Solid display earns Exiles first win

Exiles 13 Valletta United 11

(4-2) (3-5) (3-2) (3-2)

Exiles managed to win their final appearance in the Premier League – Relegation Group when last night they beat Valletta United in a nail-biting encounter. The match ‘per se’ had nothing to offer as the final classification still condemns our boys to the bottom position and a play-out against the First Division Champions. The players’ overall performance did however prove to Coach Maurizio Mirarchi that the team’s level is higher than that shown in league campaign. The grittiness in the water and will to win was clearly evident and  undoubtedly gives the team the needed breath of self-confidence. There were the usual soft goals conceded but Exiles reacted to finish a few polished attacks with well-taken goals that made the difference between both contenders.

One has to take into account that after four minutes in the first quarter, Luca Sekulic collected two major fouls and which forced him to change his defensive movements  for the rest of the match as revised were the plans of our coach to avoid a bitter ending to the match. Our opponents’ main spearhead Milos Korolija also had two majors against him by the end of the second quarter but was never fouled out. His damage in the attack was limited to two goals from converted penalties and this was due to a disciplined double marking set up, leaving the rest of the opposing players to pot at goal. Exiles were practically in the lead for most of the match except a few minutes in the third session. The team was unable to increase the lead beyond a solitary goal and it had to be two beauties into the final three minutes which sealed the issue in our favour.

A major factor in last night’s win was the incessant swimming by all the six players in the water as Mirarchi kept changing and injecting fresh energy practically every time there was a stoppage for a score or time-out. This undoubtedly slowed down Valletta’s attacks with Exiles players sprinting back to their defending positions and crowding their opponents.

Exiles had three players expelled for twenty seconds but suffered one goal. There were four man-up situations in our favour but just one was converted. A penalty was awarded and scored by Gergely Katonas who added another brace.

The following players were utilized Ian Bugeja, Julian Rizzo Naudi (2 goals), Simon Vassallo, David Pace Lupi (1 goal), Gergerly Katonas (3 goals), James Spiteri Staines, Kurt Griscti (3 goals), Luka Sekulic (2 goals), Peter Borg (2 goals), Benji Lanzon and Kayne Lanzon.

Indeed it was a good show put by the Boys.



photo by Adrian Farrugia


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