Month: February 2017

Valletta geared for next month’s clash against Luxol

STEPHEN AZZOPARDI
Just one month before their clash against Luxol, Valletta managed to beat Swieqi with the final score of 7-1. Valletta had Daniel Jesus Aguilera Puerto in a magnificent form as he had a poker in which his first two goals came when Swieqi were leading 1-0.
Similar to last week against Luxol, Swieqi despite having an early advantage lost a bit of composure which left the opponents gaining balance and even the lead. After only five minutes of play, Boicho Marev opened the score for Swieqi. Before the end of the first half, two goals from Aguilera Puerto and one goal from Raphael Felipe Ortiz de Oliveira, put the Citizens’ mind at rest.
The Lillywhites came forward with two more goals from Aguilera Puerto and Djeymes Mauricio Batista Trindade. In the middle of the second half, Andre Ciancio’s fierce shot reduced the margin for Swieqi. On the other hand Valletta sealed their significant win with another goal from Aguilera Puerto and Xavier Saliba just before the final whistle.
Following the match between Valletta and Swieqi, Tarxien JMI obtained their first win of the season. Tarxien JMI’s collective and hard working effort, paid back with a win of 5-2 against Qormi. Silio Saliba scored twice, while Joseph Meilak, Lawrence Buhagiar and Clayton Debono scored a goal each for Tarxien JMI. Qormi’s consolation goals were scored by Miguel Alcaraz and Adrian Fenech.

Continuation of Sliema and a dramatic equaliser for Mriehel ESS

STEPHEN AZZOPARDI
Sliema continued with their positive trail, this time with a win against Marsascala Construct Furniture 11-7. Despite the fact that Marsascala had a positive start with three consecutive chances, Sliema scored twice in a matter of seconds. The first half, which offered a tight battle for both teams, ended 5-2.
Sliema fought back through a number of other goals during the second half but Marsascala kept strong and responded back keeping a tight score. In the final four minutes Marsascala were only one goal behind Sliema and missed the equalizer when Franklin Abela hit the upper post. Sliema’s fatal counter attacks led to three more goals which faded Marsascala’s hopes to get any points.
Sliema’s Radovan Duric had a poker, while Alexander Ribic, Nikolay Filipov, Jurgen Mifsud, Mauro Busuttil, Uros Markovic, Adam Wingfield and Darren Aitchinson scored a goal each.
Marsacala’s scoresheet was made up of braces from Justin Mifsud and Denzil Pisani, together with more goals from Reuben Degabriele, Franklin Abela and Angelo Dimech.
Later on Thursday night, Mriehel ESS obtained a dramatic draw of 7-7 against Msida SJ. In the last minute Mriehel ESS turned the result from 7-4 to 7-7. Msida were comfortably leading through braces from Chris Cardona, Liam Cachia and Mohammed Lamari, together with George Frendo’s goal.
Mriehel ESS replied with braces from Marwan Telisi, Essa Benatiya and Kamal Egdeli, together with Faisal Alnakua’s goal.

A Closer Look at….Roderick Mascena (Qormi Futsal)

ROBERT BUSUTTIL
Name: Roderick Mascena
Born on September 10th 1982.
Plays for Qormi Futsal.
Works in a pharmaceutical company.
Hobbies: Playing and watching football, Tennis, Snooker and Darts.
Motto in life: Life is a journey…enjoy the ride.


How long have you been playing futsal?

I have been playing this beautiful game for the last five years.

What do you think about this sport?
I think that it’s a sport that has been growing so fast during these years. In fact lots of coaches and players are involved and most of all I can mention the sterling job that the Malta Futsal School is doing with the kids.

How can you define Qormi’s championship so far?
I think that till now our season was satisfying. Actually this is what we’ve expected as we won the matches against teams of our level but found it a bit hard against the elite teams.

In my opinion, Qormi is a solid team with players that have been together for so many years. Do you agree with that?
Yes sure I do agree. We are a group of players that have been together for many years and we can define ourselves as one team.
With the addition of new players and a new coach, I feel that we are more competitive than ever also considering that our team is made up of Maltese players with only one foreigner in the squad.

What are your main objectives for this season?

Our aim is to reach the First Division play-offs and who knows, maybe we can achieve what we didn’t succeed to do last year; the championship.
Certainly it won’t be easy because all the teams are really strong but we will do our best to succeed in our mission.

Mammoth victory for league leaders

ROBERT BUSUTTIL
Luxol scored very much at will to dump Zurrieq Wolves 23-0, thus keeping up the monotonous one-sided affairs in the first phase of the Gatorade Futsal League.
The Wolves’ aspirations did not extend beyond trying to avoid a heavy defeat against opponents who thrive primarily on fast incursions and varied offensive tactics.
Once surging ahead, from then on it was steamrolling for the league leaders who had once again their Brazilian talisman Celino Alves in fine form as he contributed to many of their goals.
Alves, together with Nicola Del Re and Andy Mangion notched a poker apiece while Dejan Bizjak found the net three times.
On the other hand, Zvezdan Vukovic, Frane Despotovic and Carl Azzopardi hit the target twice while Matthew Attard and an own goal rubberstamped Luxol’s massive victory.
The St Andrews side still have a hundred per cent record as they managed to win all the matches played so far in this campaign.
Hamrun Tre Angeli leapfrogged rivals Valletta in the standings after a 12-2 mauling over Qrendi.
The Red/Blacks as expected dominated the match with Qrendi trying to create some counter attacks.
They had they lethal strikers Cleavon Portelli and Everton Veve in splendid form as they scored five and four goals respectively.
Luke Stivala was twice on the mark while Jason Mifsud completed the scoreline.
Antonello Brincat and Bertram Azzopardi scored Qrendi’s consolation goals.

Even University of Malta are passing from a bright patch after seeing off Safi San Lorenzo 4-1 in a hard-fought match.
The students obtained a new record as they obtained six wins in a row and now lie fifth in the standings.
They scored two goals before half-time through Leo Muscat and Andrea Farrugia.
In the second half, University’s keeper Matthew Gatt was called into action several times as he produced a string of saves to keep Safi goalless.
On the other hand, the students relied on fast counter attacks and netted their third goal through Leo Muscat who completed his personal brace.
Safi reacted fiercely as they used the flying keeper to instill more pressure on the students’ rearguard.
They pulled one back through Franklin Seisun but Kyle Sultana’s boys remained concentrated and after winning a shot from the second penalty mark, it was Martin Caruana who ended the issue to make a 4-1 final scoreline.

A Closer Look at…Russell Camilleri (Zurrieq Wolves)

ROBERT BUSUTTIL
Name: Russell Camilleri.
Plays with Zurrieq Wolves
Born on April 12th 1985
Works in an IT department.
Motto in life: Limits hold you back / Everything in life worth doing is worth overdoing.

How long have you been playing futsal?

This is my 6th year in the futsal game. However I stopped playing futsal in the last 3 years after the restructuring of the league. So this is a sort of coming back from retirement.

What do you think about this game?
I love futsal because it requires great teamwork and discipline. Also, it’s a fast paced game which requires techniques. Actually, all players are highly involved in the game.

Talk about your season so far with Zurrieq Wolves.
Zurrieq Wolves returned to futsal after 4 years. We have a mix of experienced and new players who still need to get acquainted to the game. We have to improve game after game, but I believe we are on the right track.
Right now I am sidelined because I am recovering from an injury during a game. I hope to return to the game in March hopefully. I think considering the strength of our opponents I have had a good run so far. I always give my best for the team and myself
You didn’t get any point so far in the league..
The fact that we still have 0 points so far is a bit of a disappointment for sure. There were at least 3 games where we could have come out with points. In futsal a couple of minutes under distraction can cause the score line to be unreachable. It is a psychological thing which we need to improve. Also the fact that we play against highly competitive teams can be a bit of a demotivation from the initial whistle. However the morale is good and we play game by game. A victory for us would be a great achievement and I believe will get this satisfaction. Zurrieq Wolves has played consistently in futsal and the players do feel a sense of belonging due to the tradition of the club
Give your opinion about the current futsal league.
The current league has 4 top teams (Valletta, Hamrun, Luxol and Swieqi) which I believe will make a great challenge for the championship. Then there are some evenly balanced teams like Safi, UOM and Mriehel ESS which have some good foundation to improve in the game. Then there are the lower teams like ours which always start as underdogs. So it’s a 3 tier league, however any result can come out in every game.
What about your personal objectives?
My objective is to help my team in winning some games and scoring as much as possible. Also, I always try to learn some new tactics which can prove crucial in futsal.

Champions held by tenacious Sliema

ROBERT BUSUTTIL
Valletta’s aspirations to maintain their positive stride at the top part of the Gatorade Futsal League table were jolted when they were held 7-7 by a determined Sliema side, a result which denied the Citizens the chance to reducing the gap from leaders Luxol.
It was a disappointing night for the Lilywhites who found it hard to contain their opponents who had new Serbian duo Uros Markovic and Radovan Duric a continuous menace to Valletta’s rearguard.
These two new last-minute signings by the Wanderers will certainly help the team climb positions in the table as they showed their mettle during all the match.
Sliema managed to surge ahead to stun the Champions who produced a reaction to level the matters before half-time.
At one point in the second half, Clayton Felice’s boys established a 7-5 advantage but Sliema refused to throw in the towel and at the death they managed to restore parity to gain a well-deserved point.
Sliema had Uros Markovic notching a poker while his compatriot Radovan Duric, Christian Micallef and Nikolay Filipov added more goals for their team.
Valletta, who committed a lot of defensive mistakes, had Brazilian striker Raphinha hitting the target three times while Rodrigo Ticz Patricio grabbed a brace.
On the other hand, Melvin Borg and Daniel Aguilera scored Valletta’s two other goals.
In another match played yesterday, Qormi returned to winning ways after seeing off Marsascala Construct Furniture 6-2.
It was a perfect outing for the Yellow/Blacks who dominated for long stretches and tried to dominate ball possession.
Ryan Cassar was inspirational for Qormi as he netted a poker as Bernard Sciberras and Roberto Sarcia were also on the mark.
The Sea Southsiders scored their consolation goals through Johann Callus and Paolo Caetano.

A tough win for Hamrun Tre Angeli

STEPHEN AZZOPARDI
Hamrun Tre Angeli came out with a tough win of 5-3 against Msida. Msida recently strengthened their squad with the acquisition of Mohammed Lamari and Chris Cardona, both from Valletta. Despite the fact that these two are still settling down with the rest of their team mates, they still managed to be fruitful against their opponent team Hamrun.
Hamrun Tre Angeli went twice on the lead through Brazilian Everton Da Silva Santos. The effort of Mohammed Lamari of hitting back twice for Msida was in vain, as Da Silva Santos put again Hamrun Tre Angeli on the lead.
Relatively, the second half of the game offered a higher level of futsal with both teams on alert for each other. Half way through the second half, Daniel Mifsud scored for Hamrun Tre Angeli. Until the third goal from Armando Djepali, the game seemed to have been stuck to 4-2.
In their desperate attempt to level the matters, Msida’s George Frendo took the role of flying keeper. This risky option paved way to Da Silva Santos to score his personal fourth goal in an unattended net.
Late on Thursday evening, the reaction of Mriehel ESS after they conceded two soft goals, turned on to be a highly aggressive one which led them to a sound win of 10-3 against Tarxien JMI. Similar to Zurrieq Wolves, Tarxien JMI are still struggling to grab their first win of the season.

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We will keep training hard in order to keep learning and improving – Kenneth Fiteni (Swieqi Under 21 coach)

ROBERT BUSUTTIL
The youngsters from Swieqi managed to break their duck in the Gatorade Futsal League after seeing off Zurrieq Wolves 5-3 in the battle of the basement.
This success was vital for Kenneth Fiteni’s boys after suffering ten straight defeats in their previous outings.
When contacted by this website, Fiteni was elated but at the same time cautious after last Monday’s win.
“Although I never put pressure on the team for the final result, a win is always a win!”
“Of course, this victory will help us put in more effort.”
“After the game, I congratulated all the players for the result but stressed out the point that we did a lot of mistakes which could have cost us the game!” said a realistic Fiteni.
Asked about the players’ feelings after their first matches without winning any point, Fiteni said that the team was still motivated despite losing the first 10 matches.
“This was so because we were seeing a slight, but constant, improvement in our performances game after game. The atmosphere in the dressing room has always been a positive one both after training sessions and competitive games. However, this is not enough as we always seek more.”
Finally when asked about the way forward after this success, the Swieqi Under 21 coach admitted that the team’s objective is always the same, that is to develop more his players’ futsal skills.
“We will keep training hard in order to keep learning and improving. The Club is after players’ development and improvement, not the team’s points in the league.”
Swieqi’s next match will be a really tough one as they face leaders Luxol on February 27th.

Luxol keep shining

ROBERT BUSUTTIL

A great reaction helped Luxol maintain their flawless record in the Gatorade Futsal League as they came from behind to beat Swieqi FC 9-2 and open a six-point lead over second-placed Valletta at the top of the table.
It was a well-awaited fixture between two teams that are having a positive campaign.
Swieqi started well and managed to surge ahead but Luxol didn’t lose their composure as they soon levelled the matters.
From there on, the league leaders hit the ground running as they helped themselves with quickfire goals to settle the issue.
Luxol’s new recruit Dejan Bizjak had an inspiring night as he grabbed a hat-trick while Celino Alves and Carl Azzopardi hit the target twice.
Emil Raducu and Frane Despotovic scored the other goals that mattered for the St Andrews side who are still unbeaten after ten matches.
Andre Ciancio and Boicho Marev were on the mark for Swieqi.

A Closer Look at….David Peter Borg (Club Secretary – Valletta Futsal)

ROBERT BUSUTTIL

Who is David Peter Borg?
David Peter Borg is a hardworking, caring and a trustworthy person who always ready to help everyone. I’m 29 years old and I was born in Penrith – New South Wales – Australia.

What is your job with Valletta Futsal?
I’m the Club Secretary of Valletta FC Futsal Club since May 2016.

What do you think about the season so far?
The Season for us is quite good – we managed to win all 9 league matches from 9 and also a Knock-Out encounter against Tarxien. Unfortunately in November we lost the Super-Cup final against Luxol. But on the whole, we are performing quite well.

What is your opinion about the current futsal league?
My opinion regarding the current Futsal League is that in the near future I do hope for two divisions at least – Premier and First Division so that the teams can be evenly matched and hopefully the level of the game will rise up too and maybe we can gain more fans and players towards the Maltese Futsal in general.

You are the current league champions. This year you face a stiff competition from Luxol FC…
Well our target or club’s objectives is to reach the Final and be once again title Challengers. We know that Luxol have strengthened considerably their squad this season but we believe also that our players on form can match them quite well and give them a big challenge once again. If luck strikes on our side, you can never know what will happen. As they say – Not always the best team wins!

Finally, what are your personal objectives?
My personal objectives… Well to be honest I’m not a person which plans a lot about the future. I always try to be a simple person but ready when circumstances will occur. But my main objective is to do well at work, live the life the way I’m doing with friends, family and work colleagues, maybe have a girlfriend in the future who knows. I try to live day by day and see what happens and why not, try to travel more since I like visiting different countries.

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