Month: November 2016

UNITED WE STAND: Minute silence held before league match

Tuesday’s Gatorade Futsal League game between Hamrun and Sliema observed a minute’s silence to remember those who were killed in the Colombian plane crash.
All those present at the Corradino Sports Pavillion fell silent before kick-off to show their respect.
Of the 81 people who were on board flight LMI2933, 71 are understood to have lost their lives.
All-but three members of the Chapecoense football team and management staff are believed have died when the plane came down in mountains.

Raphinha hits seven as Valletta rout Tarxien

ROBERT BUSUTTIL
Last year’s league top scorer, Raphinha was seven times on the mark to lead Valletta to a comfortable 20-1 victory over Tarxien JML and help the champions maintain their perfect record as another round of matches from the Gatorade League was played this week.
Three matches from the second round of games produced a bonanza of goals as Hamrun also scored a comprehensive win over Sliema while Qormi had to fight hard to conquer Mriehel ESS in a 13 goal thriller.
Tarxien tried to make a fight out of it but their challenge to Valletta only lasted a few minutes before their resistance fell.
Brazilian playmaker Raphinha was an inspiration for his team. He scored seven times with the other goals for the winners coming from two hat-tricks by Jovica Milijic and Denis di Maio, a brace by Carl Azzopardi. Xavier Saliba, Daniel Brincat, Melvin Borg, Mohammed Elamari and an own goal completed the score for the Citizens.
Tarxien’s only goal came from Vince Camilleri.

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Hamrun Tre Angeli obtained their second consecutive win by outclassing Sliema 9-1 to maintain their challenge with the other title contenders. Hamrun opened a six-goal lead before the interval and although Sliema hit back with an Aleksandar Ribic’s goal, the winners didn’t lose their composure as they scored three more goals in the second half.
Brazilian striker Everton Veve helped himself with six goals, Daniele Degennaro notched a brace while Daniel Mifsud hit another one for Hamrun.

Qormi gained the first three points of the season after a thrilling 7-6 victory over a mighty Mriehel ESS side.
The match was evenly balanced in the first half but on the restart Qormi looked the better side even though Mriehel battled hard to take something from the match.
The latter were off to a flier as they took the lead after one minute. Qormi immediately turned the tables as they established a 2-1 lead.
However the match continued to be a roller coaster of emotions as Mriehel scored more goals to regain their advantage.
As the score was levelled to 6-6, Qormi managed to notch the winner at the death to secure a dramatic victory.
Adrian Fenech and George Chircop hit the target twice while Luca Mallia, Antoine Galea and Miguel Alcaraz were also on the mark for Qormi.
Mriehel ESS, who gave a good account of themselves, had Emanuel Muscat netting a brace while Julian Rodriguez, Ayoub Ahmed, Fabio Grech and Ahmed Abu Maama scored the other goals.

Pullicino unveils provisional squad

ROBERT BUSUTTIL

Malta coach Peter Pullicino has announced the provisional squad for the double friendly against San Marino on December 4th and 5th (kick-off 7.00pm) at the Corradino Sports Pavillion.
The players are:
Goalkeepers – Matthew Xerxen (Luxol), Clint Mifsud (Luxol), Neil Cuschieri (Valletta), Matthew Gatt (UOM).
Defenders – Mark Zammit (Luxol), Jovica Milijic (Valletta), Daniel Mifsud (Hamrun), Nicola del Re (Luxol).
Left – Karl Azzopardi (Luxol), Andrea Farrugia (UOM), Jason Mifsud (Hamrun), Christian Wismayer (Swieqi).
Right – Dylan Musu (Valletta), Chris Cardona (Valletta), Melvin Borg (Valletta), Matthew Attard (Luxol), Giancarlo Sammut (Luxol).
Pivots – Xavier Saliba (Valletta), Andy Mangion (Luxol), Luke Stivala (Hamrun), George Frendo (Msida)

The Maltese national team has already played twice last season against this small country and they managed to emerge as winners in both occasions 5-1 and 5-3 on away soil.

Luxol fly high as they record mammoth victory

ROBERT BUSUTTIL
Luxol started their commitments in the 2016-17 Gatorade Futsal League campaign with a bang as they trounced Tarxien JML 15-0.
The St Andrews outfit, who dominated the match with effective ball possession and fast attacks, had their talisman player Celino Alves in fine form as he netted a hat-trick.
Mark Zammit, Zvezdan Vukovic, Emil Raducu and Karl Azzopardi scored a brace while Matthew Attard, Andy Mangion, Nicola del Re and Giancarlo Sammut completed the rout for Despotovic’s side.
Even Msida had a very positive start of the season as they dominated Swieqi Under 21 8-0.
As the scoreline clearly indicates, Msida produced a commanding performance to impose themselves on court and land their first victory of the season.
Swieqi’s youth team tried hard to bridge the gap with their more technically-gifted opponents, however, their sheer hard work and determination in the end were not enough to stop their more-quoted opponents.
Msida’s new recruit George Frendo, distinguished himself as scored a hat-trick while Floren Manea, Armando Gjepali, Ricardo Ortega Toro, Claudio Venuto and Ryan Xuereb added more goals for the seasiders.
Sliema didn’t find it easy to conquer futsal debutants Safi San Lorenzo despite winning 7-4.
The Safi outfit gave good account of themselves as they happened to be a hard nut to crack for the Wanderers.
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Aleksandar Ribic and Darren Agius scored a brace each while Alan Galea and Paul Bugeja also among the scorers for Sliema.
Safi netted their goals through Reuben Vella, Desmond Kind, Wayne Hamer and Sean Vella.
Qrendi also started positively as they edged Zurrieq Wolves 10-9 in the derby.
It was not an easy stroll for the winners as Zurrieq showed great resilience and tried to produce a late rally.
However, it was not enough for the Wolves to avoid defeat as a Craig Pickard hat-trick, an Alan Spiteri double and goals from Antonello Brincat, Robert Baldacchino, David Mamo, Bertram Azzopardi and Clayton Borg saw Qrendi through.
Zurrieq answered back through a poker from Alistair Camilleri, a hat-trick from Mario Camilleri and one goal from Johnny Sammut and Marco Zammit.

Gatorade League gets off to a spectacular start

Stephen Azzopardi

Valletta ………… 7
Marsascala …… 1

Defending champions Valletta kick started the FMA Gatorade League season with an unbeatable result of 7-1 against Marsascala. However, despite this result, the latter proved to be positive opponents to the Citizens and their strength appeared in them taking the lead through Franklin Abela.
This opening goal resulted in a fierce reaction in Valletta, and Raphinha with his five goals showed off himself as the key player of the game. Xavier Saliba and Dylan Musu completed the score for the Lillywhites.
Valletta: Neil Cuschieri (GK), Stefan Vella (GK), Jovica Milijic, Melvin Borg, Xavier Saliba, Daniel Brincat, Dylan Musu, Denis Di Maio, Raphael Felipe Ortiz de Oliveira, Mohammed Abdussalam Elamari.

Marsascala: Jean Paul Bianco (GK), Delyan Ivanov Papi (GK), Shaun Ebejer, Daryl Muscat, Steve Gambin, Dylan Caruana, Denzil Pisani, Franklin Abela, Angelo Dimech, Justin ifsud, Nicholas Abdilla, Reuben Degabriele, Ryan Mifsud, Liam Gauci.

Referees: Klint Cassar, Pierre Bonnici
Time Keeper: Jeremy Mallia

Hamrun …. 14
Qormi ……. 4

Hamrun Tre Angeli secured a win in their first game of the Gatorade Futsal League, when they beat Qormi for the second time in less than a week. Encouraged by their previous encounter, Hamrun started in confidence and immediately took command of the game through some neat passing. They made an early score and built a healthy 5-0 lead midway through the first half. However Hamrun missed also more chances to put the game beyond Qormi, who managed to score twice before Hamrun scored again to end the first half 6-2.

In the second half, Qormi came out more aggressive in an attempt to get back in the game, but Hamrun remained in control and increased the lead to remove any doubt of an upset. Unfortunately in the second half, Qormi had to make a forced substitution by changing injured goalkeeper Roderick Mascena with Jacob Cipriott.

A poker from Everton Vevé, Florin Anton’s hat-trick, braces from Daniele Degennaro and Luke Stivala, together with goals from Clint Cope, Jason Mifsud and Daniel Mifsud, prevailed for Hamrun to start off the new campaign with a well-deserved three points.

On the other hand Adrian Fenech, Antoine Galea, Luca Mallia and Miguel Alcaraz scored for Qormi.

Qormi: Roderick Mascena (GK), Jacob, Cipriott (GK), Etienne Bonnici, Andrew Catania, Patrick Barbara, Luca Mallia, Antoine Galea, Adrian Fenech, Bernard Bonnici, George Chircop, Miguel Alcaraz, Mattia Ianni, Bernard Sciberras, Daniel Yimenez.

Hamrun: Matthew Mifsud (GK), Kevin Cassar (GK), Daniel Mifsud, Alex Ellul, Anton Florin, Jason Mifsud, Frank Paul Azzopardi, Cleaven Portelli, Clint Cope, Luke Stivala, Everton Vevé, Daniele Degennaro.

Referees: Franco Cachia, Robert Darmanin
Time Keeper: Mark O’Neill

UOM ….. 2
Swieqi .. 6

It was a tight and entertaining encounter between the University Students’ team (UOM) and Swieqi. Swieqi’s Bulgarian player Boicho Marev proved himself superb throughout the game and his playing experience bared the fruit in scoring four goals. His first two goals, with the second one just in the final minute of the first half, put Swieqi at rest during the half time. UOM’s goalkeeper Matthew Gatt was frequently tested and avoided further damage to his team.
UOM’s coach Kyle Sultana appeared to have given a harsh and effective team talk in the dressing room, as Rodney Debono shortened the gap in the second minute of the second half. Gaetano Gesualdi who hit the bar from a heading tentative, together with Leo Muscat did well in trying to create various opportunities to score.
Later in the second half UOM’s coach Kyle Sultana entered the reserve goalkeeper Dylan Cacciattolo who played in a sort of flying goalkeeper. Indirectly, their efforts of moving everything forward to score, gave way to Swieqi to continue pressing and increasing their advantage. The Bulgarian tandem Marev-Petev kept Swieqi on the lead scoring two goals each. UOM also had their say through Jean Karl Cushieri who scored the second goal for the University Students’team.

UOM: Matthew Gatt (GK), Dylan Cacciattolo (GK), Alejandro Rubio, Andrea Farrugia, Rodney Debono, Robert Fenech, Khail Drago, Jake Adam Azzopardi, Jean Karl Cuschieri, Martin Caruana, Gaetano Gesualdi, Leo Muscat, Dalziel Bugeja, Aiden Caruana.

Swieqi FC: Karl Balzan (GK), Goran Lazic (GK), Dylan Micallef, Timmy Gingell, Redeemer Borg, Jason Gauci, Fredrik Johansson, Dexter O’Brien, Kurt Bartolo, Christian Wismayer, Boicho Marev, Dimitar Petev.

Referees: Matthew Vella, Stephen Vella
Time Keeper: Jonathan Balzan

Four teams through to second round

ROBERT BUSUTTIL
University of Malta, Swieqi, Marsascala and Msida eased their way into the last eight of the Gatorade KO after winning their respective encounters.
University of Malta and Swieqi registered the biggest scores after having the better of Mrieħel and Żurrieq Wolves 9-3 respectively.
The University students, formerly known as Mdina Knights, had Leo Muscat helping himself with four goals as Djordje Maksimovic, Rodney Debono, Andrea Farrugia, Gaetano Gesualdi and Aidan Caruana also found the net.
Msida managed to overcome the stiff challenge of Qrendi 6-2. The team led by Kevin Agius, had Liam Cachia in fine form as he netted a poker while Ryan Xuereb and Claudio Venuto added their tally.
Robert Baldacchino and Antonello Brincat reduced the score for Qrendi.
Marsascala, on their second season of participation in the local futsal competitions, saw off Swieqi Under 21 5-1.
Justin Mifsud scored a brace while Ryan Mifsud, Paolo Caetano and Liam Gauci were also on the mark for the Southerners.
Swieqi Under 21 scored their consolation goal through Lydon Baldacchino.

Holders progress in KO, Easy for Valletta and Hamrun

Robert Busuttil

Luxol began their defence of the Gatorade KO with a comfortable 9-4 win over Sliema Wanderers at the Corradino Pavilion.
The St Andrews outfit, fresh from their triumph in the Super Cup, administered most of the match and were on target through goals from Emil Raducu (2), Matthew Attard, Carl Azzopardi, Glenn Bonello, Mark Zammit, Celino Alves, Frane Despotovic and Giancarlo Sammut.
Sliema Wanderers, who tried hard to contain their more quoted opponents, answered back from a Nikolay Filipov hat-trick and a goal from Aleksandar Ribic.
Valletta made up from their upset in the Super Cup as they routed newcomers Tarxien 16-2.
Their latest acquisition Raphael Felipe Ortiz de Oliveira was the Citizens’ inspirational player as he netted seven goals.
Jovica Milijic, Melvin Borg, Dylan Musu and Xavier Saliba hit a double while Denis di Maio completed the score for Valletta.
Preston Ellul and Joseph Meilak reduced the arrears for Tarxien.
Last year’s runners-up, Hamrun also progressed to the next round after a comfortable 9-1 victory over Qormi.
Hamrun, who had a relatively new team from last year, dominated the match from the word go and found the net through new Brazilian recruit Everton Veve who notched a hat-trick.
On the other hand Daniele Degennaro hit the target twice while Florin Anton, Alex Ellul, Luke Stivala and Frank Paul Azzopardi completed the score for Hamrun.

Claudio Azzopardi resigns from FMA General Secretary

Unfortunately we have to announce the resignation of Mr. Claudio Azzopardi from his post as General Secretary for personal reasons.

In his short span with FMA, Mr. Azzopardi worked hard during the negotiation period with ASH and was fundamental in the creation of the junior futsal festival, amongst other things.

We would like to thank him for all his valid contribution and wish him all the very best.

Luxol beat Valletta in thrilling Super Cup

ROBERT BUSUTTIL
Luxol FC claimed their first major honour of the 2016-17 futsal season on Friday after claiming the Gatorade Super Cup. In the final, they beat Valletta 7-4 in a hard-fought contest at the Corradino Pavilion.
Luxol, who managed to win last season’s KO faced strong resistance from Valletta, the current league champions.
The game was played in front of an acceptable crowd with both sets of supporters contributing to make the atmosphere an enjoyable one and auguring an auspicious start to the 2016-17 campaign.
The first half saw a dominant Luxol side who managed to establish a 5-1 advantage before the break.
They hit the target three times in 15 minutes through Celino Alves, Frane Despotovic and Zvezdan Vukovic .
Despite all this the Citizens hit back as Raphinha found the net to reduce the score.
The St Andrews outfit didn’t lose their concentration and were on the mark twice more through Carl Azzopardi and Emil Raducu.
Valletta had the chance to score two more times but Luxol’s keeper Matthew Xerxen denied them as he saved two shots from the second penalty spot.
The second half opened with a bang as Valletta were an improved side scoring their second goal from Xavier Saliba.
Clayton Felice, the Valletta coach, opted for Dylan Musu as their flying keeper to instill more pressure on the Luxol rearguard.
Despite all this, Frane Despotovic’s side maintained their composure as Celino Alves completed his personal brace and his side’s sixth goal.
The Citizens resumed their attacking flair as they found the net twice through Mohammed Elamari and Dylan Musu to produce a dramatic finale.
However Mark Zammit scored for Luxol to seal their victory and clinch their first honour of the season.
Luxol captain Mark Zammit was presented with the Super Cup from Mark Borg, the FMA president.

Luxol and Valletta face off in Super Cup

ROBERT BUSUTTIL
Valletta and Luxol lock horns at the Corradino Sports Pavilion this evening (kick-off: 20.00) in a match that gives the two teams an opportunity to claim the Super Cup ahead of the new campaign that starts next week.
This match will take place after weeks of speculations and uncertainty about the venue where the local futsal season would be played.
The final will be contested between the Citizens, who were crowned league champions after a positive season and Luxol, the cup holders.
After a hectic pre-season, during which they played in the UEFA Futsal Cup, Valletta will be looking to clinch their first honour of the campaign.
The champions maintained the core of the team that won last year’s championship and their coach, Clayton Felice can bank on several new signings, the likes of Brazilian striker Raphinha, and experienced Maltese players such as Chris Cardona, Gary inguanez, Carlo Scicluna and keeper Stefan Vella.
Asked about some pressure that may pile up on the champions ahead of this match, Valletta’s captain Xavier Saliba thinks that this is not the case as the team wants to keep its humble approach that was fundamental in last year’s league success.
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“We have a lot of respect towards our opponents and we must keep our feet on the ground to achieve success.”
Saliba, who has a wealth of experience in such matches, thinks that unity in the squad will be crucial during this match.
“We are not only a team, but a family. We have courage and we never give up. This is the secret to fulfil our aims,” said Saliba
Their opponents, Luxol are ready to make up for last year’s disappointment as they were ousted from the play-offs by their same opponents.
As Brazilian playmaker, Celino Alves said, Luxol are focused for this match.
“We have been working hard to achieve our best fitness for this encounter. It’s clear that both teams will be ready to challenge for this year’s championship.”
“On our part, we are ready to achieve our objectives but we need not to put pressure in ourselves.”
Alves, who will play his third season with the St Andrews outfit, hails the great atmosphere that surrounds his team.
“The environment is positive. We want to do well and we are ready for our future challenges.”
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Luxol have secured the services of Matthew Xerxen, Clint Mifsud, Giancarlo Sammut, Nicola del Re and Romanian international Emil Andrei Raducu.
It is still early to make an assessment of a team’s strength but judging from their latest acquisitions both teams are expected to rank among the contenders for the 2016-17 honours.
This match is a repeat of last year’s Super Cup final when Luxol saw off the Citizens 9-5.