World ranking points for Gauci and Cremona

Sunday, May 2, 2010, 11:03

The Malta International Open and Grand Prix, valid competitions for the World Rankings under the auspicious of the FISTF, the international federation of table football were held by the Malta Table Football Sports Association under the presidency of Anthony Sapiano.

The venue for these events was the Magazzino Hall at the Valletta Waterfront. The characteristics of the building, together with the modern light decorations made out of the venue a nice and relaxing atmosphere to hold two important competitions for international table football, where Maltese players and foreigners were aiming for the last points possible for the final table of rankings valid for the world cup to be held next September.

During the first day, the Malta International Open was held. Prior to the beginning of the competition, the MTFSA organized a nice opening ceremony with all the national anthems of the present players, an introductory speech by Anthony Sapiano as President of the MTFSA and a welcome speech by Silvio Catania President of the FISTF.

For the kick off, John Buttigieg and Carmel Busuttil were the distinguished guests and following the speeches, both national coaches started their match of table football, with Busuttil attacking a bit more, showing his past of attacking player on the real grounds.

In the International Open, there were no surprises in the Under 15 category. The opposition of Andrew Abela, runner up of the section was nothing for the World Champion Diego Tagliaferri who managed an ease win in the direct encounter and thus securing the title. This also happened in the Grand Prix on the following day.

Angelo Borg, recently registered with a Greek team, was the negative surprise of the Under 19 section. The initial match lost against Darren Bezzina (Hamrun TFC) boosted the latter till the end and he managed to get the title of this section. Ironically, same happened in the Grand Prix too.

The Veterans section, the favorite player on paper was for sure Joseph Mifsud (Fiamme Azzurre). Mifsud had an ease trip to the final and this was also for Morgan Croce (CCT Roma) who managed to arrive to the final impressing by his distant flick goals. The final, under the control of Hector Scerri saw the Italian chap, Croce winning the match 2-1 and Mifsud for the second time this year loosing the International Open at the finals.

In the Open Category, the title race showed from the very beginning that is going to be between Mark Gauci and Massimo Cremona. With an easy qualification in the group, both Cremona and Gauci were hoping for an easy trip to the final. In the quarter finals, Mark Gauci sweated more than he believed to overcome the opposition of Charlie Aquilina. On the other side, Massimo Cremona had to wait till the shots to overcome Derek Conti.

The final match, between Gauci and Cremona was a mind oriented game with both players more concentrated not to lose possession and give the opponent the chance to shoot. Eventually, the second half, with the only blocking mistake by Mark Gauci left an open chance for Cremona who was accurate enough to beat for 1-0.

In a do-or-die situation, Mark Gauci pressed more for the equalizer. He managed to do these three minutes from time and more over scoring another goal at the last minute which crowned him winner of the International Open. Referee of the match Silvio Catania.

In the Malta Grand Prix, the categories were the same with the addition of the team’s event. Two Italian teams, CCT Roma and Fiamme Azzurre were opposing Bormla SC and Attard SC for this title. The first match between the two Italian teams saw the CCT Roma as winners and therefore easing the way to the title. Bormla SC offered good opposition to both Italian teams and although they lost both matches their performance was good. Attard SC lost all their matches to end up at the bottom of the table.

In the Veterans section, Mifsud once again had an easy trip to the final. On the other side, Adrian Bonnici was doing well and match after match he managed to reach Joseph Mifsud for a repeat of the final of the International Open held in February. The match offered nothing. Both players studied each other at the centre of the ground and everyone had to wait till the sudden-death period to see at least some shooting to the goals. This time, Joseph Mifsud did not miss the opportunity and putting the ball behind the keeper’s back, gave Joseph the triumph of the Grand Prix Veterans Section.

In the Open Category, the competition was giving the impression of a repeat of the International Open. Both Gauci and Cremona qualified with easy wins. Hansel Mallia, Charlie Aquilina, Derek Conti and Samuel Bartolo seemed to be the possible persons aiming for the title. After the barrages level, in the quarter finals Mallia lost to Aquilina and Bartolo to Conti thus leaving only two possible threads to Gauci and Cremona.





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