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Gudja United progressed to the next round of the FA Trophy on Wednesday as they beat Sirens 1-0 in a balanced encounter at the Centenary Stadium.

Normally a mid-table clash between two Premier League sides, both coaches started with their usual starters.

Gudja hit the ground running, pinning Sirens inside their own half and Vito Plut went close to opening the score but his header in the ninth minute hit the upright.

The Paul’s Bay side struggled as Gudja held most of the possession. But Sirens goalkeeper Andrea Cassar was alert to stop any incoming balls into his area. He was the hero midway through the first half when he blocked a Tatsuro Nagamatsu effort from right in front of him. With the ball still in play, Nicolas Naverrete fired back at goal, this time missing his shot.

Gudja went closest three minutes from the break when Nagamatsu met a cross into the area but his shot went wide off the mark. 

After the break, Navarrete made Cassar work immediately as Gudja hit their first shot just a minute into the half but the Sirens goalkeeper pushed the ball away for a corner.

Plut threatened again on 50 minutes with another shot from range but once again, Cassar came off his line to make the save.

Sirens finally had their first two clear chances within seconds 55 minutes into the match when a cross into the area was met Vyctor Bento with identical headers but both efforts were stopped by goalkeeper Glenn Zammit.

Gudja replied on 62 minutes through James Arthur but his shot went well over. 

The deadlock was broken as Gudja took the lead on 70 minutes. A scuffed shot by Nagamatsu somehow drifted past Cassar and over the line. 

Alexander Cini nearly equalised immediately for Sirens when a minute later, he hit a low shot that ricochetted off the Gudja defence and straight into Zammit.

Sirens attempted a fight back but Gudja held firm to go through to the next round. 

Referee: Darryl Agius





Hibernians bounced back from their close defeat to Marsaxlokk last week as they cruised past Gudja United 4-1 at the Centenary Stadium on Sunday.

It was a dominant performance for Silvio Vella’s side and Jurgen Degabriele was the star of the show as he scored two spectacular goals on either side of the half which stunned Gudja.

After a balanced opening, Yunusa Muritala made Glen Zammit work on six minutes as the Gudja goalkeeper dived to parry away the close-range effort.

Six minutes later, Degabriele opened proceedings with a wonderful strike from a freekick on the left which rose above the crowded area and dipped over Zammit into the net.

Things got worse for Gudja on 21 minutes when Dunstan Vella pushed the ball into the area and was tripped by Neil Micallef. Referee Alex Johnson whistled for a penalty and sent off Micallef with a direct red card for a last-man challenge.

After two minutes of debate, Jake Grech stepped up to the spot and fired home to put Hibernians further head.

By this point, the tide was completely against Gudja as Andrea Agostinelli’s side struggled to find any kind of rhythm. They did manage a shot on the half-hour but James Arthur’s effort was too easy for Marko Jovicic.

Thaylor nearly made it three after 38 minutes after meeting a cross into the area but his volleyed shot bounced over the bar.

Gudja went close to finding a way back five minutes from the break when Hubert Vella headed towards goal from a freekick but his effort went just wide.

In added time, Gabriel Artiles hit a cross into the area which Vella tipped over with a header but Zammit was alert to push the ball into a corner. From the ensuing flag-kick, Gonzalo Llerena missed a golden opportunity with the last kick of the half when he skied a goalmouth shot.

After the break, Hibs continued to dominate possession but against the run of play, Gudja found a way back seven minutes in when Nicolas Navarrete fired in a cross and with the ball heading out, Thaylor could not move out of the way and instead bumped the ball into his own net.

63 minutes in, Degabriele showed another moment of class to put his side further ahead. Substitute Zachary Grech put in a cross into the area and provided the assist, after just three minutes on the pitch, for the Hibs forward to flick the ball in mid-air past Zammit.

Gudja replied seven minutes later with a long-distance effort from Tatsuro Nagamatsu which went wide. They tried again through Vito Plut on 74 minutes from a quick counter-attack but his shot was off.

At the death, Muritala made the most of a convincing display to take over possession from a misplaced pass and fired past Zammit to add another goal right before the final whistle.

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