A penalty by Denni Rocha dos Santos gave Valletta a narrow win over Naxxar Lions to secure a place in the semi-finals of the U*BET FA Trophy.
Although the Citizens were a superior side, Naxxar controlled their opponents well and it was only a penalty which made the whole difference.
The Citizens had the first attempt at goal on the 10th minute with a Hamza Barry effort from the left deflected into a corner.
Valletta took the lead on the 24th when they were awarded a penalty after Mattia Del Negro brought Denni down inside the area and from the penalty spot, Denni Rocha dos Santos converted.
Three minutes later, Denni received the ball inside the area and hit low after controlling the ball but his shot hit the upright.
Goalkeeper Nukri Revishvili performed a good save into a corner on Terence Scerri on 64 minutes. On the opposite side of the pitch, a freekick by Roderick Briffa on the 75th minute ended just wide.
Finally, five minutes from time, a good header by Shaun Bajada, off a cross by Denni from the right, was parried by Azzopardi.
NAXXAR Julian Azzopardi, Raimi Bakare, Angus Buhagiar, Ryan Gilmour Cassar, Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro, Andrew Decesare, Mattia Del Negro (28′ Daren Falzon), Thiago Lopes de Souza, David Alejandro Reano, Terence Scerri, Filip Stojanovic (82′ Andre Rocha da Silva).
Subs not used: Luke Pecorella, Duane Bonnici, John Debono, Jurgen Debono, Yaron Sammut.
Coach: Winston Muscat
VALLETTA Nukri Revishvili, Jonathan Caruana, Steve Borg, Ryan Fenech, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza (46′ Luke Montebello), Roderick Briffa, Abayomi Seun Owonikoko (46′ Vladimir Rassulov), Hamza Barry (86′ Edmond Agius), Shaun Bajada, Denni Rocha dos Santos, Irakli Maisuradze.
Subs not used: Yenz Cini, Ian Azzopardi, Llywelyn Cremona, Luke Dimech.
Coach: Andre Paus
Referee: Robert Harvey (IRE)
Assistant Referees: Trevor Conlon, Declan Toland (IRE)
Fourth Official: Paul McLaughlin (IRE)
Yellow Cards: Thiago, Reano, Stojanovic, Andre Rocha
Scorers: 24′ Denni Rocha dos Santos pen