A balanced match

Valletta United 6 Exiles 6

(4-1) (1-1) (1-2) (0-2)

All told it was a good performance by the boys in match of two phases that ended in a fair draw. In the first quarter, Exiles suffered three expulsions and an ‘invented’ penalty after it was claimed by the table officials that a time-out was incorrectly called by Exiles Coach Matthew Pisani when seventeen seconds from the end of the session, Valletta had a corner in their favour. This gift was accepted by our opponents to end the session 4-1 up. In the second session, Exiles suffered a goal soon after the swim-up and after failing to score four consecutive man-ups, they managed to find the net on the fifth attempt, two minutes from the end of the quarter. In this session the boys were erratic even when Valletta had their keeper and another player expelled but  somehow fumbled the pass and miss the opportunity.

Two quick goals by Exiles early in the third session brought the teams closer by a goal before Valletta increased their lead to start the last session one goal up. The final quarter was all Exiles and with three minutes to the horn, both teams were square at 6-6. Both teams had their chances but it was Exiles who had more swimming power and nearly won the match seconds to go but missed the final man-up.

Matthew Pisani prepared the team well and tactically it was a good performance even though the players evidently lack that element called ‘grinta’ needed in the game besides of course the lucidity to avoid committing those basic mistakes which are costing the team goals. Italian Coach Maurizio Mirarchi who flew over to watch the match and assess the progress of the team’s level of preparation with  the start of the Summer Premier League round the corner, sat silently on the bench.

For the record Exiles had five players excluded but suffered one goal whilst one penalty awarded against and converted. They had eleven man-ups (including two double exclusions) but found the net just twice.

Coach Matthew Pisani made use of the following players: David Abela, Julian Rizzo Naudi, Simon Vassallo, David Pace Lupi, Michael Paris, James Spiteri Staines (1 goal), Sean Gravina (1 goal), Kurt Griscti, David Abela, Andrea Bianchi (2 goals), Philip Paris, Nicky Paris and Kayne Lanzon (2 goals).




photo by Adrian Farrugia


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