Champions Luxol maintained their leadership in the Gatorade Futsal League after a hard-earned 4-3 win over strong title contenders Hamrun Spartans. This top-of-the-table clash attracted a sizeable crowd at the Corradino Pavillion as both teams produced entertaining fare but in the end, Luxol clinched the points.
After Luxol’s double advantage, the Spartans reacted back and managed to find the equalizer before the break. The Saints started the second half with confidence and succeeded in scoring immediately. At this point, Hamrun mentor Paul Rapa opted for Peter Pullicino as their flying keeper to increase pressure on their opponents’ defence. However in one of their attacks, Luxol managed to hit the target for the fourth time.
Frane Despotovic netted a brace while Zvezdan Vukovic and an own goal added the tally for Luxol. Michel Melo Jose, Rodrigo and Losada Teruel were on the mark for Hamrun.
Slovenian winger Dejan Bisjak savoured a dream debut for Valletta as he netted five goals in his team’s 22-2 rout over Qrendi. Another five goals were scored by Dylan Musu as a poker by Denis di Maio, two braces by Xavier Saliba, Jovica Milijic and Mohammed Elamari together with Jurgen Pace and Josef Borg completed the romp for the Citizens. Clayton Borg and Jonathan Xerri reduced the gap for Qrendi.
Lija Athletic chalked up their ninth win in a row after seeing off Msida St Joseph 8-2. It was another stunning performance by Kevin Mifsud’s men who managed to overcome their opponents’ stiff opposition. Ebrahim Massoudi and Endrit Kaca hit the target twice while Redeemer Borg, Kurt Bartolo, Nicola Del Re and Gary Inguanez added more goals for Lija. Msida reduced the gap through Ryan Xuereb and Clayton Farrugia.
Swieqi United opened an unassailable six-point gap over their nearest rivals to make sure of their place in the Elite Round with two matches to spare, after a hard-earned 4-4 scoreline against fellow contenders Sliema Wanderers. Swedish playmaker Fredrick Johnsson was in fine form for Swieqi as he notched a hat-trick, the other goal being an own goal. Darren Agius, Aleksandar Ribic, Paul Bugeja and Dexter O’Brien put their names on the score sheet for Sliema Wanderers.
Mqabba ended their six-match winless streak after edging past Zebbug Rangers 7-6 while Sirens registered their fifth win of the season after seeing off Gozo FC 3-1. After nine consecutive defeats, Mdina Knights managed to return to winning ways after a narrow 2-1 win over Marsaskala.
STANDINGS: Luxol 36, Valletta, Hamrun 31, Lija 30, Swieqi 22, Msida 19, Sliema, Sirens 16, Zebbug 15, Mqabba 10, Mdina 9, Marsascala 7, Qrendi 6, Gozo 0