Futsal: First defeat for leaders Luxol

Balzan inflicted the first defeat on leaders Luxol ahead of the final play-offs to be played this week as another round of matches from the Gatorade Futsal Premier League was played at the Corradino Pavillion.

It was a deserved victory for the in-form Balzan side against Luxol who threw away a double advantage after having to endure their opponents’ attacking display side. This was Balzan’s sixth consecutive win that boosted their morale for their upcoming fixtures against Hamrun in the play-offs semi-final.

Balzan forged ahead after five minutes through Slobodan Janjic but George Frendo equalized before the break. As the match resumed, Luxol took a double advantage with Brazilian duo William Barbosa and Celino Alves hitting the target to make it 3-1. Despite this double blow, Balzan regained composure as their player-coach Frane Despotovic came to the fore and netted a quick-fire hat-trick to push his team forward. The champions were now in full command and added two more goals from Marco Conti and Glenn Bonello to rubberstamp an important victory for their team.

Valletta ensured themselves of a play-off spot after seeing off Zebbug Rangers 11-4 with the latter mathematically relegated to the First Division. Javier Montes Burgos, Denis di Maio, Xavier Saliba, Fabio Bandeira and Melvin Borg were among the scorers for the Lilywhites.
Hamrun were awarded a walk-over over Swieqi while Qormi defeated Mosta 3-2.

Meanwhile, Lija’s final ambition was reached when the new Gatorade Futsal First Division League champions dominated Mqabba 6-0 in their last match, on a day that was reserved for their celebrations.

It was a great performance by Del Re’s boys as they found the vital goals in the most important moments of the match. Aleksandar Ribic hit a poker for his side while Nicola del Re and Larkin Saffrett added more goals for Lija to celebrate in the best possible way their triumph.

The new champions were presented with the trophy by FMA vice-president Alfred Camilleri.

In another match, Attard defeated Msida 3-2.

Gatorade Futsal Premier League
Luxol 41, Hamrun 40, Balzan 39, Valletta 27, Qormi 24, Swieqi 20, Mosta 12, Gzira 5, Zebbug 2

Gatorade Futsal First Division League
Lija 63, Mellieha 54, Attard 42, Naxxar 39, Msida 36, Mdina 28, Luqa 27, Sirens 22, Qrendi, Mqabba 21, Siggiewi 12, Birzebbuga 9