28.12.10 Swieqi United win Noel Muscat Cup
Swieqi United beat Pembroke Athleta 3-1 (Goals from: Mauro Desira, Steve Hyzler and Fabien Debono) at the Pembroke Stadium to claim the Noel Muscat Christmas Cup.
Scorers: Mauro Desira 10', Steve Hyzler ' 13, Fabien Debono '50
Referee: Tony Briguglio
Venue: Pembroke Ground, 7:30pm
Swieqi United emerged victorious from their derby tussle with Pembroke Athleta F.C on Monday night with a solid 3-1 victory for the Orange. The Owls featured some new players in their starting eleven and were always in the driving seat during the match.
The Orange started strongly, creating opportunities through the likes of Fabien Debono, Steven Hyzler and Mauro Desira. All these efforts were neutralised by the Pembroke goalkeeper. On the stroke of fifteen minutes however, Swieqi opened the score through a quick-fire double by Mauro Desira and Steven Hyzler. The first goal resulted from a personal effort from Desira. The dimunitive wing-back was a constant thorn in the Grey’s defence with his direct running and technical impetus, and the goal arrived from one of these actions. After receiving the ball from Stacy Vella, the former Fgura player attempted a dipper from well-outside the Pembroke penalty area, a shot which surprised the Grey’s custodian and ended up in the back of the net for a well-deserved one goal lead. Barely two minutes after, a Swieqi corner was delivered wonderfully to Steven Hyzler, who forced the ball into the net with an excellently-coordinated volley, witness of the sheer determination the player, and the team, have mustered to overcome the bleak November-December period.
Swieqi, sitting comfortably at 2-0, allowed Pembroke some space into their half, and after several missed attempts by the Pembroke offence, they finally managed to reduce the arrears through a well-taken shot from an acute angle. The teams went into half-time at 2-1, with Swieqi slightly disappointed at not having kept a clean sheet.
Swieqi again started strongly in the second half, and their efforts were rewarded with a superb Fabien Debono goal which surprised the Pembroke goal tender. This goal cut off Pembroke completely from the match, and the neighbours were never really dangerous before Carlo Leonardi broke through and missed the target from an easy position. Ryan Marmara also neutralised a dangerous effort by the Pembroke offence, jumping to his left to block a low shot. As Swieqi started subbing their players, Simon Sammut attempted a long range left-footed shot which thumped against the crossbar and bounced dangerously close to the goal-line. As the match grew older, it was getting ever more harsh and tough, with both sets of players dismissing the ‘friendly’ tag attached to the match.
At 90 minutes it was Swieqi who celebrated the win, as captain John Debono and vice-captain Edward Vella lifted the Noel Muscat trophy for the first time amidst the joy from their fellow teammates and companions.