Ten-man Valletta beat Balzan to reach FA Trophy final

Ten-man Valletta came back from one goal down to beat Balzan 2-1 and reach the final of the FA Trophy, powered by Boost Diesel, where they will be facing Birkirkara on Saturday.

Danilo Doncic’s boys held the initiative throughout the first half but the dismissal of Steve Borg forced them to change plans. They conceded a goal but scored two quick goals to turn the score in their favour and stay on track for the double.

For Balzan, this was yet another disappointing result after last week’s defeat to Hibernians handed the title to Valletta. Once again, they end the season empty-handed as they continue to chase their first major honour.

Valletta held the initiative in the early stages and on the 15th minute, Miguel Angel Alba tested Sean Mintoff with a freekick. A Kyrian Nwoko effort was turned into a corner by the Balzan custodian on the 17th minute and a minute later, the Citizens threatened once again when off a cross from the left by Piciollo, the ball was deflected by Mintoff, Saleh served Pena Beltre but his attempt was cleared into safety by Johnson.

The champions maintained the pressure and on the 28th minute, Raed Ibrahim Saleh headed just wide off a freekick from the right by Alba. On the 34th minute, an Alba effort was blocked by a defender and off the rebound, Matteo Piciollo entered the penalty area before trying his luck with a shot from the left which hit the upright.

Valletta were reduced to ten men four minutes in the second half after Steve Borg received a second yellow card for a foul on Cadu. Balzan gained confidence and Kaljevic sent Effiong through on the left and the latter avoided Gill’s marking and tried his luck with a shot ending just wide on the 62nd. A minute later, a Milos Lepovic effort was deflected into a corner when served by Alex da Paixao Alves.

Balzan took the lead on the 67th minute when a shot from the left by Alfred Effiong was not held by Bonello and Alex da Paixao Alves tapped the ball home from close range.

However eleven minutes from time Balzan were awarded a penalty after substitute Ryan Fenech pushed Raed Ibrahim Saleh. From the penalty spot, Denni Rocha dos Santos made no mistake.

The Citizens turned the score in their favour on the 82nd minute when Saleh advanced on the right and served Matteo Piciollo who entered the penalty area and beat Sean Mintoff with a great rising shot.

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VALLETTA Henry Bonello, Steve Borg, Ryan Camilleri, Santiago Malano, Matteo Piciollo, Kyrian Nwoko (84′ Jean Borg), Enmy Pena Beltre, Joseph Zerafa, Raed Ibrahim Saleh, Rowen Muscat (53′ Juan Cruz Gill), Miguel Angel Alba (73′ Denni Rocha dos Santos).
Subs not used: Nicky Vella, Shaun Dimech, Russell Fenech, Nicholas Pulis.
Coach: Danilo Doncic

BALZAN Sean Mintoff, Steve Bezzina, Alfred Effiong, Ivan Bozovic (70′ Justin Grioli), Elkin Serrano Valero, Bojan Kaljevic, Milos Lepovic (86′ Siraj Arab Eddin), Paul Fenech, Michael Johnson, Carlos Eduardo de Fiori Mendes (77′ Ryan Fenech), Alex da Paixao Alves.
Subs not used: Dorian Bugeja, Clive Brincat, Jacob Borg, Harry Ascroft.
Coach: Marko Micovic

Referee: Clayton Pisani
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Luke Portelli
Additional Assistant Referees: Stefan Pace, Ishmael Barbara
Fourth Official: Glenn Tonna
Yellow Cards: Borg, Serrano, Bozovic, Effiong, Piciollo, Cadu, Zerafa, Arab, Kaljevic, Bonello, Johnson
Red Cards: 49′ Steve Borg
Attedance: 2,472

Valletta FC Champions 2018 – Copyright © 2018 Andrew Grima & Neil Grima.

8 comments
  1. X misthijja… Valletta were ushered to the final by the officials decision… hekk messu kien it titlu.
    Birkirkara jmisshom jinzu bil minors ghal final. Mhux ta’ b xejn li jghidu li huma ir Real Madid ghax bhalhom isibu l ghajnuna minn fuq.

  2. Ilna mill-1996 sal-lum naghtikom lezzjoni wara lezzjoni, b’rebh ta’ final wara final kontrikom u jiddispjacini ghalikom li ghadkom ma tghallimtu xejn.
    Ara vera nies injoranti intom ta. Mela l-ewwel kollkom arja Sciriha tiela u San Duminku niezel waqt il-loghba taghkom kontra -Sliema (minghajr mhu qed tilaghbu kontrina) umbaghad qattu tinhabbu ma hal balzan forsi tigu l-irhula bejnietkom final.
    Ahna min-naha taghna, bit-tim li ramalna l-kbir is-Sur Victor Sciriha ninzlu ghal kull loghba fiducjuzi fit-tim taghna u nigu kontra min nigu nemmnu li ghandna tim tajjeb bizzejjed li nirbhu l-partita. U ma naghmlux l-izball li nippruvaw ninfluenzaw lir-referees qabel il-loghba forsi jaghtukom xi palata fil-final. Mela bla kukki jew?! Ha ha ha
    Taf ghalfejn taghmlu hekk imma: ghax tafu li l-Belt l-aqwa tim u tafu li jekk ahna nilaghbu l-loghba taghna ha tergghu tmorru tibku wara hafna pumpjaturi. Ghalhekk qed tiggranfaw ma kull haga possibli ghax tafu li player bi player u tim b’tim m’ghandkom cans.
    Infakkrek wahda habib: li ftit ta’ zmien ilu ghedtu lis-Sur Victor Sciriha ma jifhimx fil-futbol – u dan tant ma jifhimx li fi 11-il sena maghna rebah 6 kampjonati aktar milli hadtu intom f’70 sena ta’ storja taghkom.
    U nghidlek l-ahhar haga ghax sarli l-hin: zejnu l-wied minn qabel kif ghamiltu f’dawn l-ahhar 20 sena ta’ finals kontrina ghax qatt ma waqajtu ghac-cajt kontrina!!!
    WE DID IT AGAIN!!! 5 TIMES!!!! Ghedtuha 4 snin ilu u ghadkom 4 kif kontu. Ahna minn meta ghedtuha dik il-frazi konna 21 u donnok ir-rebha taghna li ghadha friska diga nsejtha imma jien ha nfakkrek: 24!!! Goodluck ghas-sibt fil-5pm u j’Alla l-aqwa tim jirbah!!!!
    Sahha

  3. U int min qallek li ta’bkr qed jahsbu li ha jirbhu… ? Nkella ma jkollkomx biex tifirhu ghal v18 hux?
    Ara tghidx li dan il kampjonat kien haqqkom tirbhuh!

  4. Issa qed nifhem ghal x ‘ hiex f’ gurnal lokali ta’ nhar l-Erbgha25 ta’ April 2018 bl-artiklu ‘Innutajna ‘ issemma li minkejja decizjonijiet kontroversjali r-referee inghata puntegg gholi ta’ 8.6 , u l artiklu inghalaq ‘ Tghid min jaf ghaliex ? ‘ !
    Mela l-Final ghal Mario Sant ?

  5. 4 decizjonijiet fundamentali kollha a favur team wiehed…..Kif setghu jirbhu Balzan ?? Nisperaw li jkollna finali “fair “ u j Alla l aqwa team jirbah.

  6. ian….qisek qed taghmel one plus one .
    Tghid Betting Companies ser jitfaw wahda jekk il- Final jirrefjax Sant ?
    Tidher ovja li Sant ser jaghmilha , ghax kollox bizzilla jidher !
    Ma jisthix jidher quddiem tal -belt, jew issa ikollu jpattilhom ?
    Riskju kbir dan jekk jirrefja hu !!!!!!!!!!
    Possibli m’hemmx referees ohrajn ?

  7. Jien ma nafx mil-liema parti ta’ gisimkom qed titkellmu jahasra: jekk hux minn halqkom jew minn x’imkien iehor!!!
    Qed tghidu hafna hmerijiet qisu kien hemm ruxmata decizjonijiet favur il-Belt dan l-istagun, mentri fil-kampjonat l-uniku decizjoni li jien rajt favorevoli kienet fl-ewwel gurnata ta’ l-istagun meta tana penalty fuq Asceric kontra l-Mosta li rebbahna 2 punti. Mentri kontrina kien hemm dak il-gowl fl-ahhar sekondi kontra s-sliema li tellifna 2 punti u 3 decizjonijiet f’loghba wahda kontrina kontra l-furjana fejn tlifna 2 punti ohra.
    U ma nafx x’wicc irid ikollkom biex tghidu li l-Belt ma haqqhomx jiehdu l-lig dan l-istagun, meta ghandna l-aqwa president bl-aqwa skwadra li hawn fil-futbol Malti, u minn mindu lahaq Doncic kowc konna l-aktar tim konsistenti u l-aktar tim konvincenti fil-loghob ukoll, fejn sahansitra l-anqas loghba ma tlifna taht Danilo u soffrejna biss 11-il gowl fi stagun shih.
    U anke meta gejna dro’ kien haqqna nirbhu (mas-Sliema, ma’ B’kara u anke Balzan) fejn kieku kkonkludejna c-chances li kellna konna nghalquhom fl-1 taqsima dawn il-loghbiet. Min-naha l-ohra l-unika loghba li tista tghid irbahna u forsi ma haqqnix nirbhu kienet kontra St Andrews, meta skorja Michael Mifsud fl-ahhar minuta, imma l-plejers urew never say die attitude u gibniha ukoll.
    U naghlaq bl-ahhar haga: il-loghob fil-ground jintrebah mhux bil-paroli fil-vojt. Il-Belt huma l-favoriti imma dan ma jfisser xejn. Fil-lig on the long run l-iktar tim konsistenti jirbhu imma fit-trophy l-aqwa tim fil-gurnata jirbah barra li jista jkollna xi off-day. Jien bhal kull loghba ohra ghandi fiducja assoluta li nistghu nirbhu din il-loghba u nirbhu d-double imma f’cup tie kollox possibli ghax il-loghba ha tintrebah mill-aqwa tim fil-grawnd u mhux bl-erezijiet!!!
    U jekk allahares qatt tigi favurikom ara ma jkunx hemm xi hadd minnkom li jifrah jew jitkellem hawn gew ghax bil-kliem li qed tghidu qed turu kemm intom nies injoranti, ghax il-loghba ghad trid tintlaghab u kollox jista jigri!!! Good Luck Whites ghal nhar is-sibt ghax dil-haga hi fatt u mhux paroli: VALLETTA CHAMPIONS GHAL 24 DARBA!!! Come on Whites!!!

  8. Mela ma rajthomx il programmi sportivi dal weekend ?? Ghax kemm fuq Kontrattakk u anke Replay il mistiedna KOLLHA qablu li Balzan kellhom 2 penalties u twaqqaf il loghob ghal offside meta ma kienx u kien hemm 2 players wahidhom kontra l goaler u l penalty tal belt ma kienx.
    Bhal ma batejtu mid decizjonijiet hziena tar referree kontra l Floriana fil kampjonat,hekk gawdejtu min din is semi final…Ammetti !
    Jien persuna li rrid nirbah bil fair….jekk ahjar minni nghidlek prosit u nohodlok b idejk….imma jekk tirbahli bi ‘zball ‘ dik ma naccettahix.
    Nisperaw li nhar is sibt ma jkollniex xi ‘zball’ favur team jew iehor.Ahna l underdogs ghal ewwel darba f finali kontra l belt.May the best team wins….Forza Birkirkara .

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