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Holders Birkirkara face Ħamrun Spartans in FA Trophy quarter-final re-match

Ħamrun midfielder Roko Prsa moves past Paul Mbong, of Birkirkara. Photo: Dominic Borg

Last year’s finalists Marsaxlokk face Floriana

Holders Birkirkara were drawn against Malta champions Ħamrun Spartans as the draws of the FA Trophy quarter-finals were held at the Centenary Hall on Tuesday.

Last year’s finalists Marsaxlokk were drawn to face this season’s title challengers Floriana in another tie that is set to be closely fought at the end of this month.

Sliema Wanderers were pitted against Mosta while Mġarr United, the competition’s giant-killers were drawn to face Gżira United.

The four quarter-finals will be played over the Easter weekend with two matches scheduled for March 30 and the remaining games will be played on April 1.

The clash between Birkirkara and Ħamrun Spartans is set to renew the rivalry between two of Malta’s most followed clubs and who have already faced off in a cup final this season when they met in the Super Cup.

On that day it was Ħamrun Spartans who came out on top when they won the match 4-0.

However, Birkirkara have always turned out to be a major threat for the Spartans as the team now guided by Jose Borg inflicted on the Reds their only league defeat in the Premier League this season when they beat them 3-0 just a week before their Super Cup clash last December.

Added to that, Birkirkara have fond memories of Cup contests against the Spartans as last season, the Stripes knocked out Ħamrun Spartans at the same stage of the competition when they secured a 1-0 win, courtesy of a goal scored by Enzo Cabrera.

That win lifted the Stripes into the last four before going on to win the trophy after defeating Marsaxlokk in the final.

Marsaxlokk have a huge task on their hands to repeat last season’s run to the final when they face in-form Floriana, winners of the competition for a record 21 times.

The Southerners, under the charge of Winston Muscat, have been one of the revelations of the season as they are currently fighting for a place in Europe in only their second campaign in the top flight.

But they will be up against a Floriana team who are on cloud nine at the moment after managing to move within one point of Premier League leaders Ħamrun Spartans to give their title aspirations a huge boost.

Marsaxlokk and Floriana have already provided an exciting league encounter this season which was decided with an injury-time winner from Kemar Reid that handed the Greens a dramatic 3-2 win.

Looking at the other ties, Sliema Wanderers, who also won the trophy 21 times, will fancy their chances to reach the last four when they face a Mosta team, battling for Premier League survival this season.

On the other hand, Gżira United start as firm favourites to reach the semi-finals and keep alive their hopes for European football when they face Amateur League side Mġarr United who had eliminated Santa Lucia in a penalty shoot-out in the previous round.

FA Trophy Quarter-finals

Marsaxlokk vs Floriana

Birkirkara vs Ħamrun Spartans                           

Mosta vs Sliema Wanderers

Gżira United vs Mġarr United

Matches to be played on March 30 and April 1

ASSIKURA WOMEN’S KNOCK OUT QFs

Mtarfa vs Swieqi United          

Mġarr Utd vs Hibernians         

Valletta vs San Ġwann

Birkirkara vs Lija Athletic         

Matches to be played on April 11.

NATIONAL AMATEUR CUP SFs

Kirkop United vs Marsaskala  

St George’s vs Mġarr United

Matches to be played on April 16, 17

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