Two second half goals put Valletta in the final of the FA Trophy

Valletta scored twice during the second half as they registered a 2-0 win over Gzira that sealed their place in the final of the FA Trophy.

Photo: Dominic Borg
Photo: Dominic Borg

The first half was dominated by Valletta. The Maltese champions created a number of opportunities, but failed to make the most out of their possession.

Valletta created the first opportunity of the match on the 8th minute. Mario Fontanella received the ball inside the penalty area and sent a shot that was neutralised by Justin Haber.

Two minutes later, Bojan Kaljevic lost a great chance for Valletta. Kyrian Nwoko’s cross went into the path of the Montenegrin player who finished off target in front of an open goal.

Haber denied Valletta on the 16th minute. Following a corner, Nwoko’s header was parried by the experienced goalkeeper.

Gzira replied on the 26th minute. Haruna Garba’s shot from inside the penalty area was blocked by a defender. The ball fell for Edison Bilbao Zarate who failed to hit the target.

Valletta threatened Gzira again on the 37th minute. First it was Nicholas Pulis whose shot was blocked by Haber. Rebound fell for Nwoko and the youngster’s shot forced an excellent save from Gzira’s goalkeeper.

The Citizens lost another opportunity one minute from half-time. Pena Beltre’s delivery went into the direction of Fontanella who drilled a low shot that sailed off target.

Valletta remained superior during the second half as Gzira never looked like winning the match.

Kaljevic lost another golden opportunity for Valletta on the 70th minute. Gzira’s defence failed to clear their marks and the ball filtered through for the striker who fired a powerful shot from close range that went off target.

Valletta finally broke the deadlock on the 78th minute. Following a corner, Gzira’s defence once more failed to clear their marks. The ball rolled into the path of Rowen Muscat who unleashed a low shot from the edge of the penalty area that went past Haber.

Henry Bonello was on the alert to deny Gzira from equalising on the 90th minute. Justin Mengolo’s shot forced a great save from the Maltese goalkeeper.

Valletta sealed the win during the additional time. Santiago Malano squared the ball for Bogdan Gavrila and the substitute placed the ball past Haber.

Following this result, Valletta will now face Balzan during next Saturday’s final.

Gzira United starting line-up: Justin Haber, Zachary Scerri (Justin Mengolo-63), Rodolfo Soares, Andrew Cohen, Juan Carlos Corbalan (Nikolai Muscat-74), Edison Bilbao Zarate, Roderick Briffa, Gianmarco Conti, Sacha Borg (Myles Beerman-82), Fernando Barbosa, Haruna Garba

Valletta starting line-up: Henry Bonello, Ryan Camilleri, Santiago Malano, Kyrian Nwoko, Jean Borg, Enmy Manuel Pena Beltre, Ibrahim Saleh, Nicholas Pulis (Shaun Dimech-90), Rowen Muscat, Bojan Kaljevic (Bogdan Gavrila-82), Mari Fontanella (Antonio Monticelli-87)

Referee: Alan Mario Sant

Assistant Referees: Jurgen Spiteri, Luke Portelli

Fourth Official: Ishmael Barbara

More in Football