Futsal: Citizens down Spartans to force third final

Valletta won the second clash of the Gatorade Elite final play-off series after edging past Hamrun Spartans 7-6. This victory came as a sweet revenge after the Citizens had lost the previous match 13-12 after the penalty shoot-out. Therefor a third and decisive match will be played next Thursday to declare the new Futsal champion for season 2015/16.

Both teams went on the attack right from the start but the respective goalkeepers denied the attackers from the joy of goal. The Citizens established a quickfire double advantage when Cristian Cuadros Silva and Dylan Musu slotted home to push their team’s intentions further on. The Spartans were stunned and it was no surprise that the Lilywhites scored their third goal through Dejan Bizjak. At this point, Paul Rapa, the Hamrun mentor opted for a time-out and this proved beneficial as the Spartans netted two goals through their fellow Brazilians Michel Melo and Madson Caetano to reduce the gap to 3-2.

The second half was also an electric affair as Hamrun managed to level the score when Jason Mifsud slotted home from close range. Minutes later, Denis di Maio was unlucky to hit the post for Valletta after a swift counter attack. Despite all this Valletta regained their advantage courtesy of a Dylan Musu shot to make it 4-3. Hamrun opted for the flying keeper to pile more pressure on the Valletta rearguard. In one of their attacks, it was George Frendo who netted Hamrun’s equalizer after a precise pass from Madson Caetano.

Both teams maintained their goal-scoring spree and after Bizjak netted his personal brace it was Raphinha who reduced the score for the Spartans. The latter ventured forward in search of goal but in doing so they exposed their post and Melvin Borg took advantage to net Valletta’s seventh goal. Hamrun hit the target for the sixth time through Jason Mifsud to instill a nail-biting finale.

But the Citizens controlled the proceedings to gather a precious win that will take them for the final and decisive match against the Spartans next Thursday.