Malta Football Association
NEWS:
FA Trophy resumes with three quarter-finals on Friday
May 3, 2019
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Cups & Competitions
The FA Trophy semi-finals draw was held on Friday. Photo: Joe Borg/MFA
The FA Trophy semi-finals draw was held on Friday. Photo: Joe Borg/MFA

The 2018/19 FA Trophy resumes on Friday with six teams involved in three quarter-final ties while Hibernians and Valletta, who face off in the BOV Premier League title decider on Saturday, will meet in the fourth and final quarter-final on Wednesday.
 


Meanwhile, the draw of the semi-final pairings was made on Friday at the Trophies Lounge.

 

The winner of the Tarxien Rainbows/Balzan quarter-final will meet either Mosta or Birkirkara in the first semi-final on Saturday, May 11 while the second semi-final on May 12 will be between the winner of Pietà Hotspurs/Gżira United and Hibernians/Valletta.

 

Both semi-finals will be played at the National Stadium, kicking off at 17.00.

 

The final is scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 18 at 17.00

 

QUARTER-FINALS PREVIEW


Pietà Hotspurs vs Gżira United (Friday – National Stadium, 7pm)

 

This match will resume from the 89th minute after being abandoned on the 23rd February due to a hailstorm with the score tied at 1-1. 

 

Andrew Cohen had opened the scoring for Gżira United (29) while Antonio Machedo Neto (50) levelled for the Hotspurs.

 

The two teams have experienced different fortunes in the league since then as Gżira United have finished third to secure a Europa League berth while Pietà were relegated to the First Division.  The latter will be looking to cause a surprise, knowing that they are only minutes away from taking the match to extra-time.

 

The Hotspurs aim to register their first seasonal win over Gżira after their first-round league match ended in a 1-1 draw with the Maroons winning 5-2 in the second round. 

 

If the game ends in draw, extra-time will be given followed by penalties.

 

Gżira have eliminated Rabat Ajax (4-0) in third round and Melita (4-2) in the fourth, while Pietà had the better of Mdina Knights (4-1) and Żejtun Corinthians (2-0) respectively. 

 

Tarxien Rainbows vs Balzan (Friday – Hibernians Stadium, 7 pm)

 

Following a disappointing season, Balzan will be striving to win the FA Trophy for the first time in their history as they pursue a place in the Europa League after missing out on a top-four finish.

 

They face Tarxien Rainbows who will be looking to rise to the occasion and defy the odds. Led by coach Josè Borg, Tarxien finished the season in 10th place, level with Senglea and four rungs behind Balzan in sixth.

 

Balzan won the direct encounters in the championship, 3-1 and 2-0, meaning that Tarxien must beat them for the first time this season to progress to the semi-finals. 

 

On their way to the quarter-finals, Balzan eliminated Qrendi (5-1) in third round and Xewkija Tigers (6-1) while Tarxien ousted Vittoriosa Stars (3-0) and Żebbuġ Rangers (5-0).

 

Balzan coach Jacques Scerri will be without Colombian defender Elkin Serrano Valero who was handed a six-match ban after his sending-off against Hibernians last weekend.  

 

Mosta vs Birkirkara (Friday – National Stadium, 8pm)

 

Like Balzan, Birkirkara are determined to achieve success in this competition to make amends for a disappointing season and qualify for the Europa League.

 

John Buttigieg, who took over as Birkirkara coach recently, will no doubt demand an improved showing from his team after their unconvincing performances and negative results in the final weeks of the championship.

 

Birkirkara finished seventh in the BOV Premier League... two places ahead of their opponents, Mosta.

 

This should be an interesting cup tie as Mosta have raised their game in the last month to secure their top-flight status with something to spare.

 

A few weeks ago, Mosta ended their long wait for a victory over Birkirkara after beating them 2-1in the league. The first-round match had gone Birkirkara’s way - 3-0.

 

Mosta reached the cup quarter-finals after beating Senglea Athletic (3-2 AET) in the third round and Sliema Wanderers (2-1) in the following round.

 

For their part, Birkirkara defeated Nadur Youngsters (4-0) and Ħamrun Spartans (2-1) respectively.

 

Both teams have a player suspended – Zach Brincat for Mosta and Kurt Zammit for Birkirkara. 

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