A final which lived up to its billing. Both teams playing cagily in the first half with tight man to man marking denying space for any clear-cut chances to be created. In fact, it took 29 minutes for the first penalty corner to be awarded and Qormi did not avail themselves of the opportunity. On 30 minutes Hotsticks went into the lead when Chris Agius hit home from the left side of the D sending Hotsticks into a one goal lead which they maintained until the break.
Qormi started the second half in earnest, fluffing two penalty corner opportunities. On 46 minutes Juan Sarcia shot high into the net to grab Qormi’s equalizer as a result of a penalty corner action. Frayed nerves and tired limbs with the clock winding down meant that at this point the game was very evenly poised with Qormi exerting more pressure on the Hotsticks’ rearguard. On 57 minutes Thomas Degiovanni hit home to send Qormi into a 2 – 1 lead. On 67 minutes Martin Lust found the net to equalise for Hotsticks. The final whistle blew with the tie deadlocked at 2 – 2 sending the encounter into extra time.
Kyle Micallef sent Qormi into a 3-2 lead in the second minute of the first period of extra time, a lead which they held throughout the remaining five and a half minutes and all of the second period despite Hotsticks’ efforts to equalize. The final whistle blew with Qormi emerging as winners of the Challenge Cup 2017.
S.Mifsud, J.Williams, G.Dimech, J.Aquilina, J.Sarcia, J.Cuschieri, Z.DeGiovanni, K.Calleja, T.DeGiovanni, K.Micallef, A.Falzon.
Subs: J.Farrugia, A.Cauchi, K.Grixti, S.Dimech, J.Pace
Join us next week as we take on Rabat Depiro in the first League game of the season at 9:00 a.m.!