Month: April 2017

Luxol off to Poland for training camp

ROBERT BUSUTTIL
Elite club Luxol is currently in Poland, undergoing a training camp ahead of the decisive clashes in the Gatorade Futsal League.
This is their second consecutive training camp in Poland after last year they had the same experience under the guidance of their player-coach Frane Despotovic.
The St Andrews outfit will play two friendly matches between April 10th and 12th against Piast Gliwice and Rekord Bielsko Biala.
Piast lie in the fourth place of the Polish futsal league while Rekord are topping the standings during the currrent season.
Three important elements in Luxol squad, Glenn Bonello, Nicola Del Re and Emil Raducu are not available for the Polish trip.
This website contacted Frane Despotovic who seemed elated at the prospect of another training camp overseas.
“We are all excited and happy that our committee one more time gave us the chance to play games abroad with strong opponents.”
“The players are motivated to try and make them proud so that we are well prepared for the final games in the championship.”
Despotovic, who is at the helm of the club since 2015, is hopeful that this experience will help the players to focus more against stronger opponents.
“I am curious to see my team’s reaction in hard game conditions and against such competitive teams.”
After yesterday’s win against Swieqi, Luxol will resume their commitments in the Gatorade Elite Round with another decisive clash against champions Valletta.

Valuable wins for Sliema, Msida to remain prime title contenders

ROBERT BUSUTTIL
Title challengers Msida and Sliema claimed important victories in the Gatorade First Division to maintain their challenge for the championship.
Sliema, top of the league on 27 points, beat Qrendi 9-5 while Msida, two points behind in third place, extended their good form with a 12-2 win over Swieqi Under 21.
Sliema produced another polished display to sweep aside their opponents’ challenge.
The Wanderers opened a comfortable lead before half-time and remained on top after the break, scoring more goals in the process.
Qrendi tried hard to avoid defeat against their opponents who took the initiative from the outset.
Uros Markovic scored a hat-trick for the Blues while Paul Bugeja and Radovan Duric hit a brace. The other goals came from Nikolay Filipov and Mauro Busuttil.
Craig Pickard hit the target twice while Bertram Azzopardi, Godfrey Cutajar and David Delicata were the other scorers for Qrendi.

Msida beat Swieqi Under 21 12-2 to grab their second win on the trot.
The Seasiders put on a dazzling attacking display against their opponents.
Kevin Agius’s side hit the ground running, scoring through a hat-trick by Liam Cachia, three braces from Armando Gjepali, Chris Cardona and George Frendo and a goal for Mohammed Elamari and Floren Manea.
The youths’ only response came through Timothy Gingell and Karl Sciortino.

Hamrun shock Champions

ROBERT BUSUTTIL
Valletta’s title defence in the Gatorade Elite Round got off to a terrible start as Hamrun grabbed a stunning 6-5 victory to kick off their second round season in style.
The Lilywhites dominated possession throughout but found themselves 3-1 behind before the break as Hamrun were operating some lethal counter attacks that left their opponents unprepared.
Valletta looked an aggressive side after the interval, adopting also the flying keeper in the process and they looked like they might turn tables on their opponents but their casual approach contrasted starkly with Hamrun’s enterprise.
James Ciangura’s side were bold and brave, defending in numbers when Valletta had the ball, and breaking forward with pace and panache.
It was a shock result but Hamrun deserved their moment of glory.
Their nippy Brazilian striker Everton Veve tormented the Valletta defence with his speed off the mark and his elusiveness and his goal-scoring spree was of natural consequence.
On the other hand, it wasn’t an easy night for his compatriot Raphinha, who although scoring one goal for the Citizens, was well guarded by the Hamrun defence that denied him from causing damage to their rearguard.
It was Veve show as he hit the target five times with Cleavon Portelli netting another one for Hamrun.
Daniel Aguilera Puerto scored a brace while Jovica Milijic, Raphinha and Dylan Musu were on the mark for Valletta.
Meanwhile Luxol broke little sweat to outclass Swieqi FC 6-1 and keep alive their title hopes.
The St Andrews side were off to a flier when two braces by Andy Mangion and Frane Despotovic and goals from Nicola Del Re and Glenn Bonello sealed the points that mattered. Swieqi’s only goal was scored in the first half by Boicho Marev.

Mriehel start second phase on a high

ROBERT BUSUTTIL
Title hopefuls Mriehel ESS launched their Gatorade Division One second phase campaign on a winning note as they stormed to a 5-1 win over Safi San Lorenzo.
This win underlined their ambitions to challenge for the title alongside Sliema Wanderers and Msida St Joseph.
They dominated from the start and managed to open the scoring through Marwan Telisi on four minutes.
Safi tried to produce a reaction but conceded again during their best patch as Eslam Khalifa doubled Mriehel’s lead on 13 minutes.
The same player completed a personal brace two minutes from the break after a fast counter attack.
Mriehel started strongly after the change of ends as Essa Benatiya extended their lead to 4-0.
Safi pulled one goal back on 29 minutes through Clive Calleja but four minutes later, Marwan Telisi sealed Mriehel’s victory with a fifth goal.

Meanwhile, Qormi Futsal crushed Zurrieq Wolves 7-0 to end their five-match winless drought.
The Yellows were the more enterprising team and the final outcome was never in doubt.
They paved way for their emphatic victory with a two-goal burst in the opening 20 minutes following strikes from James Tabone and Antoine Galea.
Qormi added five more goals in the second half through Jonathan Debono, Bernard Sciberras, Miguel Alcaraz, George Chircop and Patrick Barbara.
Tarxien JMI chalked up a handsome 6-2 win over Marsascala Construct Furniture to grab their third victory of the season.
The Sea Southsiders produced a decent challenge in opening part of the second half, reducing the score in the process but fell apart after Tarxien scored four more goals to suffer a disappointing defeat.
Joseph Meilak was twice on the mark while Silio Saliba, Malcolm Berry, Clayton Debono and an own goal by Matthew Grima were the other goal-getters for Tarxien.
Marsascala reduced the gap through Ryan Mifsud and Reuben Degabriele.

Holders Luxol through to semifinals

ROBERT BUSUTTIL
Four teams booked a place in the Gatorade KO semifinals after winning their respective encounters and resume their ambitions of winning the second important trophy of the season.
Holders Luxol had an easy passage to the last four as they routed University of Malta 10-0.
It was an easy match for Frane Despotovic’s boys as they dominated the proceedings and had their talisman players William Barbosa and Dejan Bizjak helping themselves with a hat-trick, Andy Mangion notched a brace while Zvezdan Vukovic and Mark Zammit added more goals for the St Andrews side.
An exciting quarter final was witnessed in the match between Valletta and Swieqi.
Both teams gave their all during this encounter but the Citizens had the last laugh as they saw off their opponents 5-3
A double from Jovica Milijic and goals from Xavier Saliba, Daniel Aguilera Puerto and Raphinha were enough to send the Lilywhites through to the semifinals.
Swieqi, who gave a good account of themselves had Dexter O’Brien, Veselin Gerenski and Boicho Marev putting their names on the score sheet.
Ħamrun Tre Angeli and Msida produced another nailbiting affair as the former scored their goal in the dying moments of the game to win 6-5.
Both teams produced a great level of futsal in a match that contained no less than 13 goals.
As usual Hamrun’s Everton Veve was their best player as he struck a hat-trick while Daniel Mifsud, Frank Paul Azzopardi and Florin Anton were their other goal-getters.
Msida, who were unlucky to lose the game in such a manner, had Liam Cachia and Mohammed Elamari hitting the target twice while Floren Manea added another one for the Seasiders.
Finally Marsascala Construct Furniture obtained a historic qualification to the last four of the KO after seeing off Safi San Lorenzo 5-3.
It was a deserved victory for the Oranges who managed to score three goals before the interval to put forward their ambitions in this competition.
In the second half, Safi tried to get into the picture also adopting the flying keeper to instill some pressure to the Marsascala rearguard.
Despite all this Josef Balzan’s boys defended boldly to oust their opponents.
Franklin Abela notched a brace while Reuben Degabriele, Justin Mifsud and Johann Callus were also on the mark for Marsascala.
Franklin Seisun, Sean Vella and Nathaniel Borg reduced the arrears for Safi San Lorenzo.