Futsal Knock-Out: Holders Balzan progress to quarter-finals

Holders Balzan had a firing start in the second round of the Knock-Out competition after seeing off neighbours Lija Athletics 5-1.

Balzan opened a double advantage in the first minutes of the game through well-taken goals by Frane Despotovic and Nicola del Re. Lija reacted immediately and after a defensive blunder, Zeljko Anicic hit the target from close range.
Eight seconds from the end of the first half, Eslam Khalifa netted Balzan’s third goal.

In the second half, Lija pushed forward in search of the goal that would put them back in contention but Balzan’s keeper Nicholas Farrugia performed a string of important saves to keep his goalpost intact. Despite Lija’s continuous efforts, Balzan kept their composure and managed to score their fourth goal from Glenn Bonello after a great counter attack. Eslam Khalifa completed a personal brace to secure Balzan’s qualification for the next round.

Luxol eased into another round of this competition with an 8-1 drubbing of Mosta. Florin Anton, Jordi Frendo, Omar Toutongi and Matteo Desira Buttigieg were all on the mark for the St Andrews outfit. Ryan Buhagiar grabbed the only goal for Mosta.

Qormi outclassed Mdina Knights 9-1 to qualify easily for the next stage of the competition.

The Yellow/Blacks dominated the entire match with duo Endrit Kaca and Blendi Gockaj being a continuous menace for the Mdina rearguard.

In fact Kaca turned to be Qormi’s inspirational player as he netted a poker. Blendi Gockaj scored a hat-trick while Alan Galea and an own goal by Roberto Sarcia completed the mission for the winners. Mdina’s consolation goal came through John Micallef.

Valletta made it through the quarter finals of this competition when they saw off Attard 5-1. The Citizens’ talisman player Denis di Maio put his name on the score sheet four times with Melvin Borg adding another one for his team.

Gzira United defeated Naxxar Lions 7-4 in a keenly contested match while Swieqi progressed into another round after seeing off Qrendi 11-3.