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Birkirkara brush aside Fgura United to cruise into FA Trophy Last 16

Birkirkara striker Federico Falcone (left) controls the ball against Fgura United. Photo: Domenic Aquilina

BIRKIRKARA 4

Montebello 12, Macedo 17, Bevis 26, Falcone 48

FGURA UNITED 0

Birkirkara

J. Archibald, E. Ruiz, E. Pepe, L. Montebello (46 P. Mbong), K. Zammit, F. Falcone (65 M. Gambin), R. Scicluna (74 O. Sciberras), L. Aguirre (65 J. Valletta), K. Bevis, J. Macedo, D. Venancio (46 C. Bonanni).

Fgura United

J. Azzopardi, L. Pisani (73 C. Ciantar), D. Caruana (57 D. Quintero), R. Prudente (57 J. Ewertton) , J. Micallef (74 G. Borg), M. Brincat (57 T. Grima), J. Stensen, K. Gandini, J. Vella, J. Cassar, S. Borg.

Referee: Andrea Sciriha

Birkirkara brushed aside the challenge of Fgura United to book a last-16 tie with Mosta in the FA Trophy.

Birkirkara coach André Paus named almost his strongest side for clash against the Challenge League side.

Early goals from Luke Montebello and Jefferson Machedo ripped up the game plan for Fgura.

These goals provided the platform for the Stripes to build on, with further goals from Kilian Devis and Federico Falcone to seal a 4-0 win.

Julani Archibald made his debut in the Birkirkara goal, Enzo Ruiz formed a central defence partnership with Enrico Pepe as Leandro Aguirre was employed in unusual midfield role to make space for Kurt Zammit on the left flank.

Upfront, Jefferson Machedo and Kilian Bevis were given a chance to shine.

Although Fgura managed to share the exchanges with the Stripes during the game’s opening minutes, that passage of play proved deceptive.

On 11 minutes, Leandro Aguirre squared the ball for Kurt Zammit, the defender picked out the unmarked Luke Montebello in the box.

The Malta striker had time to control the ball before thumping it home.

Machedo hammered a well-struck shot beyond Julian Azzopardi, five minutes later as Birkirkara raced into a 2-0 lead.

Birkirkara added a third goal after 26 minutes when Kilian Devis rose to plant a free header into the net to put the game beyond the Challenge League side.

And Fgura’s hopes of damage limitation were looking slim soon after the break when they saw Federico Falcone powerfully heading home from a corner.

At this point, given their four-goal salvo, Paus opted for a number of substitutions to give home-grown hopes, namely Jed Valletta, Owen Sciberras and Matteo Gambin added experience in the first team.

Eight minutes from time, a superb series of passes ended with Paul Mbong seeing his shot being deflected by Kenny Gandini onto the post.

Azzopardi needed to move quickly to save the Malta striker’s rebound and this only served to emphasise the gulf between the two teams.

In the closing moments of the match Fgura pushed for a consolation goal but Ruiz closed on substitute José Ewertton Silva when he was about to shoot.

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