Tarxien Rainbows and Floriana joined Birkirkara and holders Valletta in the semi-finals of the U*BET FA Trophy after defeating Vittoriosa Stars and Qormi respectively in the quarter-finals on Sunday.
Floriana defeated Qormi 5-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw at the end of the ninety minutes and extra-time.
The game was a balanced affair which came to life after the break after a rather disappointing first half.
The Greens welcomed back Mohammed El Yamani but lacked Brian Said and the suspended Daniel Nwoke. Abubakar Bello-Osagie, on the other hand, was missing for Qormi.
The first half lacked goal-mouth action with the best attempt at goal occurring on 35 minutes with a powerful shot by Dragomir Draganov which was partially saved by Matthew Farrugia. On two occasions, Egyptian striker El Yamani appealed for penalties after he was apparently brought down inside the area.
Twelve minutes in the second half, Qormi went close to taking the lead but Josue Souza Santos’ close-range effort was blocked by Lotfi Saidi.
A minute later, Floriana managed to break the deadlock when substitute Joseph Borg received a ball on the left and with a low shot from the edge of the area, he managed to beat goalkeeper Matthew Farrugia.
Qormi equalised on 71 minutes. Kang Hojung went close with a powerful shot from outside the area which was turned into a corner. From the resulting corner by Joseph Farrugia from the right, Jason Vandelannoite headed the ball home.
A minute later, the Yellow Blacks were reduced to ten men after Jason Vandelannoite was sent off for retaliation.
On 79 minutes, Michael Mifsud missed a good opportunity to put Qormi ahead, hitting just wide off a good pass by Jonathan Bondin. Josue had a shot from close range blocked by Saidi on 88 minutes and a minute later, a Joseph Farrugia freekick just missed the target.
The match went into extra-time and Mohammed El Yamani tried his luck wit a long-distance shot which was deflected into a corner on the 92nd.
On the 97th, referee Adrian Azzopardi sent off goalkeeper Lotfi Saidi who handled the ball outside the area. Coach Michael Woods pulled out El Yamani and handed English keeper Matthew Towns his debut. Meanwhile from the resulting freekick, Josue hit high.
In the second half of extra-time, Ivan Woods went close twice with a diagonal shot ending just wide and another low shot parried by Farrugia.
Penalties had to decide which team would be the last to make it to the semi-finals.
The penalty shoot-out:
Manolito Micallef scored, Josue – saved by goalkeeper;
Pablo Doffo scored, Michael Mifsud scored;
Christian Caruana scored, Joseph Farrugia scored;
Tyrone Farrugia scored, Stefan Giglio scored;
Ivan Woods scored
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QORMI Matthew Farrugia, Jason Vandelannoite, Stefan Giglio, Matthew Bartolo (69’ Joseph Chetcuti), Keith Fenech (64’ Cleavon Frendo), Michael Mifsud, Joseph Farrugia, Christos Karamanolis, Jonathan Bondin, Kang Hojung, Josue Souza Santos.
Subs not used: Gian Tonna, Gaetano Gesualdi, Carmelo Farrugia, Luke Sciberras, Ben Camilleri.
Coach: Stephen Azzopardi
Assistant Coach: Charles Scerri
FLORIANA Lofti Said, Tyrone Farrugia, Duncan Pisani, Manolito Micallef, Thomas Paris, Ivan Woods, Dragomir Draganov (46’ Joseph Borg), Christian Cassar (70’ Clyde Borg), Christian Caruana, Mohammed El Yamani (99’ Matthew Towns gk), Pablo Doffo.
Subs not used: Owen Bugeja, Clyde Borg, Sacha Borg, Mauro Di Lello, Brooke Farrugia.
Coach: Michael Woods
Referee: Adrian Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Paul Apap
Fourth Official: Kevin Azzopardi
Yellow Cards: M. Micallef, Josue, I. Woods, P. Doffo, J. Farrugia
Red Cards: 72’ Jason Lee Vandelannoite, 97’ Lotfi Saidi
Scorers: 58’ Joseph Borg (F); 71’ Jason Lee Vandelannoite (Q)
Tarxien Rainbows came from behind to beat Vittoriosa Stars 4-2 and reach the semi-finals of the U*BET FA Trophy.
Despite being the better side right from the start, Tarxien went one goal down after conceding a penalty. The Rainbows could afford missing a penalty before scoring four goals to secure a place in the next stage of the competition.
Tarxien had the first attempt at goal on the 2nd minute with Justin Grioli testing Jean Vella with a freekick from the left. The ball was turned into a corner and from the resulting corner, Gianluca Calabretta hit just wide.
Daniel Mariano Bueno then sent an inviting pass from the right but there was no one to connect and on the 15th minute, the Brazilian striker advanced into the area and hit low from the left but the ball hit the foot of the post. A Grioli freekick from the left was blocked by Jean Vella.
In a swift counter-attack for Vittoriosa on 22 minutes, Carlos Campagnoli advanced on the right before unleashing a powerful shot which was blocked by David Cassar. Off the rebound, Carl Sammut hit high.
The Stars managed to take the lead on 26 minutes when they were awarded a penalty. From the penalty spot, Edison Luis Dos Santos made no mistake.
Five minutes from the end of the first half, Tarxien had the opportunity to level matters when they were awarded a penalty after a defender handled the ball inside the area. However Daniel Mariano Bueno’s effort was deflected by the Vittoriosa goalkeeper into a corner.
Just before the end of the first half, Orosco Anonam hit the crossbar with a header from the edge of the area following a corner by Calabretta.
However the first half was not over yet as one minute in added time, Tarxien were awarded another penalty as Jeffrey Chetcuti floored Lee Galea inside the area. This time, Ricardo Costa converted to make it 1-1.
Nine minutes in the second half, Vittoriosa went close as the ball scraped past the post following a Carlos Campagnoli freekick. On the hour, Tarxien missed a good opportunity as Cristiano failed to connect off a Daniel Mariano Bueno cross from the left.
Tarxien took the lead on 63 minutes when a shot from outside the area was partially saved by Jean Vella and off the rebound, Luke Vella Critien slotted the ball past the Vittoriosa goalkeeper.
Ten minutes later, the Rainbows increased the lead when off a Justin Grioli freekick from the left, Ricardo Costa headed the ball home.
On the 80th, Tarxien made it 4-1 when Daniel Mariano Bueno received a cross from the right and advanced into the area before hitting past Jean Vella.
One minute from time, Vittoriosa were awarded another penalty when Edison Luis Dos Santos was brought down inside the area. Jorge Santos Silva converted from the penalty spot.
In added time, the Rainbows were reduced to ten men as Everton Antonio Pereira received a second yellow card and was therefore given marching orders by referee Marco Borg.
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TARXIEN David Cassar, Manuel Caruana (82’ Steve Sadowski), Everton Antonio Pereira, Gianluca Calabretta (90’ Andre Farrugia), Ricardo Costa, Cristiano Dos Santos Rodrigues, Daniel Mariano Bueno, Luke Vella Critien, Orosco Anonam (46’ Ryan Mintoff), Lee Galea, Justin Grioli.
Subs not used: Anthony Curmi, Sergio Hili, Warren Zerafa, Julian Vella
Coach: Noel Coleiro
Assistant Coach: Michael Chuch
VITTORIOSA Jean Vella, Dino Cachia, Jeffrey Chetcuti (46’ Leighton Grech), Justin Camilleri (72’ Alan Tabone), Steve Wellman, Jorge Santos Silva, Carl Sammut (85’ Larry Lagana), Carlos Campagnoli, Edison Luis Dos Santos, Murilo Maccari, Ryan Grech.
Subs not used: Alex Camilleri, Clayton Micallef, Anthony Ewurum, Mauro Brincat.
Coach: Winston Muscat
Assistant Coach: Darren Abdilla
Referee: Marco Borg
Assistant Referees: Ingmar Spiteri, William Debattista
Fourth Official: Glen Tonna
Yellow Cards: C. Sammut, J. Chetcuti, Everton, S. Wellman, J. Grioli, Mintoff
Red Cards: 90+2’ Everton
Scorers: 26’ Edison Luis Dos Santos (pen) (V); 45+1′ Ricardo Costa (pen) (T); 63′ Luke Vella Critien (T); 73′ Ricardo Costa (T); 80’ Daniel Mariano Bueno (T); 90’ Jorge Santos Silva (pen)(V)