FA Trophy: Floriana through to the semi-finals following a penalty shoot-out

Floriana won a penalty shoot-out against Birkirkara to go through to the semi-finals as the match ended 1-1.

Photo: Dominic Borg
Photo: Dominic Borg

Birkirkara came into this match eager to extend their positive run by going through to the semi-finals of the FA Trophy. The Stripes made it to the quarter-finals following a 2-1 win over Mosta.

On the other hand, this match was also very important for Floriana since their recent form was far from convincing. They secured their place inside the quarter-finals after beating Senglea 2-0.

Birkirkara threatened Floriana on the 6th minute. Matthew Guillaumier saw his shot from a free-kick being parried by Ini Etim Akpan.

Federico Falcone created another chance for Birkirkara on the 22nd minute. The Argentinian hit a diagonal shot from inside the penalty area that was neutralised by Ini Etim Akpan.

Birkirkara went close again on the 42nd minute. Guillaumier’s delivery from a corner was met by Matias Carniello whose header was saved by Floriana’s goalkeeper.

The Stripes remained on the offensive and created another chance on the 51st minute. Isaac Ntow’s shot took a deflection off a defender and went into the path of Caio Prado. However, the Birkirkara player failed to hit the target.

Birkirkara’s efforts paid off on the hour mark. From a free-kick, Claudio Bonanni fired a stunning shot that gave Akpan no chance.

Floriana hit back on the 65th minute. Jurgen Pisani sent a cross in the direction of Marcelo Dias whose first time effort from inside the penalty area sailed wide.

The Greens equalised ten minutes later. Pisani delivered a cross from the left that ended up into the path of the unmarked Augustu Caseres who slotted the ball home from close range.

Moments later, Ryan Camenzuli drilled a low shot that was saved by Andrew Hogg.

Two minutes from time, Jan Busuttil of Floriana made space for himself and fired a shot from the edge of the penalty area that sailed marginally over.

Following this chance, both teams were afraid to take risks and the match went into extra-time.

Birkirkara went close to score two minutes into the extra time. Prado crossed the ball towards Federico Falcone whose overhead kick was tipped behind for a corner by Akpan.

On the 114th minute, it was Roderick Briffa of Birkirkara who tried his luck from distance, but his effort was well saved by Akpan.

During the remaining minutes, none of the two teams managed to score and the match went into the drama of penalties.

In fact, the penalty shoot-out was a real drama as both sides lacked the lethal instinct. However, Floriana emerged as winners.

Kristian Keqi, Tiago Fonseca and Terence Vella scored for Floriana. On the other hand Guillaumier was the only player who scored for Birkirkara.

Floriana starting line-up: Ini Etim Akpan, Mustapha Muhamadou, Enzo Ruiz, Clyde Borg (Jan Busuttil-69), Kristian Keqi, Jurgen Pisani, Matias Garcia, Alexander Cini (Terence Vella-120), Marcelo Dias (Augustu Caseres-73), Ryan Camenzuli Tiago Adan Fonseca

Birkirkara starting line-up: Andrew Hogg, Enrico Pepe, Matthew Guillaumier, Paul Mbong (Roderick Briffa-78), Yannick Yankam, Federico Falcone, Cain Attard, Claudio Bonanni (Ryan Fenech-120), Caio Prado (Diego Capel-109), Matias Carniello, Isaac Ntow

Referee: Glen Tonna

Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Mark Ciantar

Fourth Official: Emmanuel Grech