U*BET FA Trophy: Citizens, Spartans through to semi-finals

Last season’s finalists, Valletta, secured a place in the semi-finals of the U*BET FA Trophy as they beat Mosta 3-1.

Valleta and Hamrun Spartans join Qormi and Hibernians in the semi-finals which will be played at the end of the season.

Mosta lacked Alex Cini, Federico Tisbi, Dyson Falzon and the suspended Yannick Ossok. Coach Steve D’Amato was also unable to lead the team from the bench as he serves a suspension.

Valletta took the lead after just three minutes when off a cross by Mady Panadetiguiri from the right, Aleksandars Cekulajevs chipped the ball over goalkeeper Glenn Zammit from a close angle.

On the 26th minute, Glenn Zammit brought Cekulajevs down inside the area. Referee Alan Mario Sant ordered a penalty and Michael Mifsud made no mistake from the penalty spot.

The Blues pulled one back two minutes from the end of the first half when Obinna Obiefule took advantage of an erratic clearance and hit low past goalkeeper Andrew Hogg.

Six minutes in the second half, Valletta went close with a Denni effort off a freekick by Edmond Agius from the right. A rising shot by Roderick Briffa from the edge of the area ended high on 66 minutes.

Valletta scored the third goal on 72 minutes thanks to Aleksandars Cekulajevs who received a pass by Denni and slotted the ball past goalkeeper Glenn Zammit.

In added time, a goal-bound shot by Denni was cleared off the goal line by Adrian Borg and off the rebound, Roderick Bajada’s conclusion was neutralised by Zammit.

Photos: Copyright © James Galea

VALLETTA Andrew Hogg, Jonathan Caruana, Steve Borg, Saidou Mady Panandetiguiri, Aleksandars Cekulajevs, Ian Azzopardi, Roderick Briffa, Edmond Agius (83′ Gilbert Agius), Ousseni Zongo (76′ William Barbosa), Denni Rocha dos Santos, Michael Mifsud.
Subs not used: Matthew Towns, Nahuel Pulitano Jimenez, Alfred Effiong, Filippo Andrea Scozzese.
Coach: Leonard Farrugia
Asst. Coach: Jesmond Zerafa

MOSTA Glenn Zammit, Adrian Borg, Kane Farrugia, Luca Martinelli, Florent Raimy, Jonathan Bajada (69′ Gilbert Martin), Kurt Magro, Predrag Mirceta (80′ Sheldon Grech), Ian Zammit, Zakaria Kibona (46′ Terence Vella), Obinna Obiefule.
Subs not used: Jonathan Debono, Bryan Agius, Pio Vassallo, Firas Aboulezz.
Team Manager: Chris Grech

Referee: Alan Mario Sant
Assistant Referees: Mitchell Scerri, Joe Camilleri
Fourth Official: Malcolm Spiteri
Yellow Cards: G. Zammit, J. Bajada, S. Borg, L. Martinelli, S. Panandetiguiri
Scorers: 3′ Aleksandars Cekulajevs (V); 27′ Michael Mifsud (pen) (V); 43′ Obinna Obiefule (M); 72′ Aleksandars Cekulajevs (V)

Hamrun Spartans reached the semi-finals of the U*BET FA Trophy after defeating First Division side St. George’s 3-1.

The Spartans forged ahead on the 20th when off a Matthew Gauci corner from the right, Ronni Hartvig headed the ball past goalkeeper Ryan Marmara.

Five minues later, Anderson Mendes Ribeiro went close with a curved shot from just outside the area. Leonardo Rocha dos Santos replied with a shot from outside the area ending high on 33 minutes. Three minutes later, Heathcliff Schembri received a good through pass but his poor conclusion was saved by Omar Borg.

Hamrun doubleed the score on 41 minutes when Sammut released Gaetan Spiteri on the left and the latter driblled a defender before serving Anderson Mendes Ribeiro who headed the ball home past the St. George’s goalkeeper.

Ryan Marmara managed to stop a long-distance effort by Massimo Grima nine minutes in the second half. Dene Shields then had a shot from close range blocked by Marmara into a corner when served by Ribeiro inside the area. The St. George’s goalkeeper turned into another corner an angled shot by Gianluca Calabretta on 63 minutes.

St. George’s reduced the gap on 72 minutes when off a Gary Inguanez corner from the left, substitute Anthony Bonello headed the ball home in style.

Ryan Marmara turned into a corner a Lee James Agius effort from outside the area on 74 minutes.

Hamrun secured victory on the 90th thanks to a goal by Ryan Spiteri whose shot from the left beat the St. George’s goalkeeper.

Photos: Copyright © James Galea

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HAMRUN Omar Borg, Gianluca Calabretta, Matthew Gauci, Ronni Hartvig, Massimo Grima, Rupert Mangion, Lee James Agius (84′ David Camilleri), Gaetan Spiteri, Dene Shields, Kevin Sammut (46′ Ryan Spiteri), Anderson Mendes Ribeiro (89′ Glenn Azzopardi).
Subs not used: Andrea Cassar, Luke Grech, Diego Cucciardi, Ayrton Micallef.
Coach: Stefan Sultana

ST. GEORGE’S Ryan Marmara, Heathcliff Schembri (68′ Anthony Bonello), Jonathan Ruiz (10′ Klinsmann Grech), Daniel Zahra, Reda Boutahir, Leonardo Rocha dos Santos, Emerson Amaira, Gary Inguanez, Dylan Zarb, Emanuel Sevasta, Alan Abela.
Subs not used: Thomas Galea, Iain Farrugia, Charlot Cesare, Waillys De Azevedo, Klinsmann Grech.
Coach: Ramon Zammit
Asst. Coach: Mark Vella

Referee: Mario Apap
Assistant Referees: Mariano Debono, Paul Apap
Fourth Official: Chris Lautier
Yellow Cards: Gauci, Shields, Sevasta, Agius
Scorers: 20′ Ronni Hartvig (H); 41′ Anderson Mendes Ribeiro (H); 72′ Anthony Bonello (SG); 90′ Ryan Spiteri (H)