HIBERNIANS MEET QORMI IN UNEDITED EDITION OF U*BET FA TROPHY FINAL
The last and second most prestigious honour of the 2011-2012 season will be contested by Hibernians and Qormi at Ta’ Qali National Stadium on Sunday 27 May with a 6.00 pm kick-off time. This is the first time in 74 finals that the two teams are facing each other at this stage of the major knock-out of Maltese football. Indeed, it is an unedited edition of the U*BET FA Trophy final in a season which presented a new format of this competition.
The long trek started in September with teams from all the divisions in Malta and Gozo vying for success. Top division teams entered the fray in the third round which was played in December. Hibernians accounted for Pembroke 5-3, and subsequently Rabat Ajax 5-0, Floriana 1-0 and Hamrun Spartans 2-1, while Qormi eliminated, Gzira United 1-0, Mellieħa 5-0, Pieta Hotspurs 1-0 (aet) and Valletta 4-3.
Both teams harbour hopes of capturing the season’s last honour for different reasons. The Paolites are celebrating the 90th year since the club was founded and would want to commemorate this landmark anniversary by winning the coveted Trophy silverware.
On their part, Qormi have set their sights firmly on landing a major honour in Maltese football for the first time in their history and thus become the 11th team to have their name inscribed on the trophy. It will be the 19th final for eight-times winners Hibernians, while Qormi will be featuring in the second final after losing to Valleta 2-1 in 2010.
In their semi-final matches the Paolites were true to the form-book when disposing of the Spartans 2-1, while Qormi provided the upset when they shrugged off the challenge of freshly-crowned champions and favourites Valletta 4-3.
Given this season’s performances, many will put their money on Hibernians to win against opponents whose yo-yo displays in the league left them lurching in the relegation pool of the BOV Premier Division, albeit ending comfortably in the safety zone.
However, pundits know too well that a match of this nature is open to all sorts of possibilities whatever the teams’ pedigree and players’ ratings are. Both coaches, acting coach Richard Mercieca for Hibernians and Qormi’s Stephen Azzopardi are aware of this and their teams’ mindset should be on performing well on the day. The sides are replete with quality footballers who are capable of turning on the steam in terms of aesthetics and goals, the hard currency of football.
Supporters of the Yellow-blacks and the Peacocks will be backing their favourites to the maximum in what should turn out to be an afternoon of enjoyable fare played in the best of spirits. Neutral spectators will be looking forward to a grand finale to the season.
QORMI vs HIBERNIANS will kick-off at 6pm at the National Stadium in Ta' Qali
A symbolic Pre-Match ceremony is scheduled to start @ 17.47hrs, after the teams' warm-up session