U*BET FA Trophy quarter-finals take centre stage

Holders Hibernians, last year’s finalists Qormi and champions Valletta will be aiming for a place in the semi-finals as the four U*BET FA Trophy quarter-finals will be played on Sunday at two different venues.

In the first game at the National Stadium, Valletta target their first win over Rabat Ajax this season after two 1-1 draws in the two BOV Premier League clashes despite the fact that Valletta lead the table and Rabat are anchored at the bottom of the table.

The Citizens defeated Hamrun Spartans 3-1 and Gozitan side Nadur Youngsters 2-0 in the previous rounds while Rabat beat First Division side Pietà Hotspurs 1-0 and Gozitans Sannat Lions 5-0.

In the second match, Balzan take on Qormi.

Balzan defeated two First Division sides in the third and fourth round but needed extra-time to beat Naxxar Lions 4-3 and Gzira United 3-2. Qormi, on the other hand, defeated Second Division side Pembroke Athleta 5-2 after extra-time and Birkirkara 2-1.

The two teams met twice this season with Balzan claiming two 2-1 wins.

In the first game at the Hibernians Stadium, Hibs host Second Division leaders Zebbug Rangers.

Zebbug defeated Second Division side Mellieha 3-0 in the second round before they registered the biggest surprise of the competition, eliminating Sliema Wanderers on penalties following a 1-1 draw. In the third round, they defeated Marsaskala from Division 3 3-0. The Rangers currently lead the way in the BOV Second Division with a nine-point gap on the second team.

The Paolites, on the other hand, beat Mosta 2-1 before defeating First Division side Gudja United 4-0 in the fourth round. Hibs are currently second in the BOV Premier League but will start the second phase on level points with leaders Valletta.

The other clash is between two First Division sides – St. Andrews and Lija Athletic.

The two teams met last week in a match from the BOV First Division with the Saints registering a most incredible 8-3 win over Lija.

In the previous rounds, St. Andrews defeated First Division side Birzebbuga St. Peter’s 2-0, Second Division side Msida St. Joseph 2-0 and First Division side Mqabba 4-1 after extra-time. Lija, on the other hand, beat Second Division sides Siggiewi 3-1 and Gharghur 2-1 before eliminating Floriana, beating them 1-0.

In these games, extra-time will be played if necessary and 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.