A goal deep into stoppage-time enabled First Division side Gzira United to reach a place in the semi-finals of the U*BET FA Trophy after defeating ten-man Rabat Ajax 2-1.
The Magpies took an early lead but the Maroons soon started to share the exchanges and eventually create the better chances, especially after Rabat had a player sent off. In the semi-finals, Gzira will be facing Valletta.
Rabat managed to take the lead on the 5th minute. It was a great goal by Jonathan Bajada whose rising shot from outside the area gave goalkeeper Kyle Gerada no chance.
Gzira replied with a Pape Gueye close-range effort which was blocked at point blank by Velimirovic on the 16th. Six minutes later, Diego Carrillo tested Gerada with a fine shot from outside the area with the Gzira goalkeeper turning the ball into a corner.
Ryan Deguara tried his luck with a shot from outside the area four minutes in the second half but Velimirovic neutralised his attempt.
On the 50th, Rabat were reduced to ten men after David Azzopardi received a second yellow card.
The Maroons took full advantage, equalising a minute later when Velimirovic blocked a freekick from the right and off the rebound, Pape Gueye’s over-head kick saw the ball end at the back of the net.
On the 58th, Moises Avila Perez failed to connect off an assist by Yanis Tonna. Substitute Christian Cassar went close with a powerful drive ending just wide on 77 minutes.
On the other side of the pitch, Ryan Micallef headed just over the bar off an inviting cross by Bajada from the left three minutes from time.
One minute in added time, Moises Avila Perez almost notched the winner for Gzira with a fine header off a cross from the right but the ball hit the upright.
However two minutes later, the Maroons made it 2-1 when off a cross from the right, Moises Avila Perez served Steve Meilak who tapped the ball home from close range.
GZIRA Kyle Gerada, Andre White, Yanis Tonna (76′ Christian Cassar), Jamie Pace, Justin Camilleri, Bjorn Bondin, Ryan Deguara, Moises Avila Perez, Pape Gueye, Martin Kotyza, Steve Meilak.
Subs not used: Fredrick Tabone, Jeffrey Chetcuti, Shaun Bonello, Aleksandar Sofranac, Joshua Barbara.
Coach: Ivan Zammit
RABAT Pavle Velimirovic, Shaun Gauci, David Azzopardi, Dylan Falzon, Ivan Carapic, Joseph Caruana, Diego Carrillo Pendas, Sorin Oproiescu, Ryan Micallef, Jonathan Bajada, Malcolm Licari (55′ Patrick Borg).
Subs not used: Jonathan Azzopardi, Zachary Tanti, Stefan Cortis, Sacha Cortis, Wayne Borg, Chris Vella.
Coach: Paul Zammit
Referee: Ville Nevalainen (FIN)
Assistant Referees: Ville Kuskiniemi, Mika Lamppu (FIN)
Fourth Official: Marko Gronholm (FIN)
Yellow Cards: Carrillo, Bondin, Kotyza, Carapic, Azzopardi, Caruana
Red Cards: 50′ David Azzopardi
Scorers: 5′ Jonathan Bajada (R); 51′ Pape Gueye (G); 90+3′ Steve Meilak (G)