Għajnsielem oust Nadur after penalty shoot-out
Għajnsielem advanced to the quarter-finals of the GFA Cup after eliminating Nadur Youngsters in a penalty shoot-out as the match ended in a 3-3 draw after extra-time.
This was the third meeting between the two sides in the last few weeks. Last month, Nadur prevailed in the league match but the Blacks emerged victorious from their KO clash.
This was another keenly-contested match between two strong contenders.
Nadur had three attempts that were stopped by the woodwork while Għajnsielem finished the game with nine players after Alex Tramboo (56) and Kenneth Mercieca (115) were both red-carded.
The score at the end of regular time was 1-1.
Chris Camilleri put the Blacks ahead on 31 minutes and Claudio Antunes equalised soon after the restart.
Nadur regained the lead in the early stages of extra-time with a header by substitute Brandon Said but Camilleri levelled on 112 minutes with a tap-in.
Two minutes later, Saviour Attard made it 3-2 for the Youngsters but Għajnsielem clinched the equaliser in stoppage time, again thanks to Camilleri following a contested free-kick inside the Nadur box.
Penalties were needed to determine the winner.
Nadur scored five from seven with Għajnsielem keeper Luke Buttigieg saving two spot-kicks. The Blacks converted six penalties with Damon Hili’s shot saved by the Nadur goalkeeper.
In another all-Division One clash, Oratory Youths had the better of Xagħra United 3-0.
The Youths sealed their passage to the next round early on with a brace from Bartomeu Perello Palou (10, 12) and a goal by Inigo Dolara (19).
Kerċem Ajax also booked their place in the quarter-finals after a 4-1 win over Division Two side St Lawrence Spurs.
The Ajax moved into a three-goal lead with goals by Nelson Bahiya (14), Trayo Grozev (40) and Ognjen Rolovic (66).
The Spurs reduced the deficit with a Mohammed Senussi Telessi penalty on 67 minutes but Kerċem made sure of victory with a fourth goal scored by substitute Natha-niel Mercieca (75).
Victoria Hotspurs also progressed to the last eight of the competition after eliminating Division Two side Sannat Lions, 4-2.
The Hotspurs opened a two-goal lead with goals from Louis Rene Zome (13) and Jonathan Bajada (40) but Sunday Baala (44) and Mark Muscat (70) hit back for Sannat to cancel out the deficit.
A Jason Portelli goal from a free-kick put the Hotspurs back in the driving seat and they secured their victory with a fourth goal late on, Shaun Attard converting a penalty.
SK Victoria Wanderers are also through after thrashing Munxar Falcons 5-1.
The Division Two strugglers opened the scoring from a penalty, converted by Michael Mattias Uzor (30), but the Wanderers turned the tide in their favour with goals from Aleksander Komljenovic (41), Milanko Raskovic (43p, 50), Predrag Djordjevic (48) and Ian Xuereb (83).
In the only GFA Cup match involving teams from the lower championship, Għarb Rangers beat Żebbuġ Rovers 4-1.
Joseph Muscat (38) put Għarb in front but Żebbuġ levelled before half-time thanks to Ikechukwu Igwemeke.
However, the Rangers dominated proceedings in the second period, scoring three times without reply through Justin Azzopardi (56), Saviour Fidelis (88) and Paul Anthony Attard (90+1).
The Rovers had Patrick Camilleri sent off nine minutes from time.
The first round of Division Two came to an end with the replay between Munxar Falcons and Qala Saints as the game had been abandoned due to heavy rain.
Munxar went on to earn their first point of the campaign after a 3-3 draw.
Qala seemed heading towards their first win as they held a three-goal lead following an own goal by Paul Parnis (7) and goals by Steve Dimech (73) and substitute Luke Portelli (74).
However, Munxar staged a strong reaction, netting three late goals through Jordi Parnis (76), Elijah Xuereb (86) and Alex Sacco (88).