In a match from the Round of 16 of the IZIBET FA Trophy, Birkirkara secured a dramatic qualification to the quarter-finals after defeating Balzan 5-4 on penalties, following a 2-2 draw at the end of the ninety minutes and extra-time.

It was a dramatic victory for the Birkirkara who were set to bow out of the competition after trailing Balzan 2-1 with a minute of stoppage time to go in normal time. But Cain Attard’s dramatic equaliser with virtually the last kick of the match sent the match into extra-time and eventually a penalty shoot-out.

First action of the game was in the 9th minute when Angel Yesid Torres Quinone served Aleksa Andrejic but his shot finished wide.

Birkirkara had a great start as in the 14th minutes they took the lead. From a corner kick taken by Paul Mbong, YANNICK YANKAM ‘s header was cleared off the line by Paul Fenech but he was not to be denied from the rebound to fire home.

In the 33rd minute, Birkirkara could have doubled their lead when Dennis Ribeiro picked the unmarked Paul Mbong inside the area but his header finished over the crossbar.

Just before the break, Birkirkara threatened again but this time Osvaldo Iorio’s shot lacked power and was easily saved by goalkeeper Rudy Briffa.

On the restart, Balzan, in a bid to boost his forward line, substituted midfielder Marcus Grima with attacker Alexander Satariano.

But in the 48th minute, it was the Birkirkara who threatened again. A freekick taken by Alessandro Coppola was deviated to a corner by the barrier. Rudy Briffa failed to hold the resulting corner kick taken by Denis Ribeiro, the ball fell to Alex da Paixao Alves but the Balzan goalkeeper denied him.

In the 59th minute a shot by Delvin Chanel Ndinga finished over the crossbar.

Balzan’s first real chance came in the 65th minute when in a swift break, Bojan Kaljevic put Angel Torres clear but his shot finish over the bar.

But two minutes later, ANGEL YESID TORRES QUINONES was not to be denied when Bojan Kaljevic won a ball in midfield and quickly served him, he then dribbled past his marker and fired past goalkeeper Giacomo Nava.

Things got worse for Birkirkara as in the 75th minute Matthew De Gabriele pointed to the spot when he judged that substitute Matheus de Souza was fouled by Simon Zibo inside the area.

From the spot, MOMCILO RASO drilled the ball past goalkeeper Giacomo Nava.

Balzan were on top and in the 78th minute Paul Fenech was unlucky to see his shot whiz past the upright.

A minute later Alexander Satariano broke free and his shot was saved by Giacomo Nava.

In the 86th minute Matheus de Sousa stole the ball from Alessandro Coppola but he was denied by Giacomo Nava.

Balzan were made to pay for these lost chances as Birkirkara got the equaliser in stoppage time when after a defensive melee in the box the ball fell to CAIN ATARD who flicked the ball home.

Birkirkara finished normal time with ten men when Alessandro Coppola suffered his second booking.

Numerical parity was restored in the 100th minute when Ivan Bozovic was also shown a second yellow card.

In the 104th minute, Enzo Daniel Cabrera sped clear but his attempted lob over Rudy Briffa finished wide.

At the other end, in the 114th minute Bogdan Mlandenovic fired just wide from an ideal position and the match went to a penalty shoot-out to decide a winner.

Penalty sequence:

For Balzan                                                                                 For Birkirkara

Bogdan Mladenovic scores 1-0;                     Yannik Yankam misses 1-0;

Diver Duvan Torres scores 2-0;                      Enzo Cabrera scores 2-1;

Delvin Chanel Ndinga misses 2-1;                 Andrei Ciolacu scores 2-2;

Matheus da Sousa scores 3-2;                      Kevin Tulimieri scores 3-3;

Alex Satariano scores 4-3;                              Simon Zibo scores 4-4;

Momcilo Raso misses 4-4;                              Kurt Zammit scores 5-4.


Balzan: Rudy Briffa, Ivan Bozovic, Diver Duvan Torres Quinones, Samir Arab, Marcus Grima (Alexander Satariano 46’), Paul Fenech (Zak Grech 87’), Angel Yesid Torres Quinones (Bogdan Mladenovic 93’), Delvin Chanel Ndinga, Momcilo Raso, Andrejic, Kaljevic Bojan (Matheus Nogureira Abulgeurque De Souza 72’).

Birkirkara: GiacomoVava, Osvaldo Iorio (Jean Paul Farrugia 89’) (Neil Micallef 91’), Alex Da Paixao Alves (Jed Valletta 82’) (Matteo Gambin 91’), Yannick Yankam, Paul Mbong (Kevin Tulimieri 82’), Kurt Zammit, Cain Attard, Enzo Daniel Cabrera, Simon Zibo, Alessandro Coppola, Denis Custodio Ribeiro (Andrei Ciolacu 77’).

Referee: Matthew De Gabriele.