Pembroke Athleta secured a place in the semi-finals of the FA Trophy for the first time in the history of the club but needed extra-time to beat First Division side Pietà Hotspurs 3-1.
Pembroke, who had defeated San Gwann 3-0 and eliminated last season’s finalists – Hibernians – with a 2-1 score, took the lead late in the first half but Pietà had forced extra-time with a goal early in the second half. No goals were scored in the first half of extra-time but Winston Muscat’s side hit twice in the second half of extra-time.
Pietà gave a good account of themselves, especially during the first half, having goalkeeper Miguel Montfort in excellent form with a string of fine saves.
Pembroke held the initiative during the first half but only managed to take the lead two minutes from the end of the break thanks to Ariel Laudisi who took a loose ball off an erratic clearance and with a powerful shot frm outside the area beat goalkeeper Miguel Montfort.
The Hotspurs equalised on the 53rd when John Roland Emeka concluded a great run with a shot which hit the crossbar before ending at the back of the net.
Ariel Laudisi could have restored the lead for Pembroke but his conclusion from the edge of the area hit the foot of the upright on the 59th. Eight minutes later, Manolito Micallef served Obiefule whose close-range header hit the crossbar.
Pembroke regained the lead five minutes in the second half of extra-time when Manolito Micallef received a through pass on the left and slotted the ball past goalkeeper Montfort.
The victory was beyond doubts on the 117th minute when Ariel Laudisi started a good run on the left flank and concluded it with a pass for Terence Agius to tap home from close range.
PEMBROKE Mario Muscat, Zoran Levnaic, Owen Bugeja, Miguel Attard (88′ Gustavo de Paulo da Nobrega), Gustavo Villalobos, Kyle O’Brien (76′ Terence Agius), Manolito Micallef, Siraj Arab Eddin (83′ Leighton Grech), Ariel Laudisi, Alex Cini, Obinna Obiefule.
Subs not used: Matthew Farrugia, Tyrone Fenech, Rennie Tanti, Sunday Eboh.
Coach: Winston Muscat
PIETÀ Miguel Montfort, Karl Micallef, Christian Degabriele, Neil Pace Cocks, Mead Mifsud (104′ Nick Ghio), John Roland Emeka, Kyle Cesare (42′ Wail Rizgalla), Clive Gauci (73′ James Scicluna), Jason Gorskie, Christian Grech, Ayrton Mizzi.
Subs not used: Levi Saliba, Nicholas Pisani, Rasheed Azeez Ojo, Gary Sultana.
Coach: Patrick Curmi
Referee: Malcolm Spiteri
Assistant Referees: Roberto Vella, Sammy Attard
Fourth Official: Matthew De Gabriele
Yellow Cards: Mifsud, Scicluna, Mizzi
Scorers: 43′ Ariel Laudisi, 53′ John Roland Emeka, 110′ Manolito Micallef, 117′ Terence Agius