Valletta Futsal made significant changes to their squad during the close season, bringing in a host of new players and new technical staff, led by head coach Carlo Scicluna and Christian Micallef as his assistant. On the other hand, Luxol had a busy summer as they successfully competed in the UEFA Futsal Champions League Preliminary Round, winning their group in Norway, and are currently preparing for their Main Round commitments in Prague. With only two minutes gone, Valletta opened the scoring through captain Jovica Milijic who was an inspirational figure for his team throughout the match. Three minutes later, the Citizens went close to doubling the score when Gia Nikvashvili tried to anticipate Luxol’s goalkeeper Stefan Vella who saved for a corner. Luxol levelled matters on 10 minutes thanks to captain Mark Zammit but Mohamed Elmari restored Valletta’s lead. A minute later Nikvashvili netted Valletta’s third goal.
In the second minute of the second half, Celino Alves’s free-kick for Luxol came off the post. Less than a minute later, Alves was dispossesed by Nikvashvili who advanced and hit a strong shot from close distance to put Valletta 4-1 up. The match remained keenly-contested with Andy Mangion scoring Luxol’s second goal to reduce the gap. Luxol coach Gabriel Dobre then opted to introduce Celino Alves as flying keeper. With six minutes remaining, Elmari strengthened Valletta’s grip on the match when scoring the fifth goal. A minute later, Marwan Telisi was sent off for Luxol for a second yellow card.Valletta sealed their with two quickfire goals in the final minutes. First it was goalkeeper Brandon Debono who dispatched a long shot into an empty net before Elmari rounded the scoring. With only 45 seconds left, Giancarlo Sammut scored Luxol’s third goal.
Photo: Joe Borg