Eight clubs vying to reach FA Trophy semi-finals Published on: 16-02-2018

The BOOST Diesel FA Trophy has reached an exciting stage as eight clubs will be vying to reach the semi-finals on Saturday.
The four quarter-final ties will be played on the same afternoon with two matches at the National Stadium and two at the Hibernians Stadium.
Premier League clubs Balzan, Valletta, Birkirkara, Hibernians, Sliema Wanderers and Lija Athletic are joined by two from Division One, Żejtun Corinthians and Qrendi.
On paper, Premier League high-flyers Valletta and Birkirkara are strong favourites to progress to the semi-finals but they are unlikely to underestimate Division One opponents Żejtun Corinthians and Qrendi who have defied the odds to reach the last eight of the cup competition.
Żejtun’s enthusiasm is sky-high after they eliminated Premier League side Mosta 2-1 in the Last 16.
In the previous round, the Corinthians trounced Dingli Swallows 5-0 before winning 3-0 against neighbours Marsaxlokk.
For their part, Valletta beat Senglea Athletic 2-0 and Pietà Hotspurs 1-0 on their way to the quarter-finals.
The Citizens have not won the FA Trophy since they beat Sliema Wanderers 1-0 in 2014 – their 13th triumph in the KO competition.
Birkirkara, who last won the cup in 2015, meet Qrendi in Saturday’s opening quarter-final at the Hibs Stadium (2pm).
The Stripes are on a roll after winning 10 matches in a row in all competitions.
After beating Santa Lucija 5-0 in the third round, Birkirkara needed extra-time to see off the stern challenge of San Ġwann in the last round.

Qrendi’s route to the quarter-finals started with a 3-1 win over neighbours Żurrieq, followed by a 2-0 win over Division One leaders Qormi and an exciting 4-3 extra-time win over Gozitan side Kerċem Ajax.
Two former FA Trophy winners meet in a direct clash as Hibernians face Sliema Wanderers in an all-Premier League clash at the National Stadium (kick-off 4pm).
Sliema, who have won the FA Trophy a record 21 times, had a difficult path to the last eight as they edged out Premier League opponentsa St Andrews 2-1 and Ħamrun Spartans 1-0.
Ten-times FA Trophy winners Hibernians knocked out two Gozitan sides – Victoria Hotspurs 2-1 and Xewkija Tigers 3-0.
Hibernians coach Mark Miller will have to make do without Joao Viktor Moreira who is suspended.
The other quarter-final is the derby encounter between Lija Athletic and Balzan at the Hibs Stadium (4pm).
Balzan, the BOV Premier League leaders, beat Gudja United 4-1 and Naxxar Lions 2-0 on their way to the quarter-finals.
They will be without striker Alfred Effiong, suspended.
Lija Athletic had the better of Kalkara 4-0 in round three before beating Tarxien Rainbows 2-1.

Source - MFA.com.mt