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Race on for final slot in Elite group

Sliema came from behind to beat Qrendi 11-9. Photo: Joe Borg

Sliema came from behind to beat Qrendi 11-9. Photo: Joe Borg

One place is still up for grabs in the Gatorade Futsal League Elite Group with no fewer than four teams still fighting for that spot.

With Luxol, Valletta, Ħamrun and Swieqi already guaranteed of a place in the top draw, only four points are separating joint fifth sides Mrieħel ESS and Sliema from Msida in eighth place.

The remaining spot will be decided in the next two rounds with Mrieħel and Sliema staying in pole position after emerging victorious from their last matches.

Sliema overturned a five-goal deficit to beat Qrendi 11-9 and Mrieħel trounced Safi San Lorenzo 7-2.

Craig Pickard looked to have wrecked Sliema’s ambitions in the opening half but Serbian Uros Markovic inspired the Wanderers to a stunning comeback after the break to ensure his team’s fourth consecutive win.

The returning Paul Bugeja was in fine form for Sliema as he netted five goals while Markovic managing a hat-trick. Leandros Calleja added two goals and Christian Micallef was also on the mark for the winners.

Qrendi had Pickard scoring six goals and Antonello Brincat three.

Mrieħel’s win over Safi was deserved even though they had to wait until the second half to seal their victory as Safi goalkeeper Christian Lia effected a string of quality saves to keep his team in the match.

However, in the second half, Lia was beaten four times.

Faisal Alnakua scored four times for Mrieħel while Ayoub Ahmad, Milad Najem and Marwan Telisi also put their names on the scoresheet for the winners.

Marsascala Construct Furniture returned to winning ways, after their upset to Żurrieq Wolves the week before, with a 6-3 win over Swieqi Under 21.

Denzil Pisani was the hero for the southseasiders with a hat-trick as Franklin Abela was twice on target and Dylan Caruana added to their tally.

The championship resumes today with leaders Luxol playing Marsascala and Msida facing Swieqi FC in the late kick-off.

Standings
Luxol 36; Valletta 34; Ħamrun Tre Angeli 33; Swieqi 27; Mrieħel ESS, Sliema 23; University of Malta 21; Msida 19; Safi San Lorenzo, Qormi Futsal 15; Marsascala, Qrendi 9; Tarxien JMI, Swieqi Under 21; Żurrieq Wolves 3.

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