Holders Sliema Wanderers reached the semi-finals of the FA Trophy after defeating First Division side Senglea Athletic 3-2 on penalties in a match from the quarter-finals at the Hibernians Stadium on Saturday.
Throughout the one hundred and twenty minutes, the two goalkeepers were hardly tested. Although the Wanderers were reduced to ten men on the 36th when referee Matthew De Gabriele sent off Jean Paul Farrugia, they never looked inferior to their opponents who defended well in their bid to emulate the third round feat when they had eliminated champions Hibernians.
Jonathan Pearson was unlucky to hit the crossbar for Sliema on the 29th minute. Shots by Juninho Cabral were neutralised by Sarao who also managed to turn into a corner an Austin Obaje effort. Six minutes from time, Sliema appealed for a penalty after a defender seemed to handle the ball inside the penalty area.
In extra-time, a Denni effort was parried by Martinelli and on the other side of the pitch, Senglea also appealed for a penalty after Obaje was brought down inside the area.
With no goals being scored, the penalty shoot-out had to decide the issue. Sliema scored three and Senglea two with the two goalkeepers being in excellent form as Wanderers custodian Giuseppe Sarao saved three while Senglea goalie Jonathan Martinelli saved two.
Pablo Doffo (Sen) scored, Mark Scerri (Sli) – penalty saved by Martinelli;
Keith Tanti (Sen) – penalty saved by Sarao, Denni Rocha dos Santos (Sli) scored;
Juninho Cabral (Sen) scored, Riccardo Correa Duarte (Sli) – penalty saved by Martinelli;
Augustine Obaje (Sen) – penalty saved by Sarao, Wisdom Salomon (Sli) scored;
Beppe Muscat (Sen) – penalty saved by Sarao, Alex Muscat (Sli) scored.
During the penalty shoot-out, Salomon Wisdom was sent off for Sliema for making gestures towards the Senglea supporters.
SENGLEA Jonthan Martinelli, Keith Tanti, Kane Farrugia, Mark Borg, Jurgen Farrugia, Pablo Doffo, Beppe Muscat, Juninho Cabral, Marcelo de Souza Dias, Austin Obaje Smith, Terence Vella (91′ Peter Sammut).
Subs not used: Timothy Aquilina, Hubert Vella, Mattia Del Negro, Radall Vella, Ryan Dallli, Francesco Gusman.
Coach: Steve D’Amato
SLIEMA Giuseppe Sarao, Ryan Spiteri (67′ Gabriel Aquilina), Stefano Bianciardi, Mark Scerri, Jonathan Pearson (81′ Peter Xuereb), Leonardo Incorvaia, Alex Muscat, Frank Temile (102′ Wisdom Salomon), Jean Paul Farrugia, Ricardo Calixto Correa Duarte, Denni dos Santos.
Subs not used: Glenn Zammit, John Mintoff, Kurt Shaw, Michele Sansone.
Coach: John Buttigieg
Referee: Matthew De Gabriele
Assistant Referees: Luke Portelli, Sammy Attard
Fourth Official: Fyodor Zammit