Another two places in the quarter-finals of the U*BET FA Trophy will be at stake on Sunday as Balzan Youths take on Dingli Swallows and Floriana face Tarxien Rainbows in the remaining second round matches which will be played at the Hibernians Stadium.
In the first match, First Division side Balzan Youths will be hoping to be the only non-Premier League side in the quarter-finals as they take on BOV Premier League wooden-spoonists Dingli Swallows.
After securing the Second Division championship, the Youths did very well so far in Division 1 where they are among the main challengers for promotion. They are currently third after claiming 19 points from ten matches. Balzan lost just one game in these matches and are coming from two wins in their last two outings after defeating Mqabba 3-2 and St. George’s 3-0. They reached this stage after beating Premier league side Msida St. Joseph with a most comortable 5-0 score.
Dingli, on the other hand, won just one game in eighteen matches in the BOV Premier League and will start their Relegation Pool commitments with just two points. They lost the last fourteen league matches and are coming from a heavy 0-6 defeat to Premier League leaders Valletta on Monday. The Swallows reached the second round of the U*BET FA Trophy after beating Vittoriosa Stars on penalties following a 2-2 draw at the end of extra-time.
Meanwhile the second match puts against each other two Premier League clubs – Floriana and Tarxien Rainbows.
Two teams who had mixed fortunes in the Premier League. The Greens ended their commitments in the first phase in seventh place with 23 points and will therefore play in the Relegation Pool. The Rainbows, on the other hand, secured a top-six finish as they placed sixth on 26 points. A historic achievement for Noel Coleiro’s side after avoiding relegation from the top division at the end of last season for the first time in the history of the club.
However both teams managed to reach the semi-finals of the National League Anniversary Cup as Tarxien beat Second Division side Lija Athletic 2-0 while Floriana defeated Hamrun Spartans on penalties following a 2-2 draw.
Tarxien are coming from six positive results – three wins and two draws in league matches and the win over Lija in the Anniversary Cup. Floriana, on the other hand, defeated Msida St. Joseph 4-2 in their last league outing to make sure of starting their Relegation Pool commitments six points ahead of the same Msida who are second from bottom.
The two teams already met twice this season in the first phase of the BOV Premier League. Following a 1-1 draw in the first round, Tarxien beat Floriana 2-1 in the second round. On the other hand, in the first round of the competition Tarxien beat Mosta 5-1 while Floriana defeated San Gwann 5-1.
In these matches, extra-time will be played in necessary. If the result is still draw at the end of extra-time, penalty kicks shall be taken in accordance with the Laws of the Game.
In the quarter-finals, the winners of these two matches will join Hamrun Spartans and Qormi together with Birkirkara, Valletta, champions Hibernians and holders Sliema Wanderers who were awarded a bye.