Birkirkara, Valletta through to FA Trophy quarter-finals

Birkirkara came from behind to beat Hamrun Spartans 2-1 while Valletta found no difficulty in beating First Division side Lija Athletic 7-1 in the final two matches from the fourth round of the FA Trophy.

In the quarter-finals, scheduled for February 23 and 24, Birkirkara and Valletta join Hibernians, Pieta Hotspurs, Mosta, Tarxien Rainbows, Gżira United and Balzan. The draws will be held on Tuesday.

At the National Stadium, Birkirkara turned defeat into victory to beat Hamrun Spartans.

The Spartans took the lead on the 12th minute when Caetano Calil received a cross from the right and headed the ball in the direction of Kevin Tulimieri whose conclusion was deflected by Eduardo Ferreira past goalkeeper Kristijan Naumovski

However three minutes in the second half, Birkirkara equalised when Jorge Pereira da Silva received a cross from the right and somehow managed to slot the ball past Bartolo from close range.

Birkirkara forged ahead on the 72nd minute after referee Glen Tonna awarded them a penalty after they had a player fouled inside the area and Marcelo de Siqueira converted from the penalty spot.

B’KARA Kristijan Naumoski, Danilo Chapoval, Matthew Guillaumier, Mislav Andjelkovic, Maurizio Vella, Kurt Zammit, Eduardo Ferriera, Michael Mifsud (64′ Marcelo de Siqueira), Johann Bezzina (75′ Terence Agius), Cain Attard, Jorge da Silva Pereira (82′ Luke Montebello).
Subs not used: David Cassar, Gianluca Bugeja, Clayton Failla, Carlo Zammit Lonardelli.
Coach: Mark Buttigieg
Asst. Coach: John Arne Riise

HAMRUN Manuel Bartolo, Enrico Pepe, Triston Caruana, Sebastian Nayar, Wilfried Domoraud, Matthew Gauci, Marco Criaco (82′ Ryan Darmanin), Karl Micallef, Orestis Nikolopoulos, Caetano Calil, Kevin Tulimieri.
Subs not used: Sean Cini, Andre Scicluna, Conor Borg, Karl Schembri, Russell Vella, Cain Cutajar, Ryan Darmanin
Coach: Giovanni Tedesco

Referee: Glen Tonna
Assistant Referees: Chris Francalanza, William Debattista
Fourth Official: Alan Mario Sant
Yellow Cards: Criaco, Pepe, Tulimieri, Bezzina, Agius, Zammit, Naumovski

At the Centenary Stadium, Valletta registered a most comfortable win over Lija Athletic.

Valletta took the lead on the 10th minute when off a Miguel Angel Alba corner from the left, the ball reached Jonathan Caruana who slotted the ball past goalkeeper Luke Bonnici. 

The Citizens doubled the score on the 17th minute when off a cross by Enmy Pena Beltre from the right, Mario Fontanella headed the ball home. 

Matteo Piciollo made it 3-0 a minute later when he received an assist on the right and controlled the ball before beating Bonnici with a diagonal shot. 

Lija reduced the gap on the 25th minute as Erjon Beu received an assist by Abubakar Bello Osagie on the left, beating Yenz Cini with a diagonal shot. 

Five minutes in the second half, Bojan Kaljevic scored a fourth goal for Valletta, hitting low past Cini when served by Matteo Piciollo from the right.

On the hour, Miguel Angel Alba added another after concluding a good run on the left with a powerful shot which beat Luke Bonnici.

Valletta scored the sixth goal on the 67th minute thanks to Mario Fontanella who concluded a solo run with a low which beat the Lija custodian.

Four minutes later, Miguel Angel Alba added another with an angled shot from the right.

LIJA Luke Bonnici, Leon Muscat, Daniel Scerri, Erjon Beu, Aaron Sammut (73′ Antoine Borg), Paolo Dandolo (65′ Dylan Mintoff), Abubakar Bello Osagie, McAllister Clinch (78′ Ismael Borg), Ryan Sammut, Clifford Gauci, Koken Kuroki.
Subs not used: Ryan Marmara, Gabriel Borg, Andrea Azzopardi, Aiden Galea.
Coach: Joseph Galea
Asst. Coach: Michael Mangion

VALLETTA Yenz Cini, Jonathan Caruana (69′ Shaun Dimech), Ryan Camilleri, Santiago Malano, Matteo Piciollo (73′ Jeremy Micallef), Enmy Pena Beltre, Raed Ibrahim Saleh, Rowen Muscat (62′ Nicholas Pulis), Miguel Angel Alba, Bojan Kaljevic, Mario Fontanella.
Subs not used: Henry Bonello, Kenley Scerri, Kurt Desira, Joshua Micallef.
Coach: Danilo Doncic
Asst. Coach: Gilbert Agius

Referee: Mario Apap
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Darko Stankovic
Fourth Official: Daniel Portelli
Yellow Cards: none
Attendance at the Centenary Stadium: 551