The Malta Independent 16 December 2017, Saturday

FA Trophy: Ten-man Hibernians scrape through as holders Floriana are eliminated by Naxxar Lions

Saturday, 2 December 2017, 19:22 Last update: about 13 days ago

Hibernians 2  Victoria H  1

Champions Hibernians, reduced to ten men just before the break, managed to scrape through to the fourth round of the FA Trophy beating Gozitan league leaders Victoria Hotspurs by the odd goal in three.

Far from their best form, Hibernians never impressed and can also thank their lucky stars when Victoria almost took the lead on 73 minutes, only for Johann Bezzina to end their embarassment when he scored the winner ten minutes from time.

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Hibernians took the lead in their first attack on three minutes when from a Jackson Lima corner kick, central defender Ferdinando Apap headed into his own net in an attempt to clear.

Ten minutes later Hibernians almost doubled the score when from a Degabriele cross, Failla shot at goal from an acute angle with the Victoria custodian managing to block his shot before the ball could cross over the goal line.

On 20 minutes Victoria had penalty appeals turned down and ten minutes later Hibernians went close again with a Failla shot that was cleared off the goal line by Lattes. On 35 minutes Lima tried his luck from a distance but his effort was well off target.

Just before the break Hibernians were reduced to ten men when Jorge Elias Dos Santos retaliated to a Henrique Maciel foul and was rightly shown a straighthibs-victoria h. red.

On the resumption Miller introduced Mbong for Degabriele and Hibernians controlled the match with relative ease until the 64th minute when Elton Da Silva scored a beauty direct from a freekick to stun the champions.

On 73 minutes the Gozitans almost took the lead when Maciel's shot was deflected by goalkeeper Briffa with the ball finishing against the base of the upright. Ten minutes from time Johann Bezzina solved Hibs' problems when he fired home from the edge of the area.

Hibernians: R. Briffa, M. Kreuzriegler (R. Soares 85 min), R. Gomes, A. Agius, J. Lima, J. Bezzina, M. Dias, C. Failla, J. Degabriele (J. Mbong 46 min), M. Morgon Filho (B. Kristensen 64 min), J. Elias Dos Santos.

Victoria H: A. Parnis, J. Pace, J. Bajada, K. Farrugia (L. Grima 86 min), D. Sowatey, F. Apap, C. Mercieca, E. Lattes, E. Da Silva, H. Maciel, C. Camilleri.

Referee: Glen Tonna

Ass. Referees: Mitchell Scerri, William Debattista.

Scorers: F. Apap 3 min og, E. Da Silva 64 min, J. Bezzina 80 min

Red Card: J. Elias Dos Santos 45 min

 


Dominant Citizens through with first half goals

Valletta  2  Senglea A   0

Two first half goals scored in the space of two minutes put Valletta through to the last 16 stage of the competition after an easy victory and a polished display against Senglea yesterday.

Valletta made their intentions clear from the start as they swarmed all over their opponents who only had some breathing space in the second half. Saleh and Piciollo were superb on the flanks with Rowen Muscat outstanding in midfield.

Valletta took control of the match from the first whistle pushing Senglea in their own penalty area, however it took them around 20 minutes to test Matthew Farrugia in goal with a Michael Mifsud grounder from the edge of the area and another from Rowen Muscat a couple of minutes later.

On 27 minutes Valletta broke the deadlock with a good move on the left with Muscat passing towards Piciollo whose cross was met by Saleh who first-timed beautifully home. Two minutes later Valletta made it two with Saleh devastating on the right flank before passing towards Micahel Mifsud who made no mistake from close range.

Valletta were now on velvet and played some good attacking football as Senglea struggled to have a glimpse of the ball. Five minutes from the break the Citizens went close again with a shot on the turn by Saleh going slightly over the crossbar.

Three minutes into the second half Michael Mifsud missed a golden opportunity all alone in front of Farrugia with the ball missing the base of the upright by a whisker. On 57 minutes Senglea's first attempt with an Ivan Paz freekick brilliantly saved by Henry Bonello.

Valletta quickly regained control of the match going near with a Cruz first-timer on 74 minutes, and with another efoort from Pciollo that was saved by Farrugia.

Valletta: H. Bonello, S. Borg (J. Cruz Gill 37 min), M. Piciollo (N. Pulis 83 min), S. Malano, M. Mifsud (U. Uchenna Calistus 60 min), J. Borg, J. Zerafa, R. Saleh, C. Pani, R. Muscat, R. Pericles Romao.

Senglea A:  M. Farrugia, J. Bondin, R. Vella, J. Farrugia (J. Leyton 88 min), A. Terracciano, M. Garzia, H. Vella, I. Paz, M. Escobar, P. Sammut, R. Dalli

Referee: Stefan Pace

Scorers: I. Saleh 27 min, M. Mifsud 29 min


Sliema stir themselves in second half

St Andrews  1 Sliema W. 3

SILVIO VELLA

Last season's beaten finalists Sliema Wanderers overcame the first hurdle in this season's competition after seeing off the challenge of St Andrews.

It's been a rough start of the season for St Andrews and elimination so early from the FA Trophy compounds things further. They worked hard and even took the lead at the start of the second half through Atkinson.

That stirred Sliema, who played some good offensive football and took control of the game through goals from their attacking trio of  Milinceanu, Temile and De Assis who were superb in the second half.

Neither goalkeeper needed to be in attendance for the first half hour. Then Sliema got a sight of goal when De Assis headed in Temile's cross but the referee's whistle had already gone, for some infringement, and the goal was disallowed.

On 35 minutes Temile managed to get his head to a Correa free kick but Atkinson cleared before the ball crossed the line.

St Andrews were the first to open the scoring one minute into the second half. Kevaun Atkinson pounced on a Friggieri through pass inside the Sliema area and slotted the ball low through the legs of keeper Zammit.

The goal served as a wake-up call for the Wanderers though and they took only three minutes to level matters through Nikolai Milinceanu.

On 77 minutes, Farrugia clipped the bar with his well taken free kick from a distance. On the other end, Milinceanu headed Temile's cross slightly over. De Assis went past Borg but keeper Cini footed the ball away.

The pressure was too much for St Andrews to handle and ten minutes from time, Frank Temile hit in Milinceanu's low cross between the keeper and the near post to give the Wanderers the lead.

And deep into six minutes of added time, Jefferson De Assis ran clear through the middle to score his side's third and make it look a comfortable win at the end.

St Andrews: Y. Cini, A. Borg, T. Blagrove (J. Walker), T. Grant, M. Gauci, M. Davis (A. Satariano), J. Farrugia, M. Gomez, A. Friggieri, K. Butler (K. Reid), K.Atkinson

Sliema W: G. Zammit, S. Biancardi, F. Temile, P. Xuereb (M. Scerri), J. De Assis, J. Mintoff, M. Sansone (G. Aquilina), M. Muchardi, R. Correa, G. Adamovic, N. Milinceanu (R. Spiteri)

Referee: F. Zammit

Asst.refs: E. Spiteri, S. Attard

4th official: M. Degabriele

Scorers: K. Atkinson 46, N. Milinceanu 49, F. Temile 80, J. De Assis 90+

Yellow cards: K. Butler, K. Atkinson, A. Borg, J. Mintoff, S. Biancardi, T. Grant, F. Temile


Holders eliminated by ten-man Naxxar

Naxxar L.   3  Floriana  1 (after extra time)

SILVIO VELLA

Naxxar maintained their revival under coach Oliver Spiteri as they knocked out holders Floriana of the FA Trophy in this highly charged third round tie.

Playing with ten men from the start of the second half, the Lions scored two goals in extra time to spring an embarrassing surprise.

Naxxar showed character and this victory over Floriana owed much to their defensive resolve and togetherness.

Floriana were strangely lacklustre, offering only a muted response, when drawing level early in the second half.

Naxxar took a fourth minute lead through Scott Fenwick, hitting in a loose ball after Oyama, Falzon and the Floriana keeper Grech all failed to reach for a cross from the left.

But the Greens even contrived to miss a penalty, awarded after 22 minutes, when Vella fell under Micallef's challenge inside the area. The Naxxar keeper Nicht guessed the right way to hold out Pisani's shot from the spot.

Floriana made amends when awarded a second penalty three minutes into the second half for Ndoye's late tackle on Cabral inside the Naxxar area. The Naxxar defender was also sent off before Mario Fontanella tucked it away to level matters.

After this incident, Naxxar looked more focused on a damage limitation exercise and the outside chance of a penalty shoot-out.

In the late stages, Floriana coach Tedesco was also dismissed from the bench after getting involved in some argument with the fourth official. Fontanella went close to scoring a winner but put his header, off Cabral's cross, wide and the match went into extra time.

Within two minutes, Naxxar were in front again. Yuri Messias played the ball wide to Scott Fenwick who advanced to beat keeper Grech with a low drive.

In a highly ill-tempered finale, Naxxar sealed their qualification with a third goal as Yuri Messias advanced from the left and beat keeper Grech with three minutes remaining.

Naxxar L: C. Nicht, S. Fenwick, R. Grfech, M. Micallef (J. Debono), D. Falzon (R. Cassar), D. Bonnici, D. Bustos (M. Fenech), A. Buhagiar, O. Ndoye, A. Cascaval, Y. Messias

Floriana: M. Grech, J. Baldacchino, E. Ruiz, S. Pisani, C. Borg (D. Grima), M. Vella, J. Cabral, A. Cini (L. Grech), A. Oyama, N. Chiesa (I. Varela), M. Fontanella

Referee: P. Farrugia

Asst.refs: J. Spiteri, C. Francalanza

4th official: S. Spiteri

Scorers: S. Fenwick 4, 92, M. Fontanella 49 pen, Y. Messias 117

Yellow cards: R. Grech, C. Nicht, A. Cini, E. Ruiz, A. Buhagiar, M. Vella

Red cards: O. Ndoye


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