Tarxien Rainbows and Floriana reached the semi-finals of the National League 100 Anniversary Cup after defeating Lija Athletic and Hamrun Spartans respectively on Wednesday. The Greens qualify after winning on penalties.
In the first match, Tarxien Rainbows defeated Second Division leaders Lija Athletic 2-0 at the Hibernians Stadium on Wednesday.
Although the Rainbows held the initiative throughout the game, Lija controlled their opponents well and it was only in the second half that they managed to score the goals which put them in the next stage.
The first attempt at goal occurred on 13 minutes with a diagonal shot by Gianluca Calabretta from the right ending just wide. Another shot by Calabretta was neutralised by Luke Bonnici and then an Andrew Decesare effort was blocked by a defender. On 38 minutes, Mark Tanti served Andrew Decesare inside the area but the latter’s conclusion scraped past the post.
Two minutes from the end of the first half, Tarxien had an excellent chance with Lee Galea’s close-range effort saved by Bonnici, aided by the crossbar, following a freekick from the right by David Camilleri.
Three minutes in the second half, Lija went close with a powerful shot by Antoine Sacco from the right which was blocked by David Cassar. Tarxien then missed a good chance with Anderson Mendes Ribeiro hitting wide when served by Tanti. On the other side of the pitch, a low shot by Beppe Antigonolo was parried by the Tarxien goalkeeper on 54 minutes.
The Rainbows took the lead on 57 minutes when Luke Vella Critien entered the penalty area from the right and his low cross was deflected by a defender past goalkeeper Luke Bonnici.
A shot by Ribeiro following a cross from the right by Mark Tanti was deflected by a defender into a corner on the hour but on 71 minutes, Lije went close once again with a powerful shot by Antoine Sacco from the right which was turned into a corner by David Cassar.
Tarxien doubled the score on 77 minutes when off a cross from the left by Steve Sadowksi, Anderson Mendes Ribeiro headed home past Bonnici.
Substitute Andrea Spiteri tried to surprise Tarxien goalie David Cassar with a cute lob but the Tarxien custodian managed to save five minutes from time.
Photos: © James Gauci – fotoincmalta.com
LIJA Luke Bonnici, Martin Camilleri, Michael Mangion, Tonio Saliba, Daniel Scerri, Antoine Sacco, Lydon Cilia (59′ Matthew Schembri), Jean Paul Scerri (63′ Colin Ciantar), Keith Darmanin (75′ Andrea Spiteri), Beppe Antignolo, Heathcliff Schembri.
Subs not used: Luke Attard, Matthew Borg, Luka Desira Buttigieg, Edgar Degabriele.
Coach: Marco Gerada Asst. Coach: Lawrence Borg
TARXIEN David Cassar, Steve Sadowski, David Camilleri (81′ Manuel Caruana), Gianluca Calabretta, Everton Antonio Pereira, Anderson Mendes Ribeiro, Mark Tanti, Andrew Decesare (46′ Ryan Grech), Luke Vella Critien, Lee Galea, Kurt Magro (70′ Justin Grioli).
Subs not used: Anthony Curmi, Ryan Previ, Warren Zerafa, James Shead.
Coach: Noel Coleiro Team Manager: Matthew Tabone
Referee: Adrian Azzopardi
Asst. Referees: Alan Camilleri, Malcolm Mercieca
Fourth Official: Andre Arciola
Yellow Cards: Antignolo
At the Victor Tedesco Stadium, Floriana defeated Hamrun Spartans 6-5 on penalties following a 2-2 draw at the end of the ninety minutes.
Hamrun took the lead on 18 mintues when off a Clyde Camoin corner, Roderick Fenech rose high to head home with the ball being deflected by a defender past goalkeepr Bernard Paris.
The Greens levelled matters seven minutes later when off a Pablo Doffo freekick, Joseph Borg headed home.
Floriana forged ahead two minutes in the second half when off a cross from the left by Mark Spiteri, Ryan Darmanin controlled before hitting pass Hamrun goalie Andrea Cassar.
Five minutes from time, Hamrun levelled matters when a deflection by Sacha Borg almost ended beating substitute goalkeeper Jurgen Borg. The ball however hit the upright but off the rebound, Roderick Fenech placed the ball at the back of the net.
With the score still 2-2 at the end of the ninety mintues, penalties had to decide the issue.
The penalty shoot-out:
Pablo Doffo – shot saved by goalkeeper, Marcelo Pereira – shot saved by goalkeeper;
Orosco Anonam scored, Ian Zammit scored;
Sacha Borg scored, Rupert Mangion hit the foot of the post;
Stefan Lijeskic scored, Manolito Micallef scored;
Ryan Darmanin – shot saved by goalkeeper. Gaetan Spiteri scored;
Julian Briffa scored, Martin Hrubsa scored;
Jermain Brincat scored, Joao Mawete scored;
Brian Said scored, Mead Mifsud hit the foot of the post.
FLORIANA Bernard Paris (80′ Jurgen Borg), Julian Briffa, Brian Said, Orosco Anonam, Pablo Doffo, Christian Caruana, Ryan Darmanin, Sacha Borg, Stefan Lijeksic, Mark Spiteri (90′ Jermain Brincat), Joseph Borg (94′ Mauro Grioli).
Subs not used: Victor Zlydarev, Alan Abela, Clyde Borg, Jurgen Borg, Russell Marmara.
Coach: Zoran Popovic Asst. Coach: Darren Abdilla
HAMRUN Andrea Cassar, Mark Anthony Bonnici, Rupert Mangion, Manolito Micallef, Marcelo Pereira, Gaetan Spiteri, Martin Hrubsa, Joao Mawete, Clyde Camoin (77′ Mead Mifsud), Ian Zammit.
Ivan Casha, Dalton Caruana, Aaron Attard, Mead Mifsud, Mark Barbara, Neville Galea, Lee James Agius.
Coach: Steve D’Amato Asst. Coach: Marco Grech
Referee: Alan Mario Sant
Asst. Referees: Joe Camilleri, Edward Spiteri
Fourth Official: Esther Azzopardi
Yellow Cards: Lijeksic, J. Borg, J. Briffa, C. Caruana, I. ZammitJ. Mawete, C. Camoin
Red Cards: 62′ Christian Caruana