Month: May 2016

Valletta orders the third and decisive final against Hamrun

Valletta came out victorious with a 7-6 result during a very tense encounter against Hamrun Spartans, in the Gatorade Elite second play-offs final. This result brought the need of a third and decisive final, to be played next Thursday at 8pm.
In the initial ten minutes, both teams were continuously attacking maintaining both goalkeepers on the alert. Valletta acquired a double advantage in a short period of time through Cristian Cuadros Silva and Dylan Musu. The shocked Hamrun team and the boosted motivation for Valletta, may have been the reason for the third goal by the latter, through Dejan Bizjak. The Spartans responded aggressively with a double score through Brazilians Michel Melo Jose and Madson Caetano. Hamrun’s second goal came in less than a minute after break time. This ended the first half of the game with the score of 3-2 for the Citizens.
The second half was nonetheless spectacular, leaving the all present spectators breathless. Hamrun levelled the matters through a brilliant move by Jason Mifsud. Even though Valletta’s Denis di Maio hit the post, Dylan Musu sealed a brace by a fierce shot from a short distance.
From now onwards, Hamrun Spartans played Peter Pullicino as a flying keeper to increase pressure on the Citizens. During one of such attacks, George Frendo put the ball at the back of the net after a precise pass from Pullicino. The immediate reaction of Valletta resulted in a fifth goal, scored by Dejan Bizjak. To continue to improve matters for Valletta, Cristian Cuadros Silva too sealed a brace as soon as he found an empty net, and scored from half-court.
More frequent goals were scored as Hamrun were awarded a penalty, and Raphinha reduced the arrears. A Spartan’s attack led to nowhere but to a seventh wonder goal for Valletta, by Melvin Borg. Hamrun were still there, as Jason Mifsud’s goal returned some hope to the Spartans. The huge resistance and brave defence of Valletta during the final minutes led them retain the winning result and order the third and decisive final.

Hamrun chase league milestone, Last chance for Valletta

Hamrun Spartans head into their second leg play-off final clash against Valletta tonight (kick-off 20.00 hrs) in high spirits after a dramatic penalty shoot-out triumph over their same opponents a fortnight ago.

The Spartans will take to the court at the Corradino Pavillion eager to record a second consecutive win and clinch the title for the first time since FMA took charge of the organization of the local futsal scene as well as participate in the forthcoming UEFA Futsal Cup.

While Hamrun go into the game on a high following their first leg 13-12 win, the Citizens have all the pressure in their hands as it will be their last chance to level the matters and leave everything for a possible third match.

They are not ready to throw the towel and want to bounce back to victory.

Their president Dassier Borg, envisages a tough encounter but believes that his team is ready for the challenge.

When asked if Valletta have the pressure to win this match, Borg had a different opinion.

“In reality we don’t have any pressure. One of our targets was to reach the final and we did it. We know that Hamrun will try to win this second match. So the pressure is on them”.

“We need to play intelligently but also from the heart.”

When asked about the absence of their captain Xavier Saliba, who will be suspended for this game, Borg admitted that he will surely be missed.

“Xavier had gathered a good momentum for the play-offs and was one of the best players in these decisive matches.”

But they can also rely on some other experienced players such as Dylan Musu and Melvin Borg who have also shown their best in the play-off matches.

On the other hand, the Hamrun team manager Edward Psaila believes that everything is still possible.

He predicts another evenly contested match between the best two teams in local futsal.

Although winning their first encounter, they are aware of Valletta’s strength.

“The last match could have gone either way.” Psaila said. “Both teams are well-balanced with some good quality players.”

He predicts another balanced encounter that could be decided by a single glimpse.

If the match ends in a draw, penalties will follow immediately to have a clear winner. A Hamrun victory will give them the championship title.

On the other hand, Valletta need a win to restore parity in the aggregate matches. Eventually the final match will be played next Thursday.

Hamrun beat Valletta on penalties after a thrilling draw

Hamrun Spartans drew first blood against Valletta with a 13-12 win in the first leg of the Gatorade Elite Group Final. It was a thrilling 6-6 draw who led both teams for the penalty shootout.
Valletta’s Dejan Bizjak broke the deadlock early in the match and paved way to an exciting match which pleased all the spectators present in Corradino Sport Pavillion last Friday night.
Brasilian Madson Gaetano De Abreu balanced matters and minutes later Michel Melo Jose put the Spartans on the lead. Raphael Felipe Ortiz de Oliveira (Raphinha), made it 3-1 after receiving a fine ball from Peter Pullicino.
Valletta returned with Xavier Saliba’s powershot which gave little chance to Hamrun’s goalkeeper Brian Baldacchino. Raphinha scored again just before half time.
In the opening of the second half, Cristian Cuadros Silva scored for Valletta and a minute later his team mate Dejan Bizjak rebalanced the score. Definitely this was not the end neither for Hamrun Spartans nor for Raphinha, who brought again his team on the lead.
The last minutes of the game were risky for Valletta, as their captain Xavier Saliba was sent off for misbehaviour. In fact, a minute later Andy Mangion scored the sixth goal for Hamrun Spartans.
Against all odds Valletta created a dramatic comeback as Dejan Bizjak and Dylan Musu, with the latter playing as flying keeper, levelled the score to 6-6. The last goal came only ten seconds to the end of the match, which had to be decided on penalties.
Rodrigo Ticz Patricio, De Abreu, Raphinha, Melo Jose, George Frendo, Andy Mangion and Daniel Mifsud netted for Hamrun Spartans.
On the other hand Cristian Cuadros Silvo, Dejan Bizjak, Jovica Milijic, Dylan Musu, Mohammed Elamari and Melvin Borg scored for the Citizens. The save of Daniel Brincat’s penalty shot by the goalkeeper was the end for this exciting first leg, and a win to Hamrun.