Positive start for title contenders

Luxol and Valletta had a fine start in the second phase of the Gatorade Futsal Elite Round after dominating their respective opponents to maintain their good form of late.

Luxol came from a goal down to defeat Msida St Joseph 10-1. The leaders had to endure a disciplined Msida side who broke the deadlock and managed to control their opponents’ most prolific strikers. However the St Andrews side managed to turn the tables before the break and eventually open their goal scoring spree.

Floren Manea put Msida ahead but Luxol turned the result into their favour with a Carl Azzopardi hat-trick, braces from Clint Cope and Celino Alves and goals from Glenn Bonello, Frane Despotovic and Matthew Attard.

A potentially tricky match against Swieqi turned into a routine 9-4 victory for Valletta. The depleted Swieqi side struggled to keep up with their opponents, especially in the first half and any hopes they had of taking any points from the match died out as Xavier Saliba and Dejan Bizjak netted a brace while Mohammed Elamari, Dylan Musu, Denis di Maio, Jurgen Pace and an own goal by James Mangion completed the score sheet. Boicho Marev, Fredrik Johansson and Daniel Sant scored the consolation goals for Swieqi.

In the Gatorade First Division Zebbug, Sliema and Sirens notched important victories when they downed their respective opponents to strengthen their hold at the top of the standings as the second phase of the Gatorade First Division also got underway.

Zebbug Rangers registered their seventh win of the campaign after seeing off Gozo FC 8-3. Their Spanish striker, Inigo Dolara shot into the limelight with three goals.
Dolara’s Spanish counterpart, Anton Novoa Perez and Zebbug’s captain, Jamie Portelli were also in fine form, hitting two goals against Gozo for whom Jean Paul Abdilla, Warren Zerafa and Godwin Buttigieg scored the consolation goals.

Sliema Wanderers saw off Qrendi 7-3. Paul Bugeja, Christian Micallef and Aleksandar Ribic scored a brace while Mark Camilleri added another one for the Wanderers. A double by Craig Pickard and Antonello Brincat reduced the gap for Qrendi.

A gallant second half performance was not enough for Marsascala to salvage a point as they fell off to a 5-3 defeat against Sirens while third-placed Mqabba stayed in touch with the front-runners after a 4-3 win over a determined Mdina side.

Gatorade Elite Round – Luxol 39, Valletta 37, Hamrun 34, Lija 31, Swieqi 23, Msida 22
Gatorade First Division – Zebbug 21, Sirens 20, Sliema 19, Mqabba 14, Mdina 9, Qrendi, Marsascala 7, Gozo 1