Lydon Micallef scored the all-important goal for Balzan as they defeated Tarxien Rainbows 1-0 after extra-time at the Hibernians Stadium to reach the semi-finals of the FA Trophy.
After a goalless ninety minutes, the match came to life in extra-time with Balzan scoring the goal that mattered, two players being sent off and a missed penalty.
Photos: Copyright © Jonathan Bugeja
Tarxien had an edge over their opponents early in the first half but eventually the two teams shared the exchanges. However shots at goal were quite rare.
With no goals being scored at the end of the ninety minutes, the game went into extra-time.
Balzan finally managed to break the deadlock two minutes in the second half of extra-time when following a corner, Paul Fenech hit low and Lydon Micallef tapped the ball at the back of the net.
A few minutes later, confusion reigned for a few seconds on the field of play as Balzan were about to substitute Lydon Micallef with Aleksandar Vujacic. On his way out, Lydon Micallef received a yellow card – his second yellow card – and although Vujacic had already entered the field of play, he was recalled and asked to leave the pitch with Micallef being shown the red card.
Balzan were awarded a penalty on the 117th minute after Bruno Giglio de Oliveira handled the ball following a conclusion by Alfred Effiong in a swift counter attack for Balzan. Referee Mario Apap sent off the Tarxien defender but from the penalty spot, Alan da Silva Souza hit high.[gallery_bank type=”images” format=”masonry” title=”true” desc=”false” responsive=”true” display=”all” sort_by=”pic_id” animation_effect=”bounce” album_title=”false” album_id=”43″]
BALZAN Ivan Janjusevic, Justin Grioli, Paul Fenech, Steve Bezzina, Pedro dos Santos Calcado (64′ Alan da Silva Souza), Clive Brincat, Alfred Effiong (120+1′ Aleksandar Vujacic), Luke Sciberras (58′ Ryan Fenech), Lydon Micallef, Elkin Orlando Serrano Valero, Dylan Grima.
Subs not used: Christian Cassar, Maxim Focsa, Bojan Kaljevic, Sean Cipriott.
Coach: Oliver Spiteri
TARXIEN Andrea Cassar, Ebiabowei Baker, Bruno Giglio de Oliveira, Timothy Tabone Desira, Ayrton Azzopardi, Carlos Menedez Hevia (23′ Triston Caruana), Luke Montebello (80′ Alex Nilsson), Sergio Fernandes Prendes, Daniel Zerafa, Alex da Paixao Alves (120+2′ Brandon Muscat), Joao Pedro Oliveira Santos.
Subs not used: Sean Mintoff, Manuel Caruana, Roderick Bajada, Matthew Tabone.
Coach: Jacques Scerri
Referee: Mario Apap
Assistant Referees: Mitchell Scerri, Paul Apap
Fourth Official: Clayton Pisani
Yellow Cards: Brincat, Micallef, Pedrinho, R. Fenech
Red Cards: 113′ Lydon Micallef
Scorers: 107′ Lydon Micallef