San Giljan make it to Knock-Out final after hard-earned win against Valletta

Valletta McDonalds     5     San Giljan Crystal Finance     7

(2-2, 1-2, 2-2, 0-1)

San Giljan made it to the Knock-Out final after beating the strong opposition put up by a resilient Valletta side, who lasted the pace till the last stages of the match. The Citizens gave in after they grew visibly tired, and San Giljan made sure of the result in the closing stages.

This was the Saints’ third victory over Valletta this season, but this was the closest game yet. Valletta opted for Dean Camilleri in goal, instead of Ryan Sciortino. They went in front with a Gergely Kiss strike, with Keith Galea replying for the Saints. Kiss again put Valletta in front, this time with a penalty throw, and San Giljan were level again before the end of the session, with a Guillermo Molina goal.

In the next period it was Molina once more, and then Paul Fava, who put the Saints on a double advantage. Valletta pulled a goal back, from Michael Rizzo, and at the interval San Giljan were on a slim 4-3 advantage.

After the break the Saints again established a two-goal lead through Aurelien Cousin, but the Citizens came right back into the match with a brace of goals from Djorde Filipovic to tie the score. Towards the end of the session San Giljan obtained a man-up situation, and in the resulting action a second Valletta player was sent off, keeper Dean Camilleri, with Matthew Zammit shooting into an empty net, to give San Giljan a 6-5  advantage. Camilleri was then sent off for protests, his place taken by Sciortino.

In the last quarter Valletta were unable to reproduce their former game, and San Giljan had it easier, but they missed two more man ups, before Paul Fava could ease their minds with his second strike from a third man-up of the session.  There was no Valletta reaction, and the Saints went into the final, where they will meet their near neighbours, and holders, Neptunes.

Valletta: D. Camilleri, O. Zammit, M. Rizzo 1, K. Galea , A. Agius , R. Mock ,G. Kiss 2, N. Bonello Ghio , M. Cordina , C. Zammit , D. Paolella ,D. Filipovic 2, R. Sciortino

San Giljan: J. Sammut, P. Borg , A. Galea , B. Vapenski , G. Molina 2,M. Zammit 1, K. Galea 1, Da. Zammit , B. Plumpton , A. Cousin 1, P. Fava 2,  Di. Zammit , D. Spiteri

Referees: R. Spiteri, F. Brasiliano