FA Trophy | Valletta 2 – Żejtun Corinthians 0

Valletta sealed their place in the semi-finals of the FA Trophy after securing a 2-0 win over Żejtun Corinthians.

Valletta's players celebrating after scoring their first goal against Żejtun Corinthians. Photo: Dominic Borg
Valletta's players celebrating after scoring their first goal against Żejtun Corinthians. Photo: Dominic Borg

The Premier League side started the match as clear favourites. However, they were conscious that they need to score early in order to make life difficult for Żejtun Corinthians. In fact, Donilo Doncic’s line-up showed that Valletta’s aim was to go on the offensive from the first minute.

The citizens took control of possession from the start, but were finding it difficult to break Żejtun who were solid at the back.

Valletta’s first chance was created on the 21st minute. Denni Rocha Dos Santos hit a shot from a free-kick that sailed wide.

Denni had a great chance to send his side ahead two minutes later. Following a cross from the left, the Valletta forward finished over from close range.

This was the prelude for the goal as Valletta went ahead on the 25th minute. Kyrian Nwoko hit a low shot from the edge of the penalty area that gave Dunstan Zarb no chance.

On the 27th minute, Matteo Piciollo won the ball at the heart of Żejtun’s defence before firing a shot that took a deflection off a defender and went out for a corner.

Three minutes later, Miguel Angel Alba hit a powerful drive from distance that was blocked by Zarb.

Żejtun hit back one minute prior to half-time. Adrian Carabott served Brooke Farrugia and the latter sent a strong shot that ended up off target.

Valletta started the second half looking to score their second goal and went close on the 47th minute. Michael Mifsud received the ball inside the penalty area and hit a shot that was neutralised by Zarb.

The Corinthians had another rare chance on the 68th minute. From a free-kick, Omar Elhussieny fired a shot that was saved by Henry Bonello without much difficulty.

Doncic’s side sealed the issue on the 70th minute. Alba sent a cross from a free-kick that was met by Steve Borg whose header went inside the net.

Valletta kept on insisting and created another opportunity on the 71st. Denni fired a shot from a free-kick that was parried by Zarb.

On the 83rd minute, Gianluca Sultana of Żejtun attempted a shot from distance that was neutralised by Bonello.

In the remaining minutes, Valletta remained the stronger side to take a deserved win.

Valletta starting line-up: Henry Bonello, Steve Borg, Juan Gill Cruz, Michael Mifsud (Rowen Muscat – 66), Matteo Piciollo (Albert Prosa – 66), Kyrian Nwoko, Enmy Manuel Pena Beltre, Joseph Zerafa, Denni Rocha Dos Santos, Claudio Pani, Miguel Angel Alba (Russel Fenech – 84)

Żejtun Corinthians starting line-up: Dunstan Zarb, Clayton Giordmaina, Andrea Scozzese, Omar Elhussieny, Neil Tabone, Johanalberto Castano (Junky Sato – 34), Adam Smeir, Brooke Farrugia (Gianluca Sultata – 68), Diego Albanese, Yessous Camilleri, Emerson Vella (Adrian Carabott – 38)

Referee: Philip Farrugia

Assistant Referees: Jurgen Spiteri, William Debattista

Fourth Official: Jude Admin Ututlu

Yellow Cards: Miguel Angel Alba (Valletta), Clayton Giordimaina (Żejtun), Claudio Pani (Valletta), Steve Borg (Valletta)