U*BET FA Trophy: Premier League sides made to sweat

Balzan Youths defeated Zejtun Corinthians 2-1 to reach the fourth round of the U*BET FA Trophy in one of the two matches at the National Stadium on Saturday.

Balzan took the lead on the 24th minute when a Miguel Ciantar effort was not held by Ranier Farrugia and Pedro dos Santos Calcado placed the ball at the back of the net.

Zejtun levelled matters eleven minutes in the second half when Nikolay Filipov served Gers Delia whose powerful shot beat goalkeeper Fredrick Tabone.

Substitute Lydon Micallef notched the winner on the 90th minute when he beat Farrugia with a low shot after receiving a pass by Calcado.

ZEJTUN Ranier Farrugia, Edward Azzopardi, Matthew Borg, Andre Farrugia, Jesmar Abela, Nikolay Filipov, Kenneth Abela, Kalin Ganchev (Lyden Micallef 88), Gers Delia, Wizam Elzaredi (Ryan Cauchi 90), Charlo Magro.

BALZAN Frederick Tabone, Clifton Ciantar (Renie Forace 62), David Fenech, Yessous Camilleri, Jonathan Francica, Bledjon Guga, Bjorn Bondin, Dylan Grima, Pedro Dos Santos Calcado, Miguel Ciantar (Lydon Micallef 75), Fagner Lins Bernardes (Silvan Ciscaldi 83).

Referee: Andre Arciola
Assistant Referees: Duncan Sultana, Roberto Vella
Fourth Official: Adrian Azzopardi
Scorers: P. Calcado 24, L. Micallef 90 (B); G. Delia 56 (Ÿ)
Yellow Cards: J. Abela (Ÿ), P. Calcado (B)

On the other hand, a goal by Jorge Pereira da Silva nine minutes from time made the whole difference as Qormi defeated Second Division side Gzira United 1-0.

Although Qormi held the initiative throughout the first half, Gzira went close to taking the lead on 39 minutes with a shot by Jimmy Hussey hitting the crossbar.

Nine minutes from time, Qormi secured the winner when off a cross by Federico Mirarchi, Stuart Duff served Jorge Pereira da Silva whose powerful shot beat Simon Agius.

GZIRA Simon Agius, Andre White, Ryan Deguara, Antoine Galea (Steve Gatt 89), Rudi Goncalves Alinho, Jimmy Hussey, Sharlon Pace, Yanis Tonna, Karl Saliba (Matthew Cocks 71), Simon Shead, Anthony Ewurum.

QORMI Matthew Farrugia, Jeffrey Chetcuti, Rodrick Sammut, Matthew Bartolo, Charlon Sammut (Luke Sciberras 68), Kenneth Scicluna, Federico Mirarchi, Jorge Da Silva Pereira, Stuart Duff (Joseph Chetcuti 89), Stephen Wellman, Daniel Nwoke (Abubakar Bello-Osagie 61).

Referee: Esther Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Mitchell Scerri
Fourth Official: Malcolm Spiteri
Scorer: J. Da Silva Pereira 81
Yellow Cards: R. Deguara (G), S. Duff (Q)

At the Centenary Stadium, First Division side St. George’s defeated Gharghur from Division Two 2-0.

The Saints held the initiative in the early stages and forged ahead on the 8th minute when off a pass by Eric Chukwunyelu from the right, Jonathan Ruiz slotted the ball past goalkeeper Dunstan Zarb from the edge of the area.

Six minutes from the end of the first half, the Cospicua side doubled the score when off a Gary Inguanez corner from the left, Reda Boutahir headed the ball home.

ST. GEORGE’S Ryan Marmara, Christian Grech, Emanuel Sevasta, Heathcliff Schembri, Neil Curmi, Emerson Amaira, Gary Inguanez (62’ Amadeo Mercieca), Jonathan Ruiz (73’ Anthony Bonello), Dylan Zarb, Reda Boutahir (83’ Klinsmann Grech), Eric Chukwunyelu.

GHARGHUR Dunstan Zarb (68’ Jurgen Cilia), Luke Stivala, Clint Farrugia, Ryan Debattista, Hubert Gatt Bonello, Edmond Lapira (78’ Diansand Brincat), Chris Vella, Karl Azzopardi, Michael Borg Olivier, Beppe Antignolo, Iro Curmi (73’ Ben Perry Acton).

Referee: Karl Frendo Cumbo
Assistant Referees: Mariano Debono, Chris Francalanza
Karti Sofor: C. Vella, H. Schembri, E. Amaira, J. Ruiz
Goals: 8’ Jonathan Ruiz, 39’ Reda Boutahir

In another match, First Division side Rabat Ajax defeated Second Division side Kirkop United 3-0.

The Magpies took the lead on 26 minutes when off a Vilson Caushi corner from the left, Justin Felice headed the ball in the direction of Dylan Falzon whose header beat Christian Francica.

Ten minutes in the second half, Rabat doubled the score when Chris Schembri sent Justin Felice through and the latter hit low past the Kirkop goalkeeper.

Fifteen minutes from time, the Ajax scored the third goal when off a good run on the left, Adam Smeir served Justin Felice who slotted the ball past Francica.

KIRKOP Christian Francica, Christopher Farrugia (70’ Leonard Zammit), Bronwen Bugeja, Lee Cumbo, Albert Busuttil, Peter Paul Cassar (57’ Matthew Pisani), Bryan Falzon, Ivan Stankovic, Rumen Kerekov, Jurgen Gerada, Michael Theuma (65’ Daniel Zammit).

RABAT Jonathan Azzopardi, Neil Caruana (76’ Wayne Borg), Chris Schembri, Joseph Caruana, Justin Felice, Alan Zahra (70’ Yan Cauchi), Adam Smeir, Dylan Falzon, Christian Muscat (72’ Shaun Gauci), Vilson Caushi, David Azzopardi.

Referee: Philip Farrugia
Assistant Referees: Konrad Borg, Alex Grech
Scorers: 26’ Dylan Falzon, 55’ Justin Felice, 75’ Justin Felice

At the Victor Tedesco Stadium, Marsaxlokk beat ten-man San Gwann 5-3.

The two teams shared the exchanges for long stretches but the dismissal of a player mid-way through the second half ruined the day for the Second Division side.

Marsaxlokk took the lead on the 10th minute when off a cross by Modesto Valeriani, Malcolm Licari hit hard past goalkeeper Daniel Nagy.

San Gwann equalised on 31 minutes with a direct freekick by Chris Pace which beat Reuben Gauci.

Three minutes from the end of the first half, Marsaxlokk regained the lead through Sunday Eboh whose low shot beat the San Gwann goalkeeper following a corner by Valeriani.

However twelve minutes in the second half, Richard Attard made it 2-2 for San Gwann after concluding a solo effort with an angled shot which beat Gauci.

On 63 minutes, the Southseasiders were awarded a penalty after Keith Vella brought Malcolm Licari down inside the area. Vella was given marching orders by referee Trustin Farrugia Cann and from the penalty spot, Modesto Valeriani made no mistake.

San Gwann once again levelled matters through a Richard Attard freekick three minutes later.

Marsaxlokk regained the lead through Sunday Eboh following a Jean Paul Farrugia freekick.

Finally five minutes from time, Malcolm Licari sealed the issue with a fifth goal as he received a pass by Carlo Mamo and slotted the ball past Nagy.

MARSAXLOKK Reuben Gauci, Modesto Valeriani, Clive Brincat, Patrick Borg, Carlo Mamo, Sunday Eboh, Kevin Polidano (Stefan Cutajar, 72’), Jean Paul Farrugia (Darrell Grech, 88’), Gary Caruana, Dylan Kokavessis (Trevor Templeman, 57’), Malcolm Licari.

SAN GWANN Daniel Nagy, Keith Vella, Daniel Cosaitis, Miguel Francica, Quincy Bregman, Alan Borg, Peter Xuereb, Chris Pace (Chris Cuschieri, 49’), Richard Attard, James Borg (Shawn Vella, 72’), Chris Cacciatolo (Matthew Asciak, 82’).

REFEREE: Trustin Farrugia Cann

In another match, Hibernians were given a hard time by Third Division leaders Pembroke Athleta although they still moved through the next round thanks to a 5-3 win.

Edison Luis dos Santos put Hibernians ahead on the 10th when off a cross by Edward Herrera, he headed the ball past goalkeeper Roderick Debattista.

Three minutes later, Pembroke were awarded a penalty after Lydon Cilia was fouled inside the area. Matthew Borg’s effort from the penalty spot was blocked by Luke Bonnici but off the rebound, the same player placed the ball at the back of the net.

Against the run of play, Pembroke forged ahead on 37 minutes as Lydon Cilia chipped the ball over Bonnici.

However five minutes from the end of the first half, Hibs restored equilibrium with a direct freekick by Clayton Failla which beat Debattista.

A Clayton Failla effort hit the crossbar seven minutes in the second half and on 61 minutes, it was Andrew Cohen’s turn to hit the bar with a header.

Two minutes later, Cohen was not to be denied as he scored from close range off a corner by Tarabai to make it 3-2.

An Andrew Cohen freekick was parried by Debattista aided by the posts.

Tarabai scored the Paolites’ fourth goal on 66 minutes with a close-range effort following a cross by Steve Pisani.

Carlo Leonardi scored Athleta’s third goal ten minutes from time with a fine shot from outside the area.

However Tarabai completed a hat-trick to make it 5-3 for Hibernians as he concluded a solo effort with an angled shot which beat Debattista.

HIBERNIANS Luke Bonnici, Edward Herrera, Aaron Xuereb, Jonathan Pearson (Ryan Camilleri, 46’), Clayton Failla, Bjorn Kristensen (Ayrton Azzopardi, 89’), Rodolfo Soares, Steve Pisani (Scott Chircop, 89’), Andrew Cohen, Marcelo Dias, Edison Luis Dos Santos.

PEMBROKE Rodrick Debattista, Neil Coleriro Gatt, Adrian Galea (Jean Claude Borg, 79’), Lydon Cilia, Vojko Martinovic, Carlo Leonardi, Mattew Borg (Daniel Calleja Cremona, 71’), Jonathan Mifsud, Trevor Naudi, Rodney Caruana, Geoffrey Spiteri (Daniel Cremona, 72’).

REFEREE: Mario Apap