their opponents.

They found the net through doubles from Miguel Alcaraz and Darren Aitchinson together with Andrew Catania, Lydon Baldacchino and Ryan Mifsud. Justin John Camilleri reduced the arrears for Gozo.

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In a very contested match, Mdina returned to winning ways after edging a mighty Marsascala side 3-2. Mdina managed to surge ahead after a few minutes but the Seasouthsiders levelled the score before half-time.

In the second half Marsascala surged ahead but the University students managed to turn the tables to obtain three precious points. Roberto Sarcia, Gaetano Gesualdi and an own goal were on the score sheet for Mdina while Justin Mifsud notched a brace for Marsascala.

Sliema go top, Zebbug back to winning ways

Sliema beat Sirens 7-2 to replace them atop the Gatorade First Division thanks to an emphatic performance, while Zebbug returned to winning ways with hat-trick hero Bernard Bonnici in fine form securing an 8-4  triumph over Qrendi.

Sliema Wanderers maintained the perfect start in the second phase following a third victory from as many matches after beating title contenders Sirens 7-2 in the main match of the week at the Corradino Pavillion.

The defeat ended Sirens four-game unbeaten streak, leaving them in third place on 23 points, two behind the Wanderers who recorded their eighth win of the campaign.

Sliema played better and held the initiative for long stretches. They played an impeccable game in defence and resisted Sirens’ sporadic comeback bid.

The shrewd Wanderers ventured forward from the word go and Sirens keeper Roderick Mascena was called to make difficult saves following efforts by his opponents.
As already said, Sirens never surrendered and were unlucky to hit the post twice in the process.
As the score was 4-2, Keith Borg, the Sirens’ mentor, opted for the flying keeper to instill more pressure on the Wanderers rearguard.
But in doing so Sirens exposed their defensive department and the Blues took advantage by scoring three more goals.
A Ribic double, Alan Galea, Paul Bugeja, Josh Parry, Dexter O’Brien and Frankie Scerri scored the goals that mattered for Sliema.
Sirens answered back with a brace from Ryan Gilmour Cassar.

Zebbug Rangers returned to winning ways after seeing off Qrendi 8-4.
The Rangers took the lead early on through Bernard Bonnici and on 5 minutes, Spanish player Alejandro Rubia Morenas made it 2-0.
Despite the initial disadvantage, Qrendi continued to attack and re-opened the issue through Antonello Brincat.
This goal didn’t discourage Zebbug as they found the net twice before the break through Claudio Venuto and Alejandro Rubia Morenas.
Antonello Brincat completed a brace after a great move forward. 12794681_1240369472645578_5130624957061069129_o
In the second half, Bertram Azzopardi maintained some hopes for Qrendi but Zebbug continued on the offensive and Inigo Dolora came to fore as he netted a brace.
Bernard Bonnici completed a personal hat-trick after hitting Zebbug’s seventh and eighth goal.
In the dying seconds of the match, Craig Pickard reduced the gap for Qrendi.
Two more matches are being played today from the Gatorade First Division at the Corradino Pavillion.
Mdina hope to return to winning ways as they face Marsascala who are on seventh heaven having beaten title contenders Zebbug Rangers last week.
In the late kick-off, Mqabba want to ensure of a top four finish as they play against bottom-placed Gozo.

A Closer Look at … Ryan Gilmour Cassar (Sirens FC)

Name: Ryan Gilmour Cassar
Born on November 20th 1995 in Pieta’.
Favourite food: Lasagne
Personal Motto: Hard Work beats talent.

How long have you been playing futsal?
Everything started almost four months ago when I joined Sirens in the January transfer window. Therefore I am still in the initial phase of this game.

Your first days at Sirens FC…
Actually, I am very happy with the way things have turned out since I joined Sirens. The team was very welcoming, which was a huge help at the beginning. This also pushed me to work hard for the team and strive for good performances. I also feel indebted to the team and to the coach for their patience, given the fact that I was not familiar with futsal when I first started. I am also very grateful for the chance given to me by Sirens in order to pursue this new experience.

You were also part of Naxxar Lions FC in the Premier League. How long have you been playing football?
I had been playing with Naxxar Lions since I was seven years old. Whilst playing with the U-17, I have won the Section A championship and KO, which was a huge honour for me. The following year, at the age of 17, I made my debut with the senior team and then went on to make 53 appearances in the Premier League. Eventually, I ended up representing Malta in the Euro under 19 Championships where I also managed to find the net. U-19.
Last year I decided to quit football as it was coinciding with my studies.

Ryan Gilmour Cassar (third from front row) with Naxxar Lions FC.
Ryan Gilmour Cassar (third from front row) with Naxxar Lions FC.

In your opinion, what is the difference between football and futsal?
Futsal is much more intensive and requires a lot of intellectual skills. On the other hand, football allows a player to enjoy greater publicity whilst also offering much more opportunities to advance.

Sirens are lately top of the standings in the Gatorade First Division. There’s still a long way to go. What are your team’s chances to clinch the league?
I think that at this stage, it’s very important for us to stay focused and keep our feet on the ground. It is also important to keep working hard and remain consistent whilst following the coach’s advices. At this point we are finding it much easier to believe that we have potential and this is clearly showing in our performances.

Your personal ambitions.
At this point, my ambition is for the team to reach its objectives. As for myself, I intend to keep improving and help Sirens to reach its targets.

Sirens...one family.
Sirens…one family.

Raphinha stars in Hamrun’s victory

Hamrun……….9
Msida………..5

Hamrun Spartans assured themselves of a play-off spot in the Gatorade Elite Round when they beat the misfiring Msida St Joseph 9-5.
The Spartans were simply too strong for their opponents with Brazilian striker Raphinha an inspiration and a decisive factor behind his teams’ success.

Coach Paul Rapa could bank on his strongest formation having only one absence, Rodrigo, who was following his team mates among the spectators.
Msida were coming from back to back defeats and coach Kevin Agius relied mostly on some swift counter attacks to try to test the Hamrun’s rearguard.
Brazilian trio Raphinha, Melo Jose and Madson Caetano were in fine form as they were pushing forward most of the Spartans attacks.
In fact, Raphinha turned to be the main protagonist as he netted a poker. Daniel Mifsud and Michel Melo Jose hit the target twice as Peter Pullicino completed the score sheet for Hamrun.
Msida were on the mark through a double by Armando Gjepali and goals from Paulo Mendes da Silva, Christopher Navarro and Clayton Farrugia.
This win sent a clear signal to their title rivals that Hamrun will also be there for the final honours of the season.

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Hamrun: Marwan Terlisi, Clint Mifsud, Michel Melo Jose, Daniel Mifsud, Michael Spiteri, Peter Pullicino, Andy Mangion, George Frendo, Joan Losada Teruel, Jason Mifsud, Madson Caetano, Robert Fenech, Kevin Cassar, Raphael Felipe Ortiz de Oliveira.
Msida: Ivan Cassar, Jonathan Mallia, Chris Cutajar, Tyron Borg, Gilmor Cuschieri, Clayton Farrugia, Herbert Spiteri, Cristopher Arturo Navarro, Armando Gjepali, Paulo Mendes da Silva.
Referee 1: Jude Amin Utulu
Referee 2: Pierre Bonnici
Time Keeper: Jonathan Balzan

Luxol hit seven past Swieqi

Swieqi………..2
Luxol…………7
(HT 0-4)

Champions Luxol maintained their challenge in the Gatorade Elite Round after a 7-2 victory against Swieqi.
The St Andrews outfit were the better team throughout the game and it was no surprise that they grabbed this important victory.
Swieqi tried to give their all but found disciplined opponents who struck aggressively whenever they had possession.

Luxol took only 45 seconds to surge ahead when after a Celino Alves corner, the ball was deflected by Swieqi’s Boicho Marev onto the net for an own goal.
This goal put Luxol on the driving seat as they scored two more goals on eight minutes courtesy of two own goals by James Mangion and Jean Bert Gatt.
Before the break, Frane Despotovic had the time to score a gem of a goal when he advanced on the flank before leashing a piledrive that gave no chance to Balzan.
In the second half, the plan of the match didn’t change as Carlo Scicluna found the net after hitting a grounder.
Swieqi came back into the game after Jean Bert Gatt received a pass from Boicho Marev to slot home.
But Luxol were in buoyant mood and managed to restore the gap thanks to a Clint Cope goal as he met a Matthew Attard pass.
Boicho Marev reduced the arrears for Swieqi before Zvezdan Vukovic rubberstamped his team’s victory minutes from the end.

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Luxol: Nicholas Farrugia, Celino Alves, Frane Despotovic, Matthew Attard, Glenn Bonello, Karl Lepre, Carlo Scicluna, Zvezdan Vukovic, Carl Azzopardi, Clint Cope, Florin Anton.
Swieqi Utd: Karl Balzan, Dylan Micallef, Boicho Marev, Fredrik Johansson, Keith Cassar Jackson, James Mangion, Daniel Sant, Andre Ciancio, Christian Wismayer, Jean Bert Gatt, Diego Gomes de Mello.
Referee 1: Clint Cassar.
Referee 2: Robert Darmanin
Third Official: Pierre Bonnici.
Time-Keeper: Stephanie Axiak

Four goal Milijic steals the show, Vital win for Sirens

In an entertaining match, Valletta went temporarily on top of the Gatorade Elite Division after defeating Lija Athletic 7-4.
Valletta deserved maximum points as they were better than their opponents but credit goes also for Lija for giving a good challenge.
Jovica Milijic stole the show as he netted a poker while the Citizens’ Slovenian star, Dejan Bizjak hit a brace.
On the other hand, Cristian Cuadros Silva added another one for Valletta, who have another tough match next week as they cross swords against Hamrun.
Lija, who never threw in the sponge, had Nicola Del Re and Chavi Montes Burgos reducing the scoreline.

A great second half performance helped Sirens top the Gatorade First Division after seeing off Mdina Knights 5-1.
The first half was a balanced affair as Sirens tried to impose their superiority over the University students who relied mostly on some fast counter attacks.
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Mdina also had their keeper Matthew Gatt producing a series of important saves to repel most of his opponents’ shots at goal.
After netting the only goal before the break, the St Paul’s Bay side dominated the second half and managed to add four more goals to make sure of the three important points.
Ryan Gilmour Cassar helped himself with a hat-trick as George Chircop netted the other goals for Sirens.
Mdina’s solitary goal came through Dalziel Bugeja.

The Gatorade Elite Division resumes today as Luxol and Hamrun are firm favourites to clinch the three points at stake as they face Swieqi and Msida respectively.

Same determination lead to equal points for Marsascala and Qrendi

Both Marsascala and Qrendi acquired their third win of the season, after a series of lost games. Their positive performances were the result of hard training and perseverance with the aim of reaching their goal in obtaining the vital three points for a spot in the playoffs.

In yesterday’s first match, Marsascala reacted well to Zebbug who managed to open the score after a couple of minutes, through Inigo Dolara. In a response, Franklin Abela, Angelo Dimech and Reuben De Gabriele turned the result for the Southenders and put them on the celebrative mode.

In the second half Nicholas Abdilla improved the score to 4-1 with a wonderful lob. During the last minutes Zebbug managed to reduce the scoreline to 4-3, with an addition of two goals from Inigo Dolara.

Marsascala defended well and the result remained the same  till the final whistle, despite the disappointment of Zebbug in being denied two penalties.

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The second match resulted in an easy 8-2 win for Qrendi, against the bottom liners Gozo FC.

Gozo initiated well with Warren Zerafa’s brace which kept both teams balanced with a close result of 3-2 for Qrendi. The winning gap happened during the second half where Qrendi definitely took over and scored five more goals without a reply. Antonello Brincat’s hat-trick, Craig Pickard’s brace and goals from Ronald Spina and Clayton Borg contributed to Qrendi’s important victory.

Now Marsascala and Qrendi reduced the gap from 4th place to 4 points, with 5 more matches to be played.

Wanderers notch second consecutive win

Sliema Wanderers are the sole leaders, at least for 24 hours,after the second day of the Gatorade Futsal First Division. Their second consecutive 11-5 win, this time over Mqabba, sees them climb on the 22 point mark, one ahead of Zebbug and two points of Sirens, who however have a game in hand.

The Blues fully merited their win against Mqabba as they were the better side on the field of play especially in the second half when they hit the target eight times.

Josh Parry inspired the Wanderers as he netted a poker while their talisman player, Aleksandar Ribic hit a hat-trick. A brace by Darren Agius, Mark Camilleri, Alan Galea and Adam Wingfield completed the score sheet for Sliema.

Mqabba’s goals came from a double by Miguel Alcaraz, Kevin Loughborough, Thomas Consoli and Ryan Mifsud.

Two more matches are scheduled today from the Gatorade First Division when Zebbug take on Marsascala while in the late kick-off, Qrendi entertain Gozo FC.

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Luxol hit back to floor Msida

Luxol came from a goal down to defeat Msida St Joseph in the only match played from the Gatorade Elite Round at the Corradino Pavillion.
The leaders had to endure a disciplined Msida side who broke the deadlock and managed to control their opponents’ most prolific strikers in the first quarter of the match.
However the St Andrews side managed to turn the tables before the break to pave the way for their success.
In the second half, Luxol opened their goal scoring spree as they hit the target eight more times to secure an important win.
As already said, Floren Manea surged Msida ahead but Luxol turned the result into their favour with a Carl Azzopardi hat-trick, braces from Clint Cope and Celino Alves and goals from Glenn Bonello, Frane Despotovic and Matthew Attard.
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Closing stages of Schools’ Futsal Tournament

The Malta Football Association through its Grassroots, Youth Development & Education section within the Technical Centre & the Futsal Malta Association together with the Sports Promotion Unit under the aegis of SportMalta and the Directorate for Quality and Standards in Education (DQSE), have this year introduced a competition in the Forms 3 & 4 category of the annual Futsal Festival.

The state schools played each other in the Group stages and semi-finals and will now meet the Church and Independent schools in the finals in May.

The group matches and semi-finals were hard fought, with the following participating boys’ schools: Gozo Secondary (Gozo College), Pembroke Secondary (St. Clare’s College),  Naxxar Secondary (St. Nicholas College), St. Venera Secondary (St. Theresa College), National Sport School, Hamrun Secondary (St. Thomas More College), Hamrun Secondary (St. Gorg Preca College), Zokrija Secondary (Maria Regina College) and Handaq Secondary (St. Ignatius College).

There were also the girls’ schools represented by Pembroke Secondary (St. Clare’s College), National Sport School and Handaq Secondary (St. Ignatius College).

The first two schools qualified for the finals:

 

Boys Form 3 & 4 Semi Finals 26th January 2016
TeamsG1G2G3 

G4

G5G6TPlacing
National Sport School333333181
Zokrija Secondary  (Maria Regina College)031033102
Gozo Secondary (Gozo College)30030063
Hamrun Secondary (St. Thomas More College)00100014

 

Girls Form 3 & 4 Semi Finals 27th January 2016
TeamsG1G2G3 

G4

TPlacing
F3F4F3F4F3F4F3F4  
National Sport School03333333211
Pembroke Secondary (St. Clare’s College)0013001382
Handaq Secondary (St. Ignatius College)3010001053

 

The MFA would again like to express its satisfaction and thanks its sponsors TeamSport and GSD Marketing Ltd. for their material assistance.

 

The organisers look forward to the finals where the State schools meet the Church and Independent schools on the 10th and the 12th of May 2016.