Action-packed U15 game decided by penalties

Tuesday, June 15, 2010, 22:53

by Victor Ciangura
Pieta H  vs  Valletta 
 (2-2 after extra time) 
 (6-7 after penalties) 
Watched by a very large crowd at Luxol Ground this game had to be decided after the penalty shoot-out. The crowd present was surely pleased with the performance of both teams. Referee Stefan Pace had good control over the proceedings, stood no nonsense and was always up with play.
Pieta created the first action after only two minutes as Zachary Gatt released Jeremy Papagiorcupolo on the left flank and after he crossed the ball in the area it was cleared by a defender, at the other end, Llewlyn Cremona was fouled on the right flank and from the free kick by the same player Brandon Grech headed goalwards and Pieta keeper Daniele Cappitta partly saved the ball with a diving save and the ball was cleared.
Valletta forged ahead in the 9th minute as Luke Scicluna served Miguel Attard on the left flank and as he advanced to the edge of the area he gave Cappitta no chance with a hard grounder to the bottom right hand corner of the net.
Encouraged by this early lead, Valletta then created two actions in a row. Leon Scicluna served Ian Montanaro with a long throw-in from the left flank and Cappitta saved his effort from outside the area and after Cremona was fouled outside the area he drove over the bar from the free kick. 

The Valletta U15 team

The Valletta U15 team

Pieta reacted and created three actions. Papagiorcupolo pounced on a short defensive clearance and he missed the upright fromoutside the area. Matthew Bonello served Kyle Cesare in the area and City keeper James Casha  foiled him with a timely sortie and Papagiorcupolo was fouled outside the area, from the free kick by Travis Bartolo, Papagiorcupolo headed the ball and after Casha partly saved the ball the same palyer shot the from the rebound and the ball hit the upright and finished out.
Valletta the won a free kick on the left flank after Grech was fouled and  from Fabio Muscat’s free kick the ball was headed away by a defender.
The Hotspurs kept trying and mounted two further actions. Rodney refalo served Christian Stewart outside Valletta’s area but his lobbed ball finished over the bar and and after a corner kick from the left flank by Stewart, Casha saved a header by Gatt.
The last two actions before the break were created by Valletta. Mohammed Zarrouq was fouled on the right flank , Cappitta partly saved the free kick by Muscat and Cremona drove over the bar from the rebound and Zarrouq was again fouled, he took charge of the free kick and Attard drove over the bar from inside the area.
The second period was less action-packed with Pieta creating the first two actions. Godwin McKay was fouled on the right flank and from the free kick by Bartolo the ball was cleared to a corner.
Pieta equalised in the 36th minute. They won a corner kick on the right flank which was well-taken by Stewart and in the melee that ensued in the area the ball was partly cleared and came in the path of Papagiorcupolo who scored with a hard rising shot.
Valletta then mounted two actions in a row. Montanaro served Attard on the left flankand after he crossed the ball in the area Cappitta partly palmed the ball and Montanaro, who kept following the ball, brove over the bar with a header and after Attard was fouled outside the area the ball was headed away after the free kick by Cremona.
In the 50th minute Pieta were awarded a penalty as Dean Bonello served Refalo in the area
and after he was pushed the referee pointed to the spot, but Cesare hit the base of the left post and after trying to shhot in the rebound Casha was fouled and had to receive medical attention and from a free kick by Bartolo from the left edge of the area the ball hit the near post with Casha beaten and the ball was cleared to safety. As the game ended 1-1 after normal time extra time had to be played.
 There were only four actions worthy of note in the frist period of eaxtra time, three of which were created by Pieta. Bonello served Gatt on the left flankand after he crossed the ball in Valletta’s area Stewart hit the side-rigging from his effort. Cesare then won a loose ball in Valletta’s half  and as he tried his luck from long range the ball sailed over the bar.
Pieta scored a second goal in the 68th minute when they won a corner kick on the right flank which was again well-taken by Stewart and Cesare scored with a fine header in the top right hand corner of the net, but their joy was short-lived as Valletta equalised two minutes later, after a run down the right flank by Cremona he served Attard with a perfect cross in the area who headed past Cappitta. 
The only three actions in the second period were created by Valletta. From a Cremona free kick the ball was cleared away by Gatt. Substitue Durmond Micallef  served Zarrouq with a through ball but Bartolo headed the ball back to Cappitta and after Zarrouq was fouled outside the area Cappitta saved the free kick shot by Muscat. The game had to be decided by the penalty shoot-out.
Valletta scored all five penalties which were taken by Kurt Drakkard, Mohammed Zarrouq, Brandon Grech, Miguel Attard Llewelyn Cremona.
Pieta score four which were taken by rodney Refalo, Godwin Mckay, Bedri Ryustemov, Travis Bartolo and Valletta keeper James Casha saved the last kick by Papagiorcupolo. 
After the match tho Hon Robert Arrigo presented the Trophy to Valletta Captain Cremona and medals to both teams and officials
Valletta: J.Casha, D.Grech, F.Muscat, D.Camilleri, L.Gauci (K.Drakkard 78) L.Sciclina, B.Grech, L.Cremona, I.Montanaro, M.Attard, M.Zarrouq, 
Pieta H: D.Cappitta, D.Bonello, (L.Tabone 46) M.Bonello, K.Hili, T.Bartolo, Z.Gatt, R.Refalo, J.Papagiorcupolo, K.Cesare, C.Stewart, G.McKay, 
Referee: Stefan Pace
Assistant I  Karl Galea
Assistant 2 Jean P Sammut

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