The Malta Independent 24 October 2018, Wednesday

Hamrun win in extra-time against Gzira as First Division leaders Qormi are stunned by Qrendi

Sunday, 3 December 2017, 20:48 Last update: about 12 months ago
Gzira United's Souleymane Diamoutene (L) goes in hard with his challenge against David Succi of Hamrun Spartans. Photo: Domenic Aquilina
Gzira United's Souleymane Diamoutene (L) goes in hard with his challenge against David Succi of Hamrun Spartans. Photo: Domenic Aquilina


Gzira U  0      

Hamrun S            1

(After extra time)

Gzira U: J. Haber, R. Briffa (L. Brincat), A. Cohen (G. Muir), N. Okoye, S. Tounkara, A. Samb, A. Neto (J. Corbolan), S. Diamoutene, S. Borg, Z. Scerri, M. Avila Perez

Hamrun S: S. Sultana, T. Souza, D. Zerafa, M. Criaco, G. De Castro, C. Zaccardo, D. Succi, T. Espindola (J. Galea), T. Caruana, F. Clavero (K. Micallef), L. Micallef (L. Sciberras)


Referee: T. Farrugia Cann

Asst.refs: S. Attard, D. Petrovic

4th official: E. Grech

Scorers: T. Souza 100

Yellow cards: T. Caruana, G. De Castro

Attendance: 1,118

Hamrun Sparatns were the last Premier League side to join the remaining 16 teams in the FA Trophy after emerging winners from this bracing encounter between two teams determined to give no quarter, thanks to a Tiago Souza goal netted in extra time, following a barren 90 minutes.

The Spartans have belatedly injected some zest into their play, boast pace and more solidity at the back.

Guilherme De Castro was central to their approach, his pace and control an instant release whenever they were under pressure.

Gzira were dominant in possession but they ran up against stout resilience with the Spartans looking menacing on the counter. They failed to make good of the chances they carved in the second half, when twice denied by the woodwork.

They played with three forwards, Okoye, Tounkara and Samb, dropping Corbolan to the bench. Roderick Briffa played for most of the time as right back but in the late stages moved up in midfield after Cohen made way for Gary Muir.

The opening half hour suggested the teams were initially too cautious, too scared to concede. We witnessed no one decent shot on target.

On 35 minutes, Cohen's free kick rebounded off the Hamrun wall, Briffa kicked the loose ball upfield, Tounkara reached before keeper Sultana but Zerafa cleared the ball off the line.

Five minutes later, Gzira had the ball in the Hamrun net, as Tounkara shot in after the Hamrun keeper dropped the ball on Cohen's free kick but Okoye was adjudged to have fouled the goalkeeper and the goal was annulled.

At the other end, in a Hamrun rare effort, Clavero made progress inside the Gzira half but keeper Haber held out his shot.

Gzira came out in the second half with an assertiveness that looked set to pay dividends.

Towards the hour, Okoye ran down the left, crossed from the byeline but Tounkara was blocked. After an Okoye grounder carried no threat, Gzira twice were denied by the woodwork.

Cohen's shot was blocked on 62 minutes and Tounkara's effort on the loose ball was pushed by keeper Sultana against the bar as the ball fell into his safe hands. Tounkara again clipped the bar two minutes later with his shot from a tight angle from the left.

Aware that his defence needed reinforcements, Hamrun coach Jacques Scerri put in Karl Micallef for Clavero.

On 67 minutes, Lydon Micallef won a tussle with Neto inside the Gzira area but his low cross shot found no takers.

Succi then powered his shot from the edge of the area fractionally wide.

But with Gzira failing to create more clear-cut chances, the match fizzled out into extra time as the teams remained locked after 90 minutes.

Hamrun broke the deadlock after ten minutes. Espindola's deep free kick was headed towards the middle by Lydon Micallef for Tiago Souza to squeeze his shot past keeper Haber.

Gzira sought a riposte but fatigue and sluggishness had crept into their play. This was evident when Avila Perez skied the ball from close range, after Hamrun had failed to clear their lines, with practically the last kick of the match.

Swieqi no match for superior Tarxien

Swieqi U              0      

Tarxien R             3

Swieqi U.: J Debattista, M. Laferla, K. Muscat, K. Sultana, L. Bianco, M. Vella (J. Scerri), R. Taliana, S. Nilsen (R. Cutajar), N. Schembri (ID Yusuf), D. Grech, IA Margarit.

Tarxien R.: A. Chetcuti, E. Baker, M. Brincat, M. Dieye, A. Agius, L. Grech (M. Spiteri), AC Scicluna, A. Benes, RS Faria, S. Cipriott (EM Calin), M. Desira Buttigieg (J. Brincat).

Referee: J. A. Utulu.

Asst refs: J. Spiteri, W. Debattista.

4th official: P. Farrugia.

Scorers: M. Dieye 2, M. Brincat,

Yellow cards: S. Nilsen

Red card: K. Muscat.

Tarxien Rainbows advanced to the 4th round of the competition when they defeated Swieqi United 3-0.

Matar Dieye scored a goal in each half, while Matthew Brincat scored the third early in the second half.

It was a richly deserved victory for the Rainbows who were obviously the better team on the field of play. But despite their dominance, they had to wait till the second half to make sure of their victory, adding two more goals to the only one they had scored in the first period.

The first half was very entertaining. Tarxien showed the better ideas and at the interval, they deserved to be leading.

Swieqi did not just stare at their opponents and also had their own good moments.

In the second half, Tarxien exerted total dominance and scored two goals in the opening 15 minutes, following which they gave Swieqi no chance to hit back.

Both goalkeepers, especially Tarxien's Chetcuti, were very busy in the opening 15 minutes. Chetcuti was called upon to save three Swieqi efforts from Nicholas Schembri, Dean Grech and R. Taliana, while at the other end, an Andrew Agius shot was turned to corner by Swieqi goalie Jean Claude Debattista.

On 25 minutes, Tarxien went close through Desira Buttigieg, but his shot was booted out by Debattista. Soon after, Swieqi threatened to take the lead through a Margarit header which went inches wide.

The Rainbows took the lead on 38 minutes through Matar Dieye who flicked the ball home after some good work by Desira Buttigieg. And before the interval whistle, Dieye should have added a second goal, but he seemed to have been taken completely by surprise in front of an open goal, allowing the ball to pass through, failing to apply the final touch.

In the second half, Tarxien showed their intentions early and in the 47th minute, they already went close through a Brincat shot which Debattista turned to corner with difficulty.

Then in the 55th minute, Matthew Brincat scored the second direct from a freekick and five minutes later, it was Dieye who scored the third past a helpless Debattista.

Tarxien again went close on 78 minutes, but a Faria shot was excellently turned to corner by Debattista.

Just before the end, Swieqi had Kyle Muscat dismissed, but the result never changed.

Zejtun stroll past Marsaxlokk

Marsaxlokk         0      

Zejtun C              3

Marsaxlokk: J. Spiteri, A. Cassar, P. Doffo, W. Rizgalla, T. Cilia, M. Bartolo (G. Caruana), J. Cutajar (P. Anizoba), A. Tabone, B. Scerri, C. Fenech, K. Ekezie

Zejtun C: D. Zarb, E. Vella (E. Karra), K. Tanaka (P. Lapira), Y. Camilleri, R. Cauchi, C. Giordimaina, B. Farrugia, A. Scozzese, L. De Melo, S. Nanapere, M. Scicluna

Referee: M. Spiteri

Asst.refs: E. Spiteri, T. Debono

4th official: S. Pace

Scorers: L. De Melo 2, 15, M. Ciantar 16

Yellow cards: B. Scerri

Zejtun Corinthians confirmed their supremacy and vein of good form, unbeaten in six matches in Division 1, by beating opponents from a lower Division, Marsaxlokk, to make further progress in this season's FA Trophy.

Zejtun had eliminated Dinglis Swallows 5-0 in the previous round while Marsaxlokk had also reached this fourth round by beating Zabbar SP with the same scoreline.

Three goals inside the opening quarter hour determined the course of the match as Zejtun were superior in every area.

Zejtun took an early lead with hardly two minutes on the clock and it was a gift from the Marsaxlokk defence as keeper Justin Spiteri was stranded by his team mate Cassar's short header, slipped, and Luis Andrea De Melo made the best to steer the ball into an unattended goal.

De Melo's second goal for Zejtun on the quarter hour carried more quality though, as he pounced on Tanaka's pass, made his way inside the Marsaxlokk area and beat the goalkeeper with a defiant strike.

Only one minute later, Zejtun scored their third, through Miguel Ciantar, who had only gone in as a substitute for the in injured Nanapere six minutes earlier, with his shot from outside the area taking a slight deflection to deceive keeper Spiteri at the low corner.

Marsaxlokk's response after that came through Alan Tabone's free kicks that contained menace. Twice, Zejtun keeper Dunstan Zarb was equal to task to turn into a corner. On another occasion, Zarb fisted out the ball before Cassar could connect.

Zejtun remained more menacing whenever they did try to push forward, even if they looked wasteful at times. On the hour, following a good move involving Farrugia, Ciantar and Cauchi, Melo shot against the outside of the net. On 77 minutes, Farrugia played a good through pass to Cauchi who missed the target completely from inside the Marsaxlokk area.

Marsaxlokk were even denied some consolation in the dying minutes when Anizoba's powerful shot was repelled by keeper Zarb and Tabone shot his final free kick well over the Zejtun goal.

 A sterner test, against Premier side Mosta, awaits Zejtun in the next round.

Qrendi surprise Qormi to reach 4th round

Qrendi   2      

Qormi    0

Qrendi: J. Azzopardi, M. Farrugia, P. Mrvic, D. Santos da Hora, Z. Bowman, D. Sammut (D. Zarb), E. Amaira, S. Nakamura (A. Agius), J. Spiteri (M. Barbara), K. Abela, D. Martini.

Qormi: D. Vukovic, N. Ghio, JL C. Da Silva, A. Abela, L. Adamec, J. Azzopardi, M. Camilleri, CZ Matombo, I. Zammit, J. Salaroli (Y. Yankam), T. Guzman (S. Zammit).

Referee: S. Spiteri.

Asst refs: C. Francalanza, P. Abela.

4th official: E. Barbara.

Scorers: D. Santos da Hora, P. Mrvic,

Yellow cards: CZ Matombo

In this all-first division affair, Qrendi surprised league leaders Qormi to reach the Last 16 stage of the competition.

Strikes from Dhonattan Santos da Hora in the first half and Petar Mrvic in the second were enough for a win which will certainly help them to build morale in their efforts to stave off relegation.

This was the first defeat for Qormi after a nine-match unbeaten run in the League.

The first half was yawn laden as neither side managed to take control of midfield where most of the play ensued.

Qormi were expected to take command considering that they have more experience in such matches than their rivals, but Qrendi not only defended well but were also able to take the lead which they kept intact till the interval.

In the second half, Qrendi showed more determination even if they were forced to defend for long stretches, especially after scoring a second goal which gave them a somewhat healthy cushion. After that they controlled the situation admirably.

Actions were few and far between. On eight minutes, Qormi' s Adamec had a low shot going wide.

At the other end, in their first real attack, Qrendi took the lead after a fine move involving Sammut and Abela which ended with a fine back heel from Santos da Hora which completely beat goalie Dejan Vukovic.

Qormi reacted and on 39 minutes, it was goalie Julian Azzopardi who denied Matombo as the Qrendi goalie rushed out of his charge to save.

And just before the interval whistle, it was Jose Lucas da Silva who tried his luck with a low shot, but the ball ended just wide.

Qormi came out on attack in the second half and Adamec had a freekick saved by Azzopardi.

At the other end, Dasser Sammut went agonisingly close to adding a second for Qrendi with a shot on the turn that just missed the target.

But Qrendi found the Qormi net a second time on the hour courtesy of a direct freekick by Peter Mrvic.

Till the end, Qormi were unable to pierce the Qrendi defence although on one occasion, Caetano Da Silva had a close range header well saved by Azzopardi.


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