Both teams were desperate to win a place in the Final as this competition presents them with the only opportunity of silverware and a place in the Europa League, since both Balzan and Birkirkara failed to place with the top four in the Premier League.
Balzan made it to the semi-finals after beating Qormi FC 5-1, Xewkija Tigers FC 6-1 and Tarxien Rainbows FC by 3:0.
Birkirkara FC had a more difficult path in reaching this stage defeating Nadur Youngsters FC 4-0, Hamrun Spartans FC 2-1 and Mosta 2-1.
The nearest that Balzan went in the Trophy was a final against Sliema Wanderers FC in 2016 losing on penalties. On the other hand Birkirkara FC won this cup for five times.
Balzan vs Birkirkarara 11/05/2019
Balzan had a perfect start, taking the lead after eight minutes. Off a corner from the right side taken by Ricardo Correa Duarte, NENAD SLJIVIC headed towards goal and managed to beat goalkeeper Kristijan Naumovski.
Balzan continued to dictate matters and in the 14th minute Uros Ljubomirac and Alfred Effiong exchanged the ball twice before Naumovski blocked an shot by Uros Ljubomirac from close range.
Three minutes later Naumovski was once again in action when he tipped a diagonal shot by Ricardo Correa Duarte into a corner.
However in the 31st minute, against the run of play, Birkirkara levelled matters. It was a superb personal action by MICHAEL MIFSUD who, after receiving an assist by Mislav Andjelkovic, dribbling his way past Nenad Sljivic and saw his powerful rising shot from a distance beating helpless goalkeeper Sean Mintoff.
The goal filled Birkirkara with confidence and eight minutes later they took the lead. Johann Bezzina passed on the left towards Jorge Da Silva Pereira who anticipated onrushing Sean Mintoff and sent a low cross shot which was connected by MICHAEL MIFSUD who finished into an empty net.
In the 43rd minute Balzan’s reacted with a Carlos De Fiori Mendes (Kadu) shot which just missed the target.
In the second half Balzan looked more aggressive and their pressure gave result in the 55th minute. A free kick by Kadu found unmarked UROS LJUBOMIRAC who, from close range, beat Birkirkara goalkeeper.
Balzan continued to pile pressure and in the 67th minute a shot by Ricardo Correa Duarte finished over the bar.
Four minutes later Naumovski turned, in style into a corner, a shot from an acute angle by the same player.
In the 80th minute Balzan scored what proved to be the winner when Mislav Andjelkovic lost possession in midfield to Uros Ljubomirac who in turn set ALFRED EFFIONG and after finding his way into the box chipped the ball over onrushing Kristijan Naumovski.
In the remaining minutes of the game Birkirkara tried to react but the only effort they had to offer was a header by substitute Luke Montebello which was saved by Mintoff.
Following this win Balzan will now play in the final against Valletta FC.
BALZAN : Sean Mintoff, Aleksandar Kosoric, Nenad Sljivic, Steve Pisani (Andrija Majdevac 51′), Steve Bezzina, Paul Fenech, Alfred Effiong (Sean Cipriott 92′), Uros Ljubomirac, Ivan Bozovic, Carlos Eduardo de Fiori Mendes (Dale Camilleri 84′), Ricardo Calixto Correa Duarte.
BIRKIRKARA : Kristijan Naumovski, Mislav Andjelkovic, Maurizio Vella, Johann Bezzina (Thiago de Souza de Brito 75′), Clayton Failla, Eduardo Ferreira dos Santos, Nikola Vukanac (Matthew Guillaumier 83′), Michael Mifsud, Cain Attard, Terence Agius, Jorge Pereira da Silva (Luke Montebello 72′).
Referee: Fyodor Zammit