Balzan scored two goals during the first half which were enough for them to qualify to the quarterfinals of the FA Trophy.
In the third round of the FA Trophy competition Balzan, who are the holders of this Trophy, made it to to the fourth round after beating San Gwann. Conscious that they might be unable to secure European football through the league, Balzan were determined to do all they could in order to win the trophy once again.
On the other end, Santa Lucia eliminated Sliema Wanderers in the third round. Despite finding themselves fighting against relegation in the league, they produced a number of good performances against more experienced sides. Their recent results in the Premier League against Valletta and Gzira indicate that they have what it takes in order to keep going further in this competition.
Siltiet ewlenin tar-rebħa konvinċenti ta' 2 – 0 kontra Santa Lucia fil-FA Trophy, is-Sibt li għadda. Prosit Bojż!
Posted by Balzan FC Supporters Club on Sunday, January 26, 2020
The first chance of the match came to Sta Lucia after nine minutes. Kevin Ante Rosero sent a cross from the left which was conected by Diego Segura who, from an ideal position, shot off target.
In the 11th minute, Sta Lucia lost a good opportunity. Following a cross by Adam Magri Overand’s cross, Diego Segura saw his shot from inside the penalty saved by goalkeeper Kristijan Naumovski.
In the 12th minute Balzan replied through a cross shot by Uros Ljubomirac which was saved by goalkeeper Timothy Aquilina.
Balzan took the lead in the 17th minute. After receiving a good pass from Andrija Majdevac, Arthur Faria Machado dribbled the ball past a Santa Lucia defender but he was floored in this action with the referee pointing to the penalty spot. From the penalty spot ANDRIJA MAJDEVAC converted in style.
In the 22nd minute Sta Lucia responded with a free-kick taken by Kevin Ante Rosero which was turned into a corner.
In the 24th minute Santa Lucia were in action again when Jamie Zerafa received the ball on the right side of the penalty area and fired a diagonal shot that hit the side netting.
Santa Lucia were now finding it difficult to reaction and in the 33rd minute, Balzan went near when off a direct corner by Steven Pisani goalkeeper Timothy Aquilina had to stretch himself to push the ball away from finding the target. Pisani took the rebound but his cross-shot was parried again by Aquilina.
In the 34th minute, Balzan doubled the score. A cross shot from an acute angle by IVAN BOZOVIC stunned goalkeeper Timothy Aquilina and ended up inside the net.
Enjoying a two-goal lead, Balzan focused more on controlling their opponents for much of the second half. In fact, the two teams shared the exchanges with play concentrated in midfield.
Balzan created a promising opportunity on the 50th minute. Alfred Effiong squared the ball in the direction of Steve Pisani whose shot from an angled position stamped off the side netting.
Following this chance, the tempo of the match slowed down as Santa Lucia failed to create chances on goal. Meanwhile, Balzan were happy to defend their lead.
Santa Lucia had a chance to reduce the gap when in the 78th minute substitute Omar Elouni dribbled his way into the penalty area and hit a low shot that was blocked by goalkeeper Kristian Naumovski.
Five minutes later, Kevin Ante Rosero tried his luck from distance, but his shot was neutralised by Balzan’s goalkeeper.
However, in the dying minutes of the game, Balzan could have increased the lead through Arthur Faria Machado, who received an assist by Steven Pisani but goalkeeper Aquilina performed a good save.
During the remaining minutes, Balzan’s lead never looked threatened as they sealed their place inside the quarter-finals of the FA Trophy.
BALZAN : Kristijan Naumovski, Augustine Loof, Nenad Sljivic, Stephen Pisani, Paul Fenech, Alfred Effiong (Luke Montebello 72′), Uros Ljubomirac, Ivan Bozovic, Arthur Faria Machado, Andrija Majdevac (Marcus Grima 90′), Samir Arab (Stephen Bezzina 46’ ).
SANTA LUCIA :Timothy Aquilina, Gabriel Bohrer Mentz, Kevin Pinheiro Correia, Adam Magri Overend, Jackson David Usuga Mendoza, Diego Luis Mosquera Segura, Kevin Duvan Ante Rosero, Jacob Walker (Daniel Agius 69′), Farid Zuniga, Jamie Zerafa (Jamie Magri Overend 73′), Rei Tachikawa (Omar Elouni 56′).
Referee: Glen Tonna