Total Pageviews

Saturday, September 27, 2014

PFB ON TOUR - MOSTA GUNNERS : NAXXAR LIONS

Sunday, 2/2/14 saw Malta's equivalent of a footballing Super Sunday with the headline fixture in the BOV Premier League seeing Valletta taking on Birkirkara in the top of the table clash. First up, however, was the local derby between Mosta Gunners and Naxxar Lions. Both matches took place at the National Stadium, Ta'Qali.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Malta's inhabitants were still clearing up the day after heavy storms battered the island, but Maltese football's very own perfect storm was brewing, and the local derby between Mosta Gunners and Naxxar Lions promised some tempestuous football. The two villages border each other, and around a thousand supporters were present at the National Stadium to watch the game kick off.

Mosta kicked-off the match in fifth place, five points and two places clear of the Lions; it was the penultimate weekend of the first phase of the league season, and, as far as Naxxar were concerned, a win was essential, not only to close the gap on their neighbours, but also to leapfrog Balzan Youths into sixth place and gain a two-point advantage on them going into the final weekend of the first phase. The Gunners, though, were already assured of their place in the second, championship round.

ON DISPLAY: Naxxar Lions banners on the North End of the National Stadium

Naxxar's Raimi Barare had the first attempt on goal after two minutes, but his shot from distance sailed high and wide. The ball went straight down the other end, where Gunners' captain Bojan Kaljevic's effort from a tight angle,coming after some slack defending, hit the side-netting; he had another shot on goal two minutes later from around 20 yards out, but it was meat and drink for goalkeeper Julian Azzopardi. A third effort from Kaljevic in the ninth minute from even further out on the left floated high and to the left of the Naxxar goal.

Lions' midfielder Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro had a go a minute later, though his turn and shot from around 25 yards out was rather scuffed and went well wide; team-mate David Alejandro Reano's free-kick from the right-hand side in the 14th minute fared little better.

Mosta went straight on the attack, and Kaljevic's looping header forced Azzopardi backwards, but the Naxxar custodian got back to stop the ball going over the goal-line. Finding himself unmarked and just 8 yards out from Azzpoardi's goal a minute later, Tyrone Farrugia inexplicably sidefooted wide from a Gunners' corner from the left-hand side. Mosta were the better side at this stage of the game, and Kaljevic was unsetling the opposing defence, but his weak header from 10 yards did not trouble Azzopardi, but Manolito Micallef's shot from outside the penalty-area sent him scuttling to his right; the ball, however, went just past his right-hand post.

 FLAG DAY: Mosta Gunners and Naxxar Lions fans ready themselves before the local derby on 2/2/14

Da Silva Ribeiro was making some good runs from midfield for Naxxar, and he played a part in a move which ultimately saw Andre Rocha da Silva being put through by Angus Buhagiar after 26 minutes, only for his shot to be saved by Mosta 'keeper Omar Borg. Moments after Rocha da Silva's team-mate Ryan Grech was yellow-carded for a knee-high lunge on Rami Bakare, Micallef came close for Mosta when, after breaking from midfield, his shot from some 25 yards out flew over Azzopardi's bar. 

Kaljevic reminded the Lions defence that he was still a threat just after the half-hour when he chested down a through ball, swivelled and let fly from 15 yards out only for Azzopardi to go down to his right and pull off a good save. Bakare himself got his name in the referee's notebook on 36 minutes for a late challenge on Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro. He was quickly followed by his opposite number five, Mark Brincat, after a challenge on da Silva RIbeiro. Da Silva Ribeiro chipped the ball past Azzopardi just seconds later, but the ball to the goalkeeper's right went wide of the mark.

A challenge in the Naxxar penalty-area by Victor Bella on Micallef resulted in a penalty being awarded to the Gunners, though the referee took his time to blow the whistle. Kaljevic put the penalty low to Borg's left to open the scoring for Mosta with just over a minute to go in the first half.


 GOAL ATTEMPT: Bojan Kaljevic's early free-kick flew over the bar, but he would go on to make his mark on the game for Mosta Gunners

There was still time for Lions' Terrence Scerri to receive a yellow-card in first-half injury time for kicking the ball away after a free-kick had been given against his side. As Scerri and the rest of the players from both sides made their way to the dressing-rooms, there was a minor incident in the crowd when a Naxxar fan went to retrieve his camera from on top of the perspex fence; he was hauled down by members of the local constabulary, who were then pelted by plastic beer-glasses. The supporter was eventually able to fetch his camera, and order was restored.

The second half began in the same way as the first half ended, with a second goal from Bojan Kaljevic after 46 minutes, and a right good goal it was, too; Kaljevic received the ball some 25 yards out, and proceeded to slip between two defenders before calmly sidefooting the ball past Borg. 

Kaljevic was a central figure in proceedings, and he received a yellow card five minutes after his and Mosta's second goal for a late challenge on David Alejandro Reano, and shortly after that aimed a tame volley towards Azzopardi after a good cross-field pass from Antonio Carrozza. Naxxar's Rocha da Silva joined Kaljevic in the referee's notebook after a barge on Yuri Messias.

Although Mosta had the upper hand at this juncture, Naxxar were by no means out of it; first Daren Falzon had a shot blocked by a Gunners defender before Rocha da Silva forced Borg into a save.

Kaljevic headed just wide on the hour mark, and was then substituted by Diego Pereira, a good day's work rewarded by a rapturous ovation from the blue-clad faithful. A Lions free-kick was cleared, but only to Victor Bellia, whose half-volley from over 25 yards out only just went the wrong side of the Mosta 'keeper's left-hand post. Tyrone Farrugia then had another chance for Mosta, but his header from a free-kick went wide.

No matter, Mosta got their third after 71 minutes when Pereira netted from three yards out, prodding home a cross from the left-hand side; he ran gleefully towards the Gunners support with shirt in hand, only to be met on the way back on to the pitch by the referee, who had a yellow card in his.
NO WAY THROUGH: A Naxxar Lions attack is thwarted by the Mosta Gunners midfield


There were alarm bells ringing briefly at the other end when there was a scramble in the Mosta penalty-area, which led to the ball pinging about until it fell to Rocha da Silva, who, surrounded by defenders, still managed to turn and fire in a low shot which was saved by Borg at his right-hand post.

Pereira, meanwhile, was taking over from where Kaljevic left off, and he shot over the bar from the edge of the area with just over a quarter of an hour left. A few minutes later, he raced on to a through ball but his shot was blocked and the ball squirmed behind for a corner, which came to naught.

He was not to be denied his second in the 84th minute, however; his shot from the left-hand side of the penalty-area was dropped by Azzopardi, but he latched on to the ball, rounded the prostrate goalkeeper and simply walked the ball into the net.

Gilmar da Silva RIbeiro almost pulled a goal back for the Lions three minutes later, when he headed just over from a free-kick; however, that was to prove his last meaningful action - in a positive sense - for the team in white shirts when he was sent off for dissent just seconds later.

Bellia came close for Naxxar as the game entered injury-time, though his spectacular volley from 25 yards out, after receiving the ball which had been headed clear after a corner, flew just over the bar.

The result may have gone Mosta's way, cementing their position in the championship round, though it was still a fiercely competitive match, and this was evident even after the final whistle when there was a verbal exchange between several players from both teams which led to those involved being separated by their team-mates. It was a slightly flattering scoreline, but the Gunners deserved the spoils, and more than earned the local bragging rights that came with them.

MOSTA GUNNERS: 27 Omar BORG, 22 Tyrone FARRUGIA, 5 Mark BRINCAT, 3 Rodriguez EKANI, 19 Ishmael GRECH, 6 Ryan GRECH, 10 Kurt ZAMMIT, 9 Manolito MICALLEF (C) (20 Ian ZAMMIT), 15 Antonio CARROZZA, 18 Yuri MESSIAS, 11 Bojan KALJEVIC (21 Diego PEREIRA)

SUBSTITUTES (not used): 1 Kurt RIZZO, 13 Alexander CINI, 24 Steve SCHEMBRI, 25 James BRINCAT, 8 Harouna BARA

NAXXAR LIONS: 1 Julian AZZOPARDI, 5 Raimi BAKARI, 6 Victor BELLIA (C), (16 Jurgen DEBONO, 18 FIlip STOJANOVIC), 15 Ryan Gilmour CASSAR (10 Daren FALZON), 14 Gilmar DA SILVA RIBEIRO, 17 Andrew DECESARE, 4 Thiago LOPES DA SILVA, 3 David Alejandro REANO, 19 Andre ROCHA DA SILVA, 99 Terrence SCERRI

SUBSTITUTES (not used): 12 Luke PECORELLA, 11 Duane BONNICI, 2 John DEBONO, 8 Mattia DEL NEGRO
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
THEN AND NOW: Mosta Gunners went on to finish the first (league) phase, where all twelve teams played each other twice, in fifth place and thus qualified for the championship pool. They eventually finished in fourth place, ending up three points adrift of a place in the 2014-15 Europa League.

Naxxar Lions ended the regular season in seventh place, finishing a point behind Balzan Youths, and were condemned to participating in the relegation pool, where they played extremely poorly, and were lucky to finish the season in tenth place, escaping relegation by virtue of finding themselves just two points ahead of Vittoriosa Stars in eleventh.

So far this season, fortunes for the near-neighbours have been mixed. Mosta Gunners have got off to a cracking start in the 2014-15 BOV Premier League, and are sitting two points behind HIbernians after five games, Hibernians having won all five fixures so far this season.

Mosta's only blemish on their record so far this season came when they drew 1:1 with..Naxxar Lions. The Lions have not begun well, only picking up two points out of five matches played, the other point courtesy of a 1:1 draw against Balzan Youths (more on them to come shortly) on 23/8/14. 

A week earlier, on the opening day of the season, Mosta surprised champions and perennial title favourites Valletta by winning 1:0. They face last year's runners-up Birkirkara, who defeated Naxxar 1:0 earlier in the season, on 28/9/14. Naxxar, meanwhile, face Floriana on 27/9/14 and will hope for a positive result in order to cclimb up the table from the tenth place in which they currenly find themselves.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

FOOTBALL IN GREENLAND: THE THOUGHTS OF JENS TANG OLESEN

Football in Greenland is still very much of an unknown quantity to most football fans across the world, apart fom an abortive attempt at obtaining UEFA and FIFA membership in the late 1990s. However, the advent of the internet is slowly changing that, and, since the end of the last millenuim, one native of Denmark has been assisting the Greenland FA - the GBU (Grønlands Boldspil Union) in their attempts to improve standards both on and off the pitch.

Jens Tang Olesen has been assisting the GBU since 1999, firstly as assistant national team manager to Sepp Piontek, and, after Piontek's departure in 2001, he held the top post himself until 2005. Since then, he has busied himself with running football schools on the federation's behalf and assisting in the development of Greenland's coaches at all levels and in all parts of the country.

Pat's Football Blog has been in irregular contact with Jens Tang Olesen over the past few years, with a view to obtaining his thoughts on football in Greenland, but (through no fault of Mr. Olesen's) has been unable to do so - until now. Please find below the results of a quickfire question and answer session with Mr. Olesen.

PFB: I have one big question first of all: will Greenland be sending both men's and women's teams to next year's Island Games in Jersey, and do you intend to go?  

JTO: I think that GBU will send both men's and women's teams to Island Games 2015 in Jersey – but I will not be there, because I have nothing to do with the national teams.

PFB: I would like to know how you became involved with the GBU, and also a little about your background, if you would be willing to share anything. How long ago did you become part of the GBU staff? Were you living in Greenland at the time?  


JTO: I have always lived in Denmark, where I have been football coach/trainer for many years – about 1980 I started as semi-professional coach and from 1986 I was full-time professional coach in different clubs in Denmark. I have been a football-coach instructor for the Danish football federation (DBU) since 1973, where I was instructor at a lot of football-coach courses in Denmark. From about 1995, I was the leader of different Sport/Football schools for youth players in Denmark.

In 1999 I started my job as national football coach in Greenland; this was together with Sepp Piontek – from 2001 I was alone with the national team, but from about 2005 my job inside GBU included Coach-education and we started with GBU – Coca-Cola football schools in Greenland.

PFB: The GBU made an attempt to join both UEFA and FIFA during the late 1990s, but it never really seemed to get anywhere. What happened? (I understand you once spoke at a conference in Copenhagen about the subject.)  

JTO: [The new GBU president] John Thorsen has sent a letter to DBU to ask them about this situation – I think this is a good now, because DBU has got new president of the board and a new director [at the head] of the DBU.

PFB: What do you think about the standard of football in Greenland at the moment? Do you think that it has changed much from when you first became involved with the GBU?  

JTO: The standard is higher than when I started in Greenland, because the players and the clubs are working more seriously today – the biggest challenge is that the football pitches in Greenland [are made of] sand and it is very difficult making football development with bad pitches.

PFB: The GBU, with help from the DBU, has been busy over the past few years with organising courses for referees, coaching and managerial staff, and has been organising events in places such as Qaanaaq. Do you think that the standard of coaching and refereeing has improved in Greenland?  

JTO: Yes –  the standard going up in every way in Greenland. GBU have started to educate their own football coach and referee instructors, so that the language used on the different courses will be Greenlandic.

PFB: Will events such as the children's days which have been held in Qaanaaq [in the far north of Greenland] be held in other isolated places in the near future, like the villages in East Greenland such as Ittoqqortoormiit? 

JTO: GBU has a motto; “GBU will develop Football in the whole of Greenland” – and already in 2009 (perhaps 2010) we have a person from Ittoqqortoormiit [hosting a] GBU – Coca-Cola football school. In 2012, two persons from Ittoqqortoormiit were in Tasiilaq participating in a FIFA football coach course and every year since 2009 they have arranged GBU – Coca-Cola football school.
PFB: What do you think have been the most important developments in Greenlandic football during your time with the GBU? 

JTO: Also in Greenland they know that education is one of the most important things to make development, this is also true for the people inside sport/football in Greenland – TV, Internet and mobile are other things which have been very important, because Greenlanders can get news at the same time as everybody [across] the whole world.

PFB: What are your own plans for the future, both inside and outside the GBU, and how do you see the future for football in Greenland? 

JTO: I am ready to help and work for GBU as long I can – if GBU wanted it. I am now 66 years old, so I take one year at time.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Many thanks to Jens Tang Olesen for his kind assistance and patience; hopefully, there will be more to come!

For those interested in football in Greenland, a resumé of the results from both the regional qualifying tournaments and the finals of the men's GM 2014 will, hopefully, be published here in due course. Contact has been established with the GBU with a view to publishing a comprehensive run-down of both stages of the men's national championship; apologies for the delay.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

DUTCH U-17 EREDIVISIE CUP FINAL: PSV COME OUT ON TOP

Vitesse Arnhem's training complex, contained within the Dutch NOC's training complex at Papendaal, just outside Arnhem, recently played host to Chelsea when they visited Holland for a pre-season training get-together, combined with a friendly against Vitesse at the Gelredome Stadium in Arnhem.

It also played host to the Dutch U-17 (or B1) Cup Final on 30/5/14 between Vitesse and PSV Eindhoven, and among those in the visiting party was none other than Mark van Bommel. The ex-Dutch international, PSV and Bayern München player was completing the first season in his quest to obtain a KNVB coaching badge.

HE NOSE, YOU KNOWS: Ex-Dutch international Mark van Bommel enters the fray just in front of match officials Rob van Lier (referee), Bernard Schenk (linesman) and Bram Witsiers (linesman, partly hidden)

The game itself, played in wonderfully summery conditions, began with Vitesse on the attack, for whom Marc Bouwman had the first effort on goal after three minutes, which eventually went out for a throw-in. Team-mate Marlon Versteeg almost caught out the PSV defence moments later, latching on to a slack back-pass, but PSV goalkeeper and captain Yanick van Osch was alert to the danger, rushing out of his penalty-area to clear the danger.

PSV's first moment of danger came with seven minutes on the clock, when Dani van der Moot collected the ball at the edge of the right-hand side of the penalty-area, cut down the goal-line and proceeded to belly-flop just inside the goal-line, with the ball eventually running out of play for a goal-kick.

Vitesse ran the show during the first ten minutes, but PSV began to dominate somewhat thereafter, with van der Moot's winning the ball of a dawdling Marc Bouwman inside the home penalty-area leading to close-range effort from the angle of the six-yard box, which was well saved by Vitesse 'keeper Filippos Zachariadis. A period of pressure in the 16th minute led to Matthias Verreth's shot from ten yards out flying past Zachariadis' left-hand post.

Vitesse had the ball in the PSV net four minutes later, Anil Marcan bundling the ball home after an Amine Ennali corner from the left-hand side fell into a congested penalty-area, but the goal was correctly ruled out by referee Rob van Lier, who spotted a handball in amongst the melée.

The goal might have been disallowed, but it still gave Vitesse renewed hope, and a cheeky 30-yard sidefooted volley from Leeroy Schorea, caught in the end by van Osch, was followed by an attack in the 27th minute down the left-hand side. A ball in from Ennali, who, along with Julian Lelieveld and Ennali, was superb in the first half, eluded Niek van der Berg by centimetres, but it trundled on and eluded everybody else in the penalty-area, including a static van Osch in the PSV goal, who was doubtless relieved to see it nudge the post and rebound out to his feet.

PSV were doing their best to come more into the game, with van der Moot and Dante Rigo coming up with some of their most enterprising play, but Vitesse were looking the more likely to score, with Anil Mercan and Versteeg failing to do better with promising chances. At the other end, Kenneth Paal went on a run, beating two opponents in the process, only to see his shot from 25 yards skewer wide. He was also involved in one of the last meaningful move of the first half, with his run and low cross from the right being met by van der Moot, but his shot was not cleanly struck and the ball was eventually cleared.

 PERSONAL TUSSLE: PSV's Lennnerd Daneels and VItesse forward Marlon Versteeg in a tussle for the ball as their team-mates look on

The second half began with more pressure from the home team, with Versteeg at the end of of a flowing four-man move, but his shot was well saved by van Osch. PSV broke, and van der Moot's effort was acrobatically turned away by Zachariadis.Van der Moot almost put PSV in front in the 49th minute, but his flick-on from a corner bounced off the Vitesse custodian's right-hand post.

PSV began to dominate now, and Maarten Peijnenburg headed a Matthias Verreth corner wide. Verreth then went on a mazy run through the Vitesse defence only to be fouled some 23 yards from goal; Philippe Rommens' free-kick from 23 yards only just eluded Zachariadis' left-hand post. Verreth and Rommens both had shots on the Vitesse goal. The deadlock was finally broken in the 63rd minute, a fine through ball picking out Kenneth Paal, who delicately hooked the ball past the onrushing Zachariadis, just inside the left-hand post.

The Vitesse team seemed to lose heart almost immediately, apart from second-half substitute Marco Weymans, who caused van Osch some difficulty with a cross-shot, and was himself almost on the end of a cross a few moments after.

Vitesse were becoming desperate, but it was PSV's Steven Bergwijn who scored the game's second goal in the 70th minute, who ran into the penalty-area, dribbled round two defenders, and then from 8 yards out slid the ball past Zachariadis and just inside his left-hand post.

There was only one team who was going to lift the cup now, and it wasn't going to be Vitesse, who were becoming increasingly ragged as the game neared its conclusion. PSV were now playing with a certain assurance, and substitute Reyer van Doorn almost added a third in injuty-time, but Zachariadis saved well to divert van Doorn's sidefooted strike to his left; the resulting corner-kick was flung across goal and ended up just wide of the Vitesse goal.

CONTRASTING EMOTIONS: PSV Eindhoven's Under-17 team celebrate while their counterparts from Vitesse Arnhem look on

It was a deserved win for the youngsters from Eindhoven, who weathered some good first-half pressure from a Vitesse team who wilted badly as the game went on and were, at the end, a mere shadow of the team who looked at times during the first half as though they might steamroller PSV.

Julian Lelieveld, Amine Ennali and Marlon Versteeg impressed for Vitesse, whilst Philippe Rommens, Dani van der Moot, Kenneth Paal and Matthias Verreth caught the eye for PSV; the match officials also performed competently, efficiently controlling a competitive, occasionally feisty but never nasty match which was deservedly won by the lads in red and white.

VITESSE ARNHEM U-17 (B1): 1 Filippos ZACHARIADIS, 2 Leeroy SCHOREA, 3 Mark BOUWMAN (14 Reyer VAN DOORN, 4 Özgur AKTAS, 5 Julian LELIEVELD, 6 Anil MERCAN, 7 Amine ENNALI 15 Kai KORENIUK), 8 Sven VAN DOORN (CAP), 9 Marlon VERSTEEG, 10 Hidde VAN DIJK (16 Jesse SCHUURMAN), 11 Niek VAN DEN BERG

SUBSTITUTES (not used): 12 Jelmer NIJBURG, 13 Omid HASSANI, 17 Lars TEN TEIJE

PSV EINDHOVEN U-17 (B1): 1 Yanick VAN OSCH, 2 Dirk ABELS, 3 Philippe ROMMENS, 4 Maarten PEIJNENBURG, 5 Lassana FAYE, 6 Dante RIGO (17 Marten BERDEN), 7 Steven BERGWIJN, 8 Lennerd DANEELS (15 Marco WEYMANS), 9 Dani VAN DER MOOT, 10 Kenneth PAAL (14 Sam LAMMERS), 11 Matthias VERRETH

SUBSTITUTES (not used): 12 Taoufiq NACIRI, 16 Youri ROULAUX, 18 Joey KONINGS, 19 Arnaut GROENEVELD

REFEREE: Rob VAN LIER

LINESMEN: Bram WITSIERS and Bernard SCHENK

Monday, August 18, 2014

I-69 RETAIN WOMEN'S TITLE IN GREENLAND

Ilulissat club I-69 have retained the Greenland women's national championship after defeating NÛK 3:0 in the play-off final, held in the western town of Sisimiut, on 3/8/14. Six teams were due to take part; however, UB-83 from the northern village of Upernavik scratched from the competition due to their apparently being unable to travel to Sisimiut. No replacement team could be found in time for the beginning of the competition.

Apart from S-68, who were hosting the competition, the other competing teams were, as already mentioned, defending champions I-69 (Ilulissat) and NÛK (Nuuk), plus FC Malamuk (Uummannaq) and Kugsak 45 (Qasigiannguit).

I-69 defeated NÛK 2:1 in the 2013 final, and NÛK were up for revenge in the first group game for both teams. However, I-69 defeated NÛK 1:0, and I-69 went on to win all four group games to qualify for the final. NÛK achieved their first target of a place in the final in some style, putting 23 goals past S-68, Kugsak 45 and FC Malamuk, who eventually finished bottom. As a result of finishing bottom, FC Malamuk, who won the first three editions in 1987, 1988 and 1989 but haven't reached the final since, finished outside the play-off places. 

The third-place play-off saw S-68 face off against Kugsak 45, and the hosts defeated Kugsak 45 for the second time in the competition, this time by 3:1, to take the bronze medal. It was the sixth time S-68 had finished in third place in the national championship - they won the championship on the only occasion they have reached the final, back in 1992 - and it was their best performance since 2005.

No club apart from I-69 and NÛK have won the national championship since 1994, and they met once again in the final. I-69 went into the final as favourites, and they more than justified their billing by sweeping aside a brave NÛK team by 3 goals to 0, all three goals coming in the second half, to record their twelfth national championship success.On the other hand, it was NÛK's ninth defeat in a championship final, all of which have come against I-69 (NÛK have won the championship on eight occasions).

There was consolation for NÛK in the fact that four of their players were named in what was, strangely, billed as the tournament's best XII; Aili Pedersen was also named as the tournament's most technically-proficient player. Even so, they found themselves, once again, taking second place behind a dominant I-69 team - which like NÛK, had four players in the tournament's best XII and whose defender Bebiane Johnsen was named as the player of the tournament - a team which could go on to dominate Greenlandic women's football for some time to come.

Please find below the results, and other, miscellaneous, information relating to the 2014 Damernes GM.

GROUP STAGE

28/7/14 16:00 FC Malamuk 1:2 S-68
28/7/14 18:00 NÛK 0:1 I-69
29/7/14 16:00 Kugsak 45 2:0 FC Malamuk
29/7/14 19:00 S-68 0:6 I-69
30/7/14 16:00 I-69 3:1 Kugsak 45
30/7/14 19:00 NÛK 6:0 S-68
31/7/14 16:00 FC Malamuk 2:10 NÛK
31/7/14 19:00 S-68 1:0 Kugsak 45
01/8/14 16:00 I-69 4:1 FC Malamuk
01/8/14 19:00 Kugsak 45 0:7 NÛK

TEAM
P
W
D
L
GF
GA
PTS
GD
I-69
4
4
0
0
14
2
12
12
NÛK
4
3
0
1
23
2
9
21
S-68
4
2
0
2
3
13
6
-10
Kugsak 45
4
1
0
3
3
11
3
-8
FC Malamuk
4
0
0
4
4
18
0
-14
 

 FC Malamuk finished bottom of the group phase, and therefore did not qualify for a play-off place.

THIRD-PLACE PLAY-OFF

02/8/14 14:00 S-68 3:1 Kugsak 45

FINAL

02/8/14 19:00 I-69 3:0 NÛK

WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT FIRST XII

GOALKEEPER: Marie Louise Berthelsen (I-69)
DEFENDERS: Karo Dahl (NÛK), Anemetia Fontain (S-68), Bebiane Johnsen (I-69), Arnarisoq Møller (Kugsak 45),  Signa Zeeb (Kugsak 45)
MIDFIELDERS: Arnaq Egede (NÛK), Paneeraq Fleischer (I-69), Najaaja Lyberth (NÛK), Laila Platou (NÛK)
FORWARDS: Panu P Grønvold (FC Malamuk), Lisa L Fleischer (I-69)

PLAYER OF THE TOURNAMENT: Bebiane Johnsen (I-69)
MOST COMBATIVE PLAYER: Mai-Arlien Søborg (S-68)
MOST TECHNICAL PLAYER: Aili Pedersen (NÛK)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Much of the above information was taken from the Sermitsiaq and KNR websites; other information came from the blog's archive and a little statistical information was gleaned from the RSSSF website. Thanks also go to Allan Geisler for his assistance. As ever, any errors are the author's own, and corrections are always welcome.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

PFB ON TOUR - BALZAN YOUTHS : TARXIEN RAINBOWS

The following match report covers the duel on 1/2/14 between Balzan Youths and Tarxien Rainbows.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Inclement weather conditions blighted the Maltese fixture-list for 1/2/14, with the majority of games being called off across all four divisions; one game that did go ahead was that between Balzan Youths and Tarxien Rainbows, which took place at the Centenary Stadium at Ta'Qali. The weather did not deter just under 300 hardy souls from turning up to watch the second instalment of the day's double-header of matches at the stadium, which kicked off shortly after the conclusion of the fixture between Rabat Ajax and Vittoriosa Stars, which the latter won by a goal to nil.

The pitch was strewn with puddles at kick-off time with conditions deteriorating rapidly, and the Youths immediately went into attacking mode, with Dylan Grima testing Rainbows' goalkeeper with a low shot after two minutes. Less than a minute later, the game was brought to a halt as a howling gust of wind, which seemed to festoon the Ta'Qali complex with as much detritus as it could find from elsewhere on the island of Malta, sent players and match officials scurrying for cover.

DURING THE DELUGE: Substitutes and technical staff seek cover as the rain falls and the wind blows enough to cause a stoppage during the game between Balzan Youths and Tarxien Rainbows


With around 5 minutes and 30 seconds on the clock, it was deemed safe enough for the match to continue, and Balzan settled back into their attacking role with Lydon Micallef proving dangerous early on. However,Tarxien also had their moments,with Jorge Santos Silva causing disquiet in the Balzan defence.


Just past the quarter-hour, Pacha Negrin almost put Balzan in front after receiving a pass from Pedrinho, but his daisycutter from around the edge of the box struck the outside of Vella's left-hand post. A few minutes later, Micallef, who had played his part in the move leading up to Negrin's earlier effort, saw his half-volley loop across but just wide of Vella's goal.

The Youths had controlled the first 20 minutes or so, but Tarxien then had a flurry of their own, with a cross from the right causing panic in the Balzan defence, only for the ball to be scrambled clear; this was quickly followed by a counter-attack leading to a long-range half-volley from Jorge Santos Silva which flew a yard wide of Manuel Bartolo's goal.

A long ball down the left-hand side was picked up by Micallef, who passed to Pedrinho, and his short pass found Negrin, whose shot gained a slight deflection on the way to being well tipped around the post by the busy Vella.
Not long after, in the 29th minute, Balzan's domination paid off when a cross-field ball was headed on by Scicluna in the direction of Vella, who slipped at the wrong moment and, in falling, could only deflect the ball into the path of the onrushing Negrin, off whose shin the ball bounced into the bottom right-hand corner.

Balzan doubled their lead in the 35th minute when Pedrinho won the ball in midfield, carried it forward and, some 20 metres from Rainbows' goal, threaded a through ball out to Micallef on the left, and his sidefooter from just outside the angle of the six-yard box had enough speed on it to beat the Vella's despairing dive as the ball made its way across the face of goal and crossed the line just inside the far post. It was a fine end to a fine move, and just reward for Micallef's contribution during the first half-hour or so.

Jesmond Zerafa's men were looking comfortable as half-time approached; too comfortable, in fact, and they were jolted out of their complacency in the first minute of first-half injury-time when Tarxien's Malian striker Demba Touré reduced the deficit after a cross from the right was deflected into his path, and he made no mistake slotting the ball under Bartolo from right on the six-yard line.

Just a minute later, the game could have been turned completely on its head when Manuel Caruana's looping effort from more than 30 yards out beat a back-pedalling Bartolo, but pinged off the bar, after which the ball was eventually cleared behind for a corner, and Balzan headed for the changing-room with their lead still intact.

Tarxien began the second half with their tails up and dominated proceedings, although there were precious few shots on goal from either side up until the hour mark, a tame effort from a Balzan midfielder - which was easily gathered by Nicholas Vella - and another long-range effort for the Rainbows, this time from Carlos Menéndez Hevia, which went just over the bar, excepted.

WATCHING ON: Balzan Youths supporters watch as their team go on the attack against Tarxien Rainbows

As the rain which had been battering Malta since the night before the match finally abated, Tarxien kept going forward with purpose, and, with 66 minutes gone, deservedly drew level. Jorge's corner form the left resulted in Touré heading the ball in from on the six-yard line, his effort gaining admiring glances from a flat-footed Bartolo and an equally statuesque Youths defence.

With just under 15 minutes to go, Tarxien won the ball in midfield, which resulted in a pass to Touré, and he forwarded the ball to Jorge, but his shot from 20 yards out was smothered by Bartolo just in front of the goal-line.

Balzan were playing below par, and Zerafa decided that enough was enough, replacing the increasingly ineffective Fabio Vignaroli and Dylan Grima with Kurt Magro and Ryan Darmanin, and Darmanin especially made his presence felt as the game drew to a close. With four minutes left, Darmanin received a pass from Calçado just outside the Tarxien penalty-area, and his audacious back-heel was latched onto by Negrin, who shot wide with the goal at his mercy.

Negrin made amends less than a minute later, when he ran on to a through ball inside the opposition penalty-area and, having shrugged off a tackle from a Rainbows' defender, poked the ball across and under the diving Vella, who could only help the ball into the net, and the three points were Balzan's.


BALZAN YOUTHS: Manuel BARTOLO, Andrew SCICLUNA, Justin GRIOLI (Godwin McKAY), Steven BEZZINA, RAMÓN DOS SANTOS, Fabio VIGNAROLI, (Kurt MAGRO), Dylan GRIMA (Ryan DARMANIN), PEDRINHO Pedro Henrique DOS SANTOS CALÇADO, Edison David BILBAO ZARATE, Lydon MICALLEF, PACHA José Luis ARMARIO NEGRIN

SUBSTITUTES (not used): Firas ABOULEZZ, Juan Carlos CORBALAN, Michael FALZON (GK), Mark SPITERI

TARXIEN RAINBOWS: Nicholas VELLA, Carlo MAMO, Manuel CARUANA (Miguel CIANTAR), Andrew AGIUS, Luca MARTINELLI (William BARBOSA DA SILVA), Demba TOURÉ, Ryan SAMMUT, Carlos MENÉNDEZ HEVIA, Karl PULO, Josef MIFSUD, Jorge SANTOS SILVA

SUBSTITUTES (not used): Anthony CURMI, FERNANDO LOPES ALCÁNTARA, NIgel VELLA (GK), Steve BONNICI, Steve Marc SADOWSKI
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
AUTHOR'S NOTE: The line-ups for the above game were not made available to your correspendent before or after the game in question, and the line-ups as listed above were taken from the The Malta Independent, The Sunday Times of Malta, and from the maltafootball.com website.

Photographs used are author's own.

Friday, August 1, 2014

GREENLAND 2014 GM PLAY-OFFS FIXTURE-LIST

The headquarters of the GIF (Grønlands Idreæts-Forbund, Greenland's national sporting body) in the Greenlandic capital, Nuuk, played host to the draw for the 2014 Greenland national championship play-offs on 29/7/14. The tournament itself is due to begin on 4/8/14. 

Local club NÛK are the designated hosts for the tournament, which features eight teams in all, seven of which qualified for the tournament via regional tournaments held all over Greenland. NÛK, as hosts, did not have to participate in the qualifying rounds; they were awarded the tournament last year in recognition of the club's 80th anniversary.

After last year's drug and alcohol controversies featuring a number of players from B-67 and K-64, the GBU announced that there will be drug and alcohol tests at the national championships, and have taken delivery of testing equipment. According to local newspaper Sermitsiaq, the GBU were informed that a number of players from participating clubs (the identities of neither the players nor the clubs were divulged) have declined to make themselves available for the GM 2014 for fear of testing positive for drug use.

Tests shall be carried out during the tournament on an ad hoc basis, and also after matches. If two players from the same club test positive for drug or alcohol abuse, they shall be expelled from the tournament; the same fate awaits any club with two or more players in its squad who test positive.

All matches are scheduled to be shown live on national television station KNR, and several shall also be broadcast live on radio.



NOTE: Since this article was published, it was announced that TM-62, winners of the East Greenland regional championship, had pulled out due to financial reasons. As it appeared that no other side from East Greenland was ready to take part at such short notice, TM-62's place has been taken by the runners-up in the South Greenland tournament, Nagtoralik, who hail from the village of Paamiut, and who had claimed that they had been the victim of some irregular refereeing decisions during their qualifying match against Eqaluk 54. Now, Nagtoralik get to try their luck.


The competition kicks off on 4/8/14 with the match between host club NÛK and 2013 champions G-44. Please find below the draw for the 2014 GM play-off tournament; kick-off times are local. 

GROUP 1: Eqaluk 54 (Tasiusaq); B-67 (Nuuk); Nagdlúnguak (Ilulissat); IT-79 (Nuuk)

4/8/14 15:00 B-67 : Eqaluk 54
4/8/14 19:30 Nagdlúnguak : IT-79
5/8/14 15:00 Eqaluk 54 : Nagdlúnguak 48
5/8/14 17:00 IT-79 : B-67
6/8/14 13:00 Eqaluk 54 : IT-79
6/8/14 15:00 B-67 : Nagdlúnguak 48

GROUP 2: Nagtoralik (Paamiut); FC Malamuk (Uummannaq); NÛK (Nuuk); G-44 (Qeqertarsuaq)

4/8/14 13:00 NÛK : G-44
4/8/14 17:00 Nagtoralik : FC Malamuk
5/8/14 13:00 FC Malamuk : G-44 
5/8/14 19:00 Nagtoralik : NÛK
6/8/14 17:00 Nagtoralik  : G-44
6/8/14 19:00 FC Malamuk : NÛK

SCRATCHED: TM-62 (Kulusuk)

SEVENTH-PLACE PLAY-OFF

7/8/14 17:00 4th Group 1 : 4th Group 2

FIFTH-PLACE PLAY-OFF

7/8/14 19:00 3rd Group 1 : 3rd Group 2

SEMI-FINALS 

8/8/14 17:00 Winner Group 1 : Runner-up Group 2 (SF1)
8/8/14 19:00 Winner Group 2 : Runner-up Group 1 (SF2)

THIRD-PLACE PLAY-OFF

9/8/14 17:00 Runner-up SF1 : Runner-up SF1

FINAL

9/8/14 19:00 Winner SF1 : Winner SF2
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
AUTHOR'S NOTE:The information featured above was gleaned from Sermitsiaq (newspaper) and KNR (national television and radio stations) websites, plus the PFB archive.

KNR have been busy advertising the GM 2014; they posted the following trailer on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZJ5pZByTWU

Sunday, July 20, 2014

FOR THE RECORD - CAMPIONATO VATICANO AND SUPERCOPPA VATICANA 2013

The 2013-14 Campionato Vaticano was won by San Pietro, who defeated Dirtel 3:2 on 4/6/14; it was their second league title in a row after winning the 2012-13 version. It proved rather difficult to obtain all of the results for the 2012-13 version at the season's end, hence their not being published before now.

The 2012-13 championship did not feature a third-place play-off; instead, it featured a fifth-place play-off, with the other positions detailed as below.

Please find below the list of results for the 2012-13 Campionato Vaticano.

REGULAR SEASON

04/03/13 Guardia 1:1 Tipografia Vaticana
04/03/13 Fortitudo 2007 0:2 Dirtel
05/03/13 Pantheon SD 3:3 Ass. SS P&P
05/03/13 San Pietro 4:1 Borgorosso
11/03/13 Borgorosso 3:2 Ass. SS P&P
11/03/13 San Pietro 5:3 Dirtel
12/03/13 Fortitudo 2007 3: 0 Guardia (walkover)
12/03/13 Musei Vaticani 1:1 Tipografia Vaticana
25/03/13 Pantheon SD 1:2 Musei Vaticani
25/03/13 San Pietro 0:1 Fortitudo 2007
26/03/13 Guardia 1:5 Ass. SS P&P
26/03/13 Tipografia Vaticana 2:4 Borgorosso
08/04/13 Borgorosso 2:4 Musei Vaticani
08/04/13 Pantheon SD 3:2 San Pietro
09/04/13 Ass. SS P&P 2:2 Dirtel
09/04/13 Fortitudo 2007 4:1 Tipografia Vaticana
15/04/13 Guardia 1:3 Dirtel
15/04/13 San Pietro : Tipografia Vaticana
16/04/13 Fortitudo 2007 0:5 Pantheon SD
16/04/13 Musei Vaticani 2:0 Ass. SS P&P
22/04/13 Pantheon SD 2:4 Tipografia Vaticana
22/04/13 Fortitudo 2007 4:3 Borgorosso
23/04/13 San Pietro 3:1 Guardia
23/04/13 Dirtel 0:3 Musei Vaticani
29/04/13 Tipografia Vaticana 0:2 Dirtel
29/04/13 Ass. SS P&P 2:4 San Pietro
30/04/13 Guardia 0:4 Musei Vaticani
30/04/13 Borgorosso 2:8 Pantheon SD
06/05/13 Pantheon SD 3:0 Guardia
06/05/13 Tipografia Vaticana 2:3 Ass. SS P&P
07/05/13 Musei Vaticani 4:5 Fortutudo 2007
07/05/13 Dirtel 3:0 Borgorosso
13/05/13 Borgorosso 2:1 Guardia
13/05/13 Fortitudo 2007 0:0 Ass. SS P&P
14/05/13 Pantheon SD 4:1 Dirtel
14/05/13 San Pietro 0:5 Musei Vaticani


Team
P
W
D
L
GF
GA
PTS
GD
MUSEI VATICANI
8
6
1
1
25
9
19
16
PANTHEON SD
8
5
1
2
29
14
16
15
FORTITUDO 2007
8
5
1
2
17
15
16
2
SAN PIETRO
8
4
1
3
20
18
13
2
Dirtel
8
4
1
3
16
15
13
1
Borgorosso
8
3
0
5
17
28
9
-11
Ass. SS P&P
8
2
3
3
17
17
9
0
Tipografia Vaticana
8
1
3
4
13
19
6
-6
Guardia
8
0
1
7
5
24
1
-19



PLAY-OFFS (PLACES 5-8)

21/05/13 19:45 Dirtel 5:3 Tipografia Vaticana
21/05/13 20:45 Borgorosso 2:2 Ass. SS P&P
27/05/13 19:45 Ass. SS P&P 0:3 Borgorosso (Borgorosso 5:2 on agg.)
27/05/13 20:45 Tipografia Vaticana 0:3 Dirtel (Dirtel 8:3 on agg.)


SEMI-FINALS

20/05/13 19:45 Pantheon SD 5:2 Fortitudo 2007
20/05/13 20:45 Musei Vaticani 1:2 San Pietro
28/05/13 Fortitudo 2007 0:6 (Pantheon SD 11:2 on agg.)
28/05/13 San Pietro 2:2 Musei Vaticani AET (San Pietro 4:3 on agg.)


FIFTH-PLACE PLAY-OFF

03/06/13 19:45 Borgorosso 4:3 Dirtel


FINAL

03/06/13 19:45 Pantheon SD 1:2 San Pietro


FINAL CLASSIFICATION

CHAMPIONS: SAN PIETRO
RUNNERS-UP: Pantheon
3RD: Musei Vaticani
4TH: Fortitudo 2007
5TH: Borgorosso
6TH: Dirtel
7TH: Ass. SS P&P
8TH: Tiopgrafia Vaticana
9TH: Guardia 

SUPERCOPPA VATICANA

10/06/13 19:45 San Pietro 2:1 Fortitudo 2007
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Many thanks to Aurelio and the ACDV for providing most of the results; the one or two which were missing were either found at the RSSSF website or were obtained recently in Rome, and thanks for the latter go to the ACDV's Giancarlo Taraglio.