FA Trophy | Floriana 2 – Sliema Wanderers 0

Floriana won the FA Trophy after securing a 2-0 win over Sliema Wanderers in the final match.

Warren Zammit
20 May 2017, 7:06pm
Floriana's players and supporters celebrating their win. Photo:Christine Borg
Floriana's players and supporters celebrating their win. Photo:Christine Borg
Both teams came into this match knowing that they need to win the trophy to compete in the Europa League. In addition, this match had an extra incentive for supporters as the two times have a history of rivalry. This led towards two packed sides in what can be considered as one of the largest audiences for this season.

Prior to the match, a symbolical ceremony led by the armed forces of Malta took place in which the old trophy was replaced by the new trophy. This was followed by the entry of the players inside the pitch and the national anthem.

Floriana made a flying start to the match as they scored the winning goal after just four minutes. Maurizio Vella’s free-kick was met by Enzo Ruiz and the latter headed past Giuseppe Sarao to give the greens an early advantage.

Sliema responded on the 17th minute. Jean Paul Farrugia hit a shot from distance that went slightly wide.

On the half hour mark, Sliema lost a key player as Denni Dos Santos got injured. John Mintoff took his place.

Giovanni Tedesco’s side lost a golden opportunity to increase their advantage on the 33rd minute. Steve Pisani sent a long ball towards Mario Fontanella who finished centimetres wide from close range.

Two minutes later, Floriana were close once more. Ruiz fired a shot from a free-kick that was parried for a corner by Sarao.

The early stages of the second half lacked action with neither team producing any real chances.

In fact, the first real chance was created by Floriana on the 63rd minute and it caused a lot of controversy. Pisani went on the left side of the penalty area and hit a low shot past Sarao. However, the assistant referee raised his flag as Fontanella was in an offside position and attempted to slot the ball inside the net. Following a lot of protests, the referee discussed with the first additional referee and decided to confirm the assistant’s decision and signalled an offside.

The Wanderers hit back on the 74th minute. John Mintoff sent a powerful drive from inside the penalty area that sailed wide.

On the 79th minute, Pisani of Floriana attempted his luck with a shot from distance that ended up wide.

Sliema hit back a minute later. Farrugia went inside the penalty area and hit a close range shot that was well saved by Justin Haber.

John Buttigieg’s side lost a great chance to equalise on the 87th minute. Frank Temille went inside the penalty area and sent a cross towards the unmarked Farrugia who finished off target in front of an open goal.

Floriana sealed the issue in the additional time given by the referee. Pisani sent a wonderful through ball towards substitute Clyde Borg who went through on goal and placed the ball behind the Sliema shot stopper.

After the match, the police had to intervene as there were some arguments between both teams. In addition, a Floriana supporter jumped inside the pitch carrying a flag.

Following this result, Floriana will play in the Europa League together with Balzan and Valletta.

Floriana starting line-up: Justin Haber, Andre Scicluna, Enrico Pepe, Enzo Ruiz, Steve Pisani, Ignacio Varela, Sebastian Nayar, Maurizio Vella, Nicolas Chiesa, Mario Fontanella, Ryan Camenzuli

Sliema Wanderers starting line-up: Giuseppe Sarao, Denni Dos Santos, Jonathan Pearson, Alex Muscat, Ricardo Calixto Correa Duarte, Jean Paul Farrugia, Frank Temille, Mattias Muchardi, Mark Scerri, Leonardo Incorvaia, Stefano Biancardi

Referee: Glen Tonna

Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Jurgen Spiteri

Additional Assistant Referees: Fyodor Zammit, Mario Apap

Fourth Official: Peter Abela