UBet FA Trophy – Valletta 2 Gzira 0
Valletta eased into the final of the U*Bet FA Trophy after beating Division One side Gzira United 2-0 in today’s first semi-final at the National Stadium.
Gzira tried their best to give a good challenge to their more-quoted opponents but Valletta were a in a different class, albeit the Citizens did just enough to secure their passage to the final and keep alive their hopes of a leaguer and cup double.
The first half was a low-key affair with Valletta switching to cruise mode after taking the lead midway through.
Hamza Barry, back in Valletta’s team after missing the 3-1 league victory over Balzan, fired over from outside the area.
On 15 minutes, Shawn Bajada drifted into the box from the left before passing to Lateef Elford-Alliyu who miscued his shot.
Valletta opened the scoring on 23 minutes. Barry made headway through the middle but his low strike was kept out by Kyle Gerada, the Gzira goalkeeper. Edmond Agius was on hand to poke the ball into the net.
Valletta then eased off, only threatening once when Elford-Alliyu headed over from Roderick Briffa’s cross.
Eight minutes into the second half, Shawn Bajada’s curling drive was easily saved by Gerada.
At the other end, Gzira’s Pape Gueye headed wide from Ryan Deguara’s cross.
Four minutes past the hour, Gerada denied Valletta a second goal when pushing away Barry’s fierce grounder from the edge of the area.
There was another anxious moment for Gzira when Fenech’s corner was headed by Steve Borg but the ball came off a defender.
Eight minutes from time, Gzira were dealt another blow when Spanish striker Moises Avila Perez was sent off for a reckless challenge on Fenech, the Valletta captain.
Gzira raised their game in the dying stages.
Andre White’s header from Cassar’s cross was saved by Revishvili but, from their next attack, Valletta doubled their advantage. Luke Montebello’s pass was deflected into the path of Llwelyn Cremona who ran clear before slotting past Gerada.
Source: Times of Malta
VALLETTA – N. Revishvili, J. Caruana, S. Borg, R. Fenech, E. Agius (J. P. Mifsud Triganza), R. Briffa, O. Reyes Sanchez, H. Barry, S. Bajada (L. Cremona), L. Elford Alliyu (L. Montebello), A. Nafti.
GZIRA – K. Gerada, Y. Tonna (C. Cassar), R. Forace, A. White, J. Camilleri, B. Bondin, R. Deguara (J. Chetcuti), M. Kottza, P. Gueye, M. Avila Perez, S. Meilak (S. Vella).
Date: 19.03.14 Time: 14:00 Venue: National Stadium
Yellow Cards: R. Fenech, O. Reyes Sanchez (V), C. Cassar (G)
Red Cards: M. Avila Perez (G)
Scorers: 23′ E. Agius, 90′ L. Cremona
Referee: Chris Lautier