Futsal: First defeat for champions Balzan

Luxol regained sole leadership in the Futsal Premier Division when, thanks to a magnificent performance, they defeated champions Balzan 11-5 in the much-awaited top of the table clash thanks to a great second half comeback.

Luxol took an early lead within the first six minutes thanks to Florin Anton and William Barbosa. Balzan soon reacted and managed to restore equilibrium through Glenn Bonello and Marco Conti. Florin Anton put Luxol back in front but two quickfire goals by Croatian Frane Despotovic gave Balzan a 4-3 advantage.

Bolstered by some tactical switches, Luxol stormed into their opponents to score eight more goals through two braces by Celino Alves and Peter Pullicino, Florin Anton, Karl Saliba and an own goal by Giancarlo Sammut to turn the tables for their team. Glenn Bonello found the time to reduce the gap on 40 minutes.

Hamrun Spartans moved into the second place of the standings after seeing off Swieqi United 7-3. Brazilian Rogerio dos Santos Filho marshalled Hamrun’s style of play as he was involved in many actions and created lots of occasions for his team mates. He also scored one of the goals. On the other hand, Andy Mangion switched on his goal-scoring spree as he netted four goals to put the Spartans in the driving seat.

Valletta registered their second consecutive victory after dominating Zebbug Rangers 11-3. Cedric Sciberras scored a poker for the winners with Denis di Maio, Bryan Deguara, Melvin Borg, Xavier Saliba and Alan Borg completing the score for the Citizens.

Qormi edged past Mosta 7-5 in another thrilling encounter played on Thursday. Endrit Kaca hit a hat-trick for Qormi while Basil Onuta, Blendi Gockay and David Smith added more goals. Gabor Balan (3), Genti Haxhia and Ryan Buhagiar were the goal-getters for Mosta.

In the First Division, Lija Athletic joined Mellieha at the top after seeing off Naxxar Lions 5-1 while Msida St. Joseph narrowly beat Mqabba 3-2. Attard, on the other hand, returned to the winning ways after beating Luqa St. Andrew’s 5-2.

Premier Division: Luxol 19, Hamrun 18, Balzan 15, Swieqi 12, Valletta 9, Qormi 7, Mosta, Gzira 3, Zebbug 0
First Division: Lija, Mellieha 30, Naxxar 22, Luqa, Attard 18, Msida 15, Siggiewi 12, Sirens 11, Mqabba, 9, Mdina, Qrendi 7, B’Bugia 1

Meanwhile Hamrun Spartans qualified for the second round of the Knock-Out competition after edging out First Division side Mellieha 7-5 at the Corradino Pavillion.

The Northerners, although bowing out of the Knock-Out competition, departed with heads held high. The Spartans duo Rogerio-Elamari were a constant menace for the Mellieha rearguard and managed to score a hat-trick and a brace respectively. Another double from Michael Spiteri added more goals for Hamrun. Nikolay Filipov (hat-trick), Radoslav Kovachev and Craig Pickard put their names on the score sheet for Mellieha.