U*BET FA Trophy: Birkirkara, Floriana eliminated

Birkirkara and Floriana were eliminated from the U*BET FA Trophy after losing to Qormi and Lija Athletic respectively in two of the remaining fourth round matches which were played on Wednesday at three different venues.

Valletta and Rabat Ajax defeated Gozitan sides Nadur Youngsters and Sannat Lions while Balzan needed extra-time to defeat Gzira United.

In the quarter-finals, Balzan will face Qormi, St. Andrews take on Lija Athletic in a clash between two First Division sides, Rabat Ajax meet Valletta while Hibernians face Zebbug Rangers.

Two goals in the first half gave Valletta a 2-0 win over Nadur Youngsters at the Centenary Stadium.

Valletta had an excellent start taking the lead after just two minutes thanks to a direct freekick by William Barbosa which beat goalkeeper Mark Grima.

On the 25th minute, the Citizens doubled the score when off a cross by Dyson Falzon, debutante Daniel Bogdanovic headed the ball into the direction of Demba Toure who beat the Nadur goalkeeper with another header.

VALLETTA Manuel Bartolo, Jason Lee Vandelannoite, Jonathan Caruana, Luke Dimech, Dyson Falzon, William Barbosa, Edmond Agius, Ryan Fenech (56′ Michael Mifsud), Daniel Bogdanovic, Denni Rocha dos Santos (46′ Joseph JoJo Ogonuppe), Demba Toure (73′ Joao Gabriel da Silva).
Coach: Mark Miller
NADUR Mark Grima, Brian Meilaq, Frankie Camilleri, Sandro Muller, Charles Mercieca, Charles Hili (80′ Paul Camilleri), Milos Stojanovic, Alex Simoncic (77′ Saviour Attard), Claudio Antunes, Anthony Portelli (83′ Brandon Said), Josef Buttigieg.
Referee: Fyodor Zammit
Assistant Referees: Luke Portelli, Peter Abela
Fourth Official: Alan Mario Sant

Qormi came from behind to beat Birkirkara 2-1.

Birkirkara managed to take the lead after just seven minutes when Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza served Ryan Camenzuli who advanced before hitting low past Steve Sultana.

Qormi replied with a Luke Sciberras effort hitting the crossbar but the Stripes went close once again with a Ryan Camenzuli effort hitting the crossbar and a Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza shot which hit the upright.

Four minutes in the second half, Qormi levelled matters when a Kris Thackray freekick was partially saved by Reuben Gauci and off the rebound, Roderick Sammut placed the ball at the back of the net.

Nine minutes later, a shot by Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza beat Sultana with Ryan Camenzuli hitting home off the goal line. Following harsh protests by the Qormi players, referee Adrian Azzopardi disallowed the goal for an offside position.

Qormi notched the winner six minutes from time when off a cross by Edison Bilbao Zarate, Kris Thackray controlled before hitting the ball past Reuben Gauci.

In the dying minutes, Birkirkara were reduced to ten men after having Nikola Vukanac sent off after receiving a second yellow card.

QORMI Steve Sultana (90′ Matthew Farrugia), Kris Thackray, Roderick Sammut, Matthew Bartolo (90′ Alessio Cassar), Alfred Effiong, Abubakar Bello-Osagie (90′ Moises Avila Perez), Luke Sciberras, Matthew Gauci, Edison Bilbao Zarate, Jonathan Bondin, Stephen Wellman.
Coach: Jesmond Zerafa
B’ KARA Reuben Gauci, Edward Herrera (46′ Zach Muscat), Nikola Vukanac, Alejandro Mendoza Corujo, Rodrigo Pereira (79′ Joselito dos Reis), Gareth Sciberras, Paul Fenech, Rowen Muscat, Harun Shola Shodiya, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza.
Coach: Paul Zammit
Referee: Adrian Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Duncan Sultana, Roberto Vella
Fourth Official: Andre Arciola

Rabat Ajax reached the quarter-finals of the U*BET FA Trophy after defeating Sannat Lions 5-0 at the Gozo Stadium.

They managed to take the lead on the 12th minute thanks to a close range header by Jose Luis Armario Negrin following a cross from the left by Justin Felice.

Jose Luis Armario Negrin doubled the score on 16 minutes when he anticipated goalkeeper Adrian Parnis with a cute lob from the edge of the area.

Rabat scored the third goal on 37 minutes when Justin Felice released Diego Carrillo Pendas on the right and the latter hit low past the Sannat custodian.

The Magpies were unlucky to hit the crossbar four minutes from half-time through Manuel Moral Fuster and the upright by Clifford Gauci five minutes in the second half and the crossbar through Diego Carrillo off the rebound

On the 62nd minute, Manuel Moral Fuster made it 4-0 hitting home from close range after exchanging the ball with Armario Negrin.

Ten minutes from time, Rabat were awarded a penalty after Patrick Camilleri handled the ball inside the area. However Ivan Carapic’s effort from the penalty spot was neutralised by Adrian Parnis.

One minute in added time, Diego Carrillo Pendas sealed the issue with a fifth goal thanks to a powerful shot from inside the area which gave Parnis no chance.

SANNAT Adrian Parnis, Patrick Camilleri, Andrew Debono, Nicholas Micallef, Peter Buttigieg, Blader Vata, Dylan Mercieca, Mark Muscat, Genti Haxiu (81′ Josiah Buttigieg), Manuel Cordina (59′ Daniel Borg), Sunday Baala.
Coach: Teddy Bajada
RABAT Sean Mintoff, Gaetano Gesualdi, Ivan Carapic, Joseph Caruana (67′ Patrick Borg), Justin Felice, Jose Luis Armario Negrin, Manuel Moral Fuster (69′ Yan Cauchi), Dylan Falzon, Diego Carrillo Pendas, David Azzopardi (72′ Shaun Gauci), Clifford Gauci.
Coach: Silvio Vella
Referee: Esther Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Mitchell Scerri, Sammy Attard
Fourth Official: Kevin Azzopardi

At the Victor Tedesco Stadium, Balzan defeated First Division side Gzira United 3-2 after extra-time.

Jamie Pace put Balzan ahead on 27 minutes when he beat goalkeeper Simon Agius with a shot from the edge of the area.

Gzira levelled matters on the 68th minute when off a cross by Ademola Alawepo, the unmarked Simon Shead placed the ball at the back of the net from close range.

The game went into extra-time with Balzan regaining the leadon the 94th minute when they were awarded a penalty after Firas Aboulezz was floored inside the area by Ademola Alawepo who was also sent off. BOV Premier League top-Elton Alexandre da Silva made no mistake from the penalty spot.

Despite being in ten men, the Maroons restored equilibrium on the 105th minute thanks to Ryan Deguara who concluded a solo effort with a shot which beat Dani Martinez.

However six minutes in the second half of extra-time, Balzan notched the winner when a freekick by Renato Conceicao was partially saved by Simon Agius and off the rebound, Rennie Forace hit home.

Two minutes later, Dylan Grima received a second yellow card for Balzan and was therefore sent off.

BALZAN Daniel Martinez, Jacob Borg, Aaron Agius (Firas Aboulezz 71), Renato Conceicao, Matthew Mendy, Renie Forace, Bjorn Bondin (Clint Micallef 78), Jamie Pace, Dylan Grima, Christian Caruana (Elton Da Silva 67), Ryan Darmanin
GZIRA Simon Agius, Ryan Deguara, Jeffrey Chetcuti, Hubert Gatt Bonello, Pierre Grima, Ademola Alawepo, Sunny Omoregie (Salvatore Grixti 119), Simon Shead, Steve Meilak, Jimmy Hussey, Yanis Tonna
Referee: Clayton Pisani
Assistant Referees: William Debattista, Paul Apap
Fourth official: Mario Apap

In another match, Lija Athletic registered the biggest surprise of the day as they beat Floriana 1-0.

Ige Abdullahi Adeshina scored the all-important goal six minutes in the second half.

LIJA Luke Bonnici, Clayton Giordmaina, Matthew Fleri Soler, Daniel Scerri, Dejan Vukovic, Peter Taiye Oladotun (68′ Erjon Beu), Evano Briffa, Andre Scicluna, Beppe Antignolo, Rosalino Martins Pais de Almeida, Ige Abdullahi Adeshina (90+2′ Timothy Fleri Soler).
FLORIANA Tony Warner, Kane Farrugia, Carl Tremarco, Owen Bugeja (67′ Sacha Borg), Thomas Paris (58′ Mark Spiteri), Trevor Cilia (72′ Luca Casha), Gary Roberts, Igor Coronado, Duncan Pisani, Brooke Farrugia, Clyde Borg.
Referee: Chris Lautier
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Thomas Debono
Fourth Official: Trustin Farrugia Cann