Futsal: Citizens prevail in pulsating clash

Valletta and Luxol produced an excellent top-of-the table clash. It had everything. Plenty of goals, commitment and drama in a nerve-jangling finale that saw both teams working hard to get the desired win with Valletta eventually applying the killer touch in the last part of the match.

At the end of a pulsating 40 minutes, it was Valletta who ambled away from the Corradino Sports Pavillion the more satisfied after seeing off Luxol 6-4 to prepare well for the upcoming Elite Round.

A quickfire double advantage looked like putting the St Andrews side on the way to a comfortable win. However, a brave fightback from Valletta ensured that the match remained alive as a contest, leading up to a thrilling climax that kept fans on tenterhooks. Carl Azzopardi and Dejan Bizjak surged Luxol ahead but the Citizens managed to restore parity in no time through Raphinha and Xavier Saliba.

In the second half, the Citizens roared past Luxol as they scored four more goals courtesy of a double from Jovica Milijic, Raphinha and Dylan Musu. The drama continued as Luxol pulled two goals back from Giancarlo Sammut and Frane Despotovic. Despite playing with the flying keeper Luxol couldn’t find the way to goal to suffer their first defeat after thirteen matches.

Meanwhile, University of Malta obtained a historic place in the Gatorade Elite Round after sharing the spoils 1-1 with Sliema. A point was enough to get the students through to the Elite Round where they will be facing Luxol, Valletta, Swieqi and Hamrun.

It was an electrifying encounter which saw a very sizeable crowd at the Corradino Pavillion with over 200 University supporters in celebration mode after this historic result. The match was a cagey affair as both set of strikers found the going tough against two organized rearguards.

University of Malta surged ahead on 12 minutes through Shawn Deguara to install a 1-0 advantage before the break.
In the second half, Sliema were a determined lot and after considerable shots at goal, they managed to restore parity one minute from time after a counter attack which saw Uros Markovic’s low drive going past the students keeper Matthew Gatt.

In other matches played this week, Ħamrun Tre Angeli ended Mrieħel’s hopes for a place in the Elite Round after winning 6-3 while fourth-placed Swieqi FC routed Qrendi 11-1.

Msida ended their first round commitments in style as they conquered Zurrieq Wolves 13-0 while Safi San Lorenzo and Swieqi Under 21 obtained precious victories over Qormi Futsal (5-4) and Tarxien JMI (3-1)

Luxol 39; Valletta 37; Ħamrun Tre Angeli 36; Swieqi 33; University of Malta 25;, Sliema 24; Mrieħel ESS 23, Msida 22; Safi San Lorenzo 18; Qormi Futsal 15; Marsascala, Qrendi 9; Tarxien JMI, Swieqi Under 21 6; Żurrieq Wolves 3.