The Malta Independent 25 June 2019, Tuesday

Waterpolo: Neptunes edge San Ġiljan after penalties to win the President’s Cup

Stewart Said Tuesday, 11 June 2019, 22:23 Last update: about 13 days ago
Photo: Domenic Aquilina
Photo: Domenic Aquilina

NEPTUNES LEO VEGAS........... 11

SAN ĠILJAN TUM INVEST...... 11

(Neptunes won 14-12 after penalties)

(2-4), (2-2), (3-1), (4-4)

Neptunes Leo Vegas snatched the President's Cup defeating San Ġiljan TUM Invest after a nail biting game between two top teams that will again challenge for top honours. Penalties had to decide this encounter after they finished the four sessions in an 11-11 draw. Neptunes goalkeeper Alan Borg Cole was decisive as he saved the efforts of Guillermo Molina and Dino Zammit while Niksa Dobud's penalty hit the crossbar.

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Jovan Popovic's team had to recover from a slow start and at one point in the second session they were even 6-2 down. Half time turned out to be an important moment as they regrouped and held the initiative for the remainder of the game.

Although this win will give Neptunes a boost, San Ġiljan have something to take from this match as Guillermo Molina returned with a positive performance while Niksa Dobud showed some flashes during the game.

San Ġiljan won the first session 4-2 as Neptunes had no answer to the goals by Matthew Zammit and Guillermo Molina after Neptunes had equalised twice earlier in the session. Neptunes weren't attacking with discipline and didn't create numerous problems towards Jake Tanti.

In defence they left a lot of spaces and San Ġiljan countered perfectly and scored on more than one occasion. Captain Matthew Zammit and Molina gave San Ġiljan a 6-2 lead but Petar Muslim scored twice to cut the gap by half.

The rhythm of the game had a twist in the third session. Neptunes were more compact in defence while they created spaces in attack. They recovered their two-goal disadvantage and took the lead for the first time in the game after a goal by Darko Brguljan and two penalties by Stevie Camilleri. Despite controlling the session with no particular difficulty, Neptunes conceded a goal right at the end of the session through Niksa Dobud.

Popovic's team started the last session on a high, scoring twice from Brguljan and Jordan Camilleri inside the first minute. Molina responded for San Ġiljan and kept his team in the game. Neptunes had to play the last five minutes and a half without Stevie Camilleri who was sent-off while Ben Plumpton equalised few seconds later.

Jake Tanti made an important save in the next action as the game seemed to turn in favour of San Ġiljan. Niki Lanzon gave Neptunes a goal advantage but they also had Gabriel Pace sent-off. Matthew Zammit equalised and after Jordan Camilleri scored for Neptunes, Niksa Dobud equalised again with a bit more than two minutes left. Both teams tried to score the winning goal without conceding too much space but the game had to be decided in a penalty shoot-out.

Petar Muslim and Matthew Zammit scored their first penalties but after Niki Lanzon scored for Neptunes, Guillermo Molina had the penalty saved by Alan Borg Cole. Jake Muscat had the opportunity to put his team two goals infront but Jake Tanti had other plans and saved the shot.

This save meant nothing as Niksa Dobud's shot hit the crossbar. Jordan Camilleri scored for Neptunes and Dino Zammit's shot was parried by Borg Cole to end the game. Niki Lanzon was presented the trophy by ASA President Joe Caruana Curran after the game.

Neptunes: A. Borg Cole, N. Lanzon (1), K. Erdogan, G. Pace, P. Muslim (2), D. Brguljan (3), S. Camilleri (3), J. Camilleri (2), J. Abela, N. Zammit, J. Muscat, M. Azzopardi, B. Busuttil, S. Busuttil, J. Farrugia

San Ġiljan: J. Tanti, B. Grech, A. Galea, N. Dobud (3), G. Molina (4), M. Zammit (3), B. Plumpton (1), K. Dowling, T. Said, Da. Zammit, P. Fava, Di. Zammit, T. Micallef

Referees: Massimo Angileri, Giovanni Lo Dico

 

Marsaxlokk win the competition for the third consecutive year

MARSAXLOKK BROWN'S.......... 13

MARSASKALA FISH AND FISH.. 8

(4-1), (2-5), (3-2), (4-0)

Positive performances in the first and last session gave Marsaxlokk Brown's Pharmacy the third consecutive success in the Sports Journalists Cup. Russian Ivan Nagaev was instrumental in this win, scoring no less than seven goals and when he stopped scoring, Marsaxlokk were in difficulty.

Credit also goes to Marsaskala. Dorian Pisani's team made a good comeback after a slow start, despite playing almost three sessions with one foreigner. Although they shared play for half of the game, Marsaskala were never in advantage.

Three out of the four foreigners made their debut in this game while Andrija Vlahovic played his first game for Marsaxlokk after playing the last two seasons with Marsaskala.

Nagaev scored all Marsaxlokk's four goals in the first sessions. After Konstantin Averka was fouled out early in the second session, the other foreigner Kristijan Milakovic marked Nagaev and succeeded for large parts of the game.

Marsaskala cut the deficit in the second session and started the third one 6-6. They were brave enough to equalise twice but Stephen Micallef's goal right before the end of the session gave Marsaxlokk the necessary push.

Marsaxlokk controlled again the play in the last session and assured themselves of the win in the middle of the session as they continued to widen the gap till the end.

After the game, Ryan Coleiro received the trophy from the Organisational Secretary of the Malta Sports Journalists Association Antvin Monseigneur.

Marsaxlokk: R. Coleiro, J. Galea, M. Cacici, J. Rizzo Naudi, M. Martellacci, T. Agius, A. Vlahovic (2), I. Nagaev (7), S. Micallef (1), R. Scerri (1), O. Zammit, M. Rizzo (1), F. Buhagiar, K. Galea (1)

Marsaskala: J. Micallef, J.C. Cutajar, A. Camenzuli, M. Manara, M. Aquilina, L. Grixti, K. Navarro (1), K. Milakovic (3), K. Averka, J. Culic, R. Attard (2), D. Borg Millo, M. Borg, L. Felice (1), J. Ciantar (1)

Referees: Peter Balzan, Riccardo Carmignani

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