SENGLEA ATHLETIC 0
M. Farrugia; S. Uyi, Z. Cassar, A. Abela, Freud (58 D. Abela), S. Buhagiar, D. Fava, A. Scicluna, J. Dibola, D. Kukic (58 J. Tanti), D. Xuereb.
H. Bonello; R. Camilleri, T. Caruana, S. Malano, M. Piciollo, S. Dimech (90 R. Tonna), E. Pena Beltre, E. Sala, L. Aguirre, I. Maric, M. Fontanella.
Referee Daniel Portelli.
Yellow cards Dibola, Xuereb, Abela, Sala.
A Mario Fontanella goal in the first half was enough for Valletta to advance into the quarter-finals of the FA Trophy.
This last 16 tie was much more balanced than last weekend’s league match where Valletta had dominated from start to finish.
This time around, Senglea gave Valletta a run for their money and despite not creating any clear-cut chances, Clive Mizzi’s clan managed to keep the result open until the end.
Valletta, on their part, did not put up their best performance but they could have made sure of the qualification earlier with a number of missed opportunities.
Valletta’s Shaun Dimech almost followed up last weekend’s brace against Senglea Athletic with another goal but his close-range effort was blocked by Matthew Farrugia early on.
Moments later, Valletta threatened again through Ivan Marci but his towering header ended wide.
Senglea replied through Dejan Kukic but his long-range effort sailed over the bar.
The Cottonera-based side were starting to inch their way up the field, breaching Valletta’s defensive line but never managed to make the most of their forays.
Twenty minutes past the clock, Freud forced Henry Bonello into a save after a shot from the edge of the area before the latter denied Senglea’s forward once again, this time from close distance.
Sergio Uyi almost surprised Valletta with a header that was inches wide from Bonello’s goal.
The Senglea defender was once again the protagonist, this time in negative, when he misjudged a dead ball which dropped onto Mario Fontanella’s feet. The Italian made no mistake in front of Farrugia to score his first goal since December.
Before the break, Fontanella could have doubled the score when he darted into the box but fired straight into the Senglea goalkeeper.
The Citizens had the first effort of the game with Fontanella, who dribbled past an opponent before letting fly a curling effort that went inches over the bar.
Dibola replied for Senglea with a personal effort from the edge of the area but failed to hit the target.
Valletta came close to double the score through Matteo Piciollo but his first-timer was well-blocked by Senglea goalkeeper Farrugia.
Italian forward Fontanella attempted his luck with a first-timer that went straight over Farrugia goal as Valletta were pushing for a second.
Nonetheless, while Valletta failed to score a second, they still managed to preserve their one-goal lead and make it into the next round of the competition.