Marsaxlokk take on Valletta, Hibs face Hamrun in first two Izibet FA Trophy quarter-finals

The Izibet FA Trophy takes centre stage with the first two matches from the quarter-finals as Challenge League side Marsaxlokk take on Valletta and leaders Hibernians face Hamrun Spartans at the National Stadium on Saturday.

In the first match, Valletta meet the only remaining team from the Challenge League, Marsaxlokk, who have just secured promotion to the Premier League.

Marsaxlokk won their last six matches in the Challenge League and were unbeaten in nine matches. Valletta, on the other hand, ended up playing in the Premier League Play-Out final round but back-to-back wins over Sirens and Sliema mean that they need just one point from the remaining matches to secure their status.

Photo: Copyright Andrew Grima

Marsaxlokk entered the FA Trophy in the Preliminary Round, defeating Kercem Ajax 5-2 after extra-time. In the Round of 32, they defeated Pembroke Athleta 1-0 while in the Round of 16, the Southseasiders beat Sliema Wanderers 2-1 after extra-time.

Valletta, on the other hand, beat Marsaskala 5-0 in the Round of 32 and Tarxien Rainbows 5-1 in the Round of 16.

In the second match, Hibernians face Hamrun Spartans.

The Paolites lead the way in the BOV Premier League with 48 points while Hamrun are fourth on 38. Hibs are coming from a goalless draw with Floriana in a top-of-the-table clash after losing to Hamrun 1-2. The Spartans, on the other hand, lost 0-1 to Gudja in their last outing.

In the Round of 32, Hamrun defeated Naxxar Lions 1-0 and in the round of 16, beat Balzan 5-2 on penalties.

Hibernians, on the other hand, beat Nadur Youngsters 2-0 and Zejtun Corinthians 2-1 in the previous two rounds.

The winner of Hamrun/Hibernians faces the winner of Floriana/Birkirkara in the semi-finals.