Valletta United 11 Exiles 10

Exiles were in the driving seat for three quarters of the encounter and it was during these sessions that the team had to ‘kill’ the match when their opponents played below their usual par. In the second session with the score reading 5-2 in our favour,  Coach Mirarchi called a time-out after a Valletta player was sent out. It was a golden opportunity to widen the gap but instead of converting the numerical advantage, the ball was miserably lost after the second pass and Valletta benefited to narrow the gap by the end the session to one goal (4-5). The third session saw the Boys inching two goals ahead (7-5)  as  our opponents frittered three consecutive man-ups, before a strong comeback by the Citizens in the fourth session scoring four goals  in three minutes effective play and for the Whites to take the lead for the first time, five minutes before the final whistle. The ball hardly reached the centre with the team’s finishing lacking the sharpness needed to tilt the match in our favour. Exiles fought back to draw level 10-10 in the last minute but had their 13th player exclusion. Valletta scored from, what seemed from the stands, a dubious position but the local referee convalidated the goal to forge ahead. Exiles called their final time-out 30 seconds to go. Marco Cuk worked towards receiving the ball but his weak lob fell in the goalkeeper’s hand.

Exiles converted three of the four man-ups whilst Valletta scored 7 out of their 13 man-ups. Considering the zone defence adopted by Exiles, the number of exclusions suffered seemed excessive.

Maurizio Mirarchi  Exiles Coach, made use of twelve players – Ian Bugeja, Julian Rizzo Naudi, Simon Vassallo, David Pace Lupi, Romain Blary (2 goals), James Spiteri Staines, Sean Gravina, Kurt Griscti, Andrea Bianchi (2 goals), Marco Cuk (3 goals), Philip Paris and Kayne Lanzon (3 goals). Goalkeeper David Abela was not utilized.

The third match being played  by Exiles in the Relegation Pool will be at the National Swimming Pool, Tal- Qroqq on Tuesday 11th August 2015, against Sirens.

Swim-up at 18.15 hours




photo by Adrian Farrugia


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