The FA Trophy: Bojan Kaljevic seals Valletta’s place inside the semi-finals

Bojan Kaljevic scored two goals inside the second half that sent Valletta through to the semi-finals of the FA Trophy.

Photo: Dominic Borg
Photo: Dominic Borg

Valletta reached the quarter-finals of the FA Trophy following a convincing 4-1 win over Sirens. On the other end, Gudja won 3-1 against Victoria Hotspurs.

Tedesco's men started the match favourites to go through to the semi-finals. However, they were up against a team who can give a hard time to any opponent. Due to this, the Citizens had to produce another solid performance in order to avoid a setback.

Gudja were the better side during the first half and threatened Valletta’s defence on a number of occasions.

Gudja went close after six minutes. Aidan Jake Friggieri drilled a low shot from close range that sailed wide.

Mansueto’s side lost a golden opportunity moments later. Llywelyn Cremona sent Renold Winchester through. The Trinidadian player went forward but found Yenz Cini in his way.

Gudja nearly broke the deadlock on the 33rd minute. Winchester drilled a dangerous cross inside the penalty area that went into the path of Gabriel Mensah. The latter served Edison Bilbao Zarate whose shot was cleared off the line by Ryan Camilleri.

Valletta hit back a minute later. Matteo Piciollo fired a shot from the edge of the penalty area that was saved Jonathan Debono.

Gudja threatened Valletta once again on the 36th minute. Cremona hit a diagonal shot that was parried for a corner by Cini.

Friggieri went close for Gudja four minutes later. Cremona’s free-kick was punched forward by Valletta’s goalkeeper. The ball fell for the young midfielder who failed to hit the target from inside the penalty area.

Gudja started the second half on the offensive and went close immediately. Winchester fired a powerful drive from distance that went high.

Valletta managed to break the deadlock against the run of play on the 52nd minute. Mario Fontanella’s cross was met by Bojan Kaljevic who headed the ball home.

Cini was on the alert to deny Gudja on the 57th minute. Winchester hit a strong shot from the edge of the penalty area that forced a good save from Valletta’s goalkeeper.

However, Valletta doubled their advantage just a minute later. Kaljevic fired a shot from the edge of the penalty area that gave Jonathan Debono no chance.

Fontanella went close for Valletta on the 64th minute. Following a fine move, the Italian went through down the right flank before sending a shot that hit the side netting.

Valletta were reduced to ten men a minute later as Enmy Pena Beltre was sent off after being shown his second yellow card.

Gudja hit back on the 77th minute. Winchester ran towards the penalty area and sent a low shot that sailed wide.

Despite Gudja’s efforts during the latter stages, Valletta remained solid at the back to seal their qualification to the next round.

Valletta starting line-up: Yenz Cini, Ryan Camilleri, Santiago Malano (Miguel Angel Alba-62), Bojan Kaljevic, Matteo Piciollo (Steve Borg-70), Shaun Dimech (Nicholas Pulis-62), Jean Borg, Enmy Pena Beltre, Joseph Zerafa, Triston Caruana, Mario Fontanella

Gudja United starting line-up: Jonathan Debono, Jurgen Farrugia (Peter Paul Sammut-74), Jonathan Bondin, Aidan Jake Friggieri, Edison Bilbao Zarate, Renold Winchester (Nivaldo Rodrigues Ferreira-82), Llyewlyn Cremona, Gabriel Mensah, Anderson De Barros, Juan Andres Bolanos, Justin Grioli (Lee Pisani-60)

Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann

Assistant Referees: Duncan Sultana, James Muscat

Fourth Official: Mario Apap