Hotsticks book their place in the Knock-Out Final

Thursday, May 24, 2012, 15:45

SLIEMA HOTSTICKS 4 (1) WHITE HART 3 (1)

Starting Formation: Farrugia Elton Lee, Imbroll Andrei, George Ryan, Vassallo Elton, Scicluna Keith, Caruana Smith Michael, Portelli Steve, Dalli Ryan, Grima Shaun, Plaehn Silas, Plaehn Lukas

Substitutes who Played: Borg Emile, Agius Daniel, Fiedler Sebastian

Scorers: Silas Plaehn (Keith Scicluna, Steve Portelli, Steve Portelli)

Umpires: Tony Tabone & Luke Busuttil Leaver

Disciplinary Measures: Michael Caruana Smith (2 Yellow Cards)

For the second time this season Sliema Hotsticks reached a cup final after beating White Hart in the semi-final of the Knock-Out competition. They will play Qormi in two weeks’ time. This will be their fourth final since Coach Imbroll took the helm of the team. So far, none of the previous three were successful, however, the team has now two weeks to prepare aqequately for this encounter.

Hotsticks started this match strongly and could have closed the match inside the first twenty minutes. They held on to some strong possession and came face to face with the goalkeeper several times. From one of these occasions it was S Plaehn who put his side deservedly ahead. Hotsticks kept control of the match but some overconfidence put the reds back in the game.

The second half was a very balanced affair with both teams going close to scoring. When everything seemed to be going Hotsticks’ way, White Hart levelled five minutes before the final whictle. With the match going into extra-time, both teams kept on trying to avoid the penalty strokes to no avail.

The penalty shoot out was a feast of emotions. L Plaehn stepped in to take the first penalty but saw his push hit the upright and it was White Hart took the lead. Captain Scicluna and Portelli netted from the spot but it was glory-time for goalkeeper Borg who managed to save three consecutive strokes. Hotsticks needed one goal out of their last two but both Caruana Smith and Dalli failed to convert. Sudden death had to determine who would be playing in the Final. Hotsticks’ Borg stood on the goal line and remained still, with his sight set on the ball. The push travelled to his right as he extended his arm to save with the tip of his stick. Hotsticks were close to winning the match but another goal was needed. Portelli stepped in to take the stroke and with the tension reaching the sky he ably placed the ball to the goalkeeper’s right. Hotsticks were in the Knock-Out Final.

For this match Hotsticks had a pleasant visit from Caruana Smith. Unfortunately, his stay will be short but Hotsticks will have back Rasterhoff and Bugeja for the Final.





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