Eight clubs seek FA Trophy semi-final berths

Seven Premier League clubs and Second Division side Sirens will be battling for a place in the semi-finals of the FA Trophy, sponsored by Attian, as the quarter-finals will be played between Friday and Saturday.

In the first match at the National Stadium on Friday, holders Valletta take on Mosta. Valletta defeated First Division sides Birzebbuga St. Peter’s and Melita 7-2 and 2-0 respectively in the previous two rounds while Mosta beat Second Division side Senglea Athletic 6-1 and First Division side Gzira United 4-1.

The Citizens will start the BOV Premier League third round in second place but are coming from a defeat to Balzan and a draw with Birkirkara. Mosta, on the other hand, won just one of the last nine league matches, losing five.

In league matches, Mosta beat Valletta 1-0 in the first round but in the second round, Valletta registered a comfortable 5-0 win.

In the second match on Friday, BOV Premier League leaders Hibernians will face Balzan. Hibernians beat First Division side St. George’s 2-0 and Gozitan side Nadur Youngsters 3-1 while Balzan defeated Second Division sides Kirkop United and Zabbar St. Patrick 2-0 and 6-0 respectively.

The Paolites bounced back from two draws with Birkirkara and Mosta with a 4-1 win over Tarxien in the derby. Balzan, on the other hand, disappointed in their last outing as they lost 1-2 to Pietà after beating Valletta with the same score the previous week

Hibs beat Balzan 3-0 in the BOV Premier League first round and 4-0 in the second round.

In the first match at the Hibernians Stadium on Saturday, Qormi face Second Division side Sirens – the only team from the lower divisions to survive so far. Qormi defeated Third Division side Qrendi 3-0 and Premier League side Floriana 3-1 while Sirens beat Second Division side San Gwann on penalties and First Division sides Lija Athletic and Gudja United 1-0 and 6-0 respectively.

The second match is another Premier League clash between Birkirkara and Pietà Hotspurs. In the previous two rounds, Birkirkara eliminated two Second Division sides – Hamrun Spartans, beating them 7-1 and Siggiewi, defeating them 3-0. Pietà Hotspurs, on the other hand, registered two 1-0 wins over First Division side Pembroke Athleta and Gozitans Victoria Hotspurs.

In league matches, Birkirkara are coming from three consecutive 1-1 draws although they are unbeaten in ten matches. Pietà, on the other hand, won two of the last four matches. Birkirkara beat Pietà 2-1 in the first round but the Hotspurs registered a 4-3 win over the Stripes in the second round.

In these quarter-finals, 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.

The FA Trophy semi-finals will be played on May 16 and 17 with the final scheduled for May 24.