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FA Trophy

Birkirkara hit Lija Athletic for six to reach Last 16

Birkirkara were too strong for Lija Athletic in the FA Trophy. Photo: Stephen Gatt

BIRKIRKARA 6

Yankam 15; Falcone 45; Carniello 66; Attard 74, 83; Caio 81

LIJA ATHLETIC 0

Birkirkara

A. Sylla (78 M. Spiteri), Y. Yankam, P. Mbong, K. Zammit, F. Falcone, F. Verde, C. Attard, C. Bonanni (81 N. Friggieri), C.Prado (81 G. Farrugia), O. Carniello, I. Ntow (66 R. Alidor).

Lija Athletic

L. Bonniċi, C. Cassar, P. Gusso, D. Scerri, N. Micallef (9 C. Flores), H. Wood, J. Wells, C. Giordimaina (58 B. Antignolo), N. Mclaren (64 A. Mizzi), G. Virano (64 A. Galea), V. Alhinho.

Referee Stefan Pace

Red card: Alhinho (L) 89.

This was an emphatic statement of intent from Birkirkara who turned on the style to thump Lija 6-0 and reach the Last 16 of the FA Trophy.

This clash considered as a derby, was far from a classic as Birkirkara dominated from start to finish.

Andrè Paus named his strongest possible line-up perhaps a signal of his intent to land his first piece of silverware with Birkirkara as his counterpart Joseph Galea rested his prized-assets namely Fernando Brandan, Miguel Jimenez and Juan Cruz Gill.

Sylla got away with a major error after just two minutes. Francesco Verde looked to have cleared any danger when dispossessing Nicholas McLaren and passed the ball to the young goalkeeper, who let the ball slip under his legs. But the ball hit harmlessly the post and disaster was averted.

Birkirkara went ahead on the quarter of the hour mark, when a superb cross from Verde for Caio who created a chance with a dazzling run on the right flank before sliding the ball through to Yannick Yankam who poked the ball past Luke Bonnici.

Birkirkara extended their lead just before half-time with a devastating attack. Paul Mbong picked up the ball near the halfway line and fed the overlapping Isacc Ntow, who sqaured it for Federico Falcone to shoot low past Bonnici.

After a dull start to the second half, Caio created another chance for Falcone but the Argentine striker hit the ball wide.

Onn 66 minutes, a great free-kick from Mbong fell between Valdo Alhinho and Pedro Gusso, allowing Oscar Carniello to head home Birkirkara’s third goal.

With Lija in complete disarray, Cain Attard was played in by another ball from Caio and the Birkirkara defender finished with an exquisite low shot.

Caio finally put his name on the scoresheet when slotting the ball past Bonnici with Mbong again turning provider. The barrage of goals continued as Birkirkara struck their sixth goal and Attard his second.

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