Valletta were the first team to secure a place in the semi-finals of the FA Trophy, sponsored by the Attian Group, after defeating ten-man Mosta 3-1.
Englishman Lateef Elford-Alliyu scored twice in the second half to put Valletta in the next stage after Mosta had cancelled out Shaun Bajada’s lead with a Gary Roberts penalty.
Mosta had two new foreigners making their debut, namely Gambian defender Ousman Koli and midfielder Alieu Darbo. Jonathan Caruana, on the other hand, was missing for Valletta.
The Citizens went close to taking the lead on the 6th minute when off a corner by Shaun Bajada, Lateef Elford-Alliyu’s close-range effort was blocked on the goal line by Jonas Rodriguez Ekani and off the rebound, Ian Azzopardi’s attempt was neutralised by the goalkeeper. On the 14th, Mosta appealed for a penalty when Jonas Rodriguez Ekani ended on the ground when approached by Marino but the referee waved play on.
Valletta forged ahead on the half-hour when a shot by Elford-Alliyu was blocked and off the rebound, Shaun Bajada slotted the ball past Omar Borg from outside the area.
Seven minutes from the end of the first half, Mosta equalised when they were awarded a penalty after Ryan Camilleri brought Rodriguez Ekani down inside the area and from the penalty spot, Gary Roberts converted.
Four minutes later, new Mosta recruit Ousman Koli was sent off after receiving a second yellow card for a foul on Roderick Briffa.
Valletta regained the lead seven minutes in the second half when off a cross by Hamza Barry, Lateef Elford-Alliyu beat goalkeeper Omar Borg.
Lateef Elford-Alliyu added another on the hour when he entered the penalty area, when served by Barry, hitting the ball past Omar Borg.
Three minutes later, Elford-Alliyu was unlucky to hit the upright following an assist by Ryan Camilleri.
MOSTA Omar Borg, Tyrone Farrugia, Kurt Magro (77′ Ian Zammit), Mark Brincat, Karl Pulo, Jonas Rodriguez Ekani, Gary Roberts, Ryan Grech, Alieu Darbo (72′ Udo Fortune), Ousman SM Koli, Mickael Nicoise Dawood (72′ Dyson Falzon).
Subs not used: Kyle Gerada, Adrian Borg, Zachary Brincat, Kyle Frendo.
Coach: Peter Smith
VALLETTA Pietro Demetrio Marino, Ian Azzopardi (76′ Jean Borg), Steve Borg, Ryan Camilleri, Ryan Fenech, Hamza Barry, Roderick Briffa, Lateef Elford-Alliyu (80′ Kurt Borg), Shaun Bajada, Abdelkarim Nafti (66′ Llywelyn Cremona), Luke Dimech.
Subs not used: Nicky Vella, Vladimir Savicevic, Ikenna Paul Hillary, Stefan Cassar.
Coach: Gilbert Agius
Referee: Ben Connolly (IRE)
Assistant Referees: Darragh Keegan, Matthew Farrell (IRE)
Fourth Official: Sean Grant (IRE)
Yellow Cards: O. Koli, R. Grech, R. Camilleri, R. Fenech, Nafti, Roberts
Red Cards: 42′ Ousman Koli
Scorers: 30′ Shaun Bajada, 37′ Gary Roberts, 52′ Lateef Elford-Alliyu, 60′ Lateef Elford-Alliyu