Valletta face Gzira hurdle in race for double

Champions Valletta take on Gzira United in the second semi-final of the FA Trophy at the National Stadium on Sunday, kick-off at 17:00.

After winning the title thanks to a win on penalties over Hibernians in the Championship Decider last week, the Citizens met the Paolites once again last Wednesday in the quarter-finals. Valletta prevailed with a 3-2 win after extra-time. In the previous rounds, Valletta defeated Marsa 3-0 and Lija Athletic 7-1.

Gzira United, on the other hand, beat Rabat Ajax 4-0, Melita 4-2 and Pietà Hotspurs 2-1 after extra-time in the previous rounds.

The Maroons reached the FA Trophy final once – in 1973. Following a goalless draw after extra-time, the replay ended in another goalless draw after extra-time. A second replay was therefore necessary and they defeated Birkirkara 2-0. This was the only major honour ever won by Gzira.

The Citizens, on the other hand, will be hoping to reach the 28th FA Trophy final in the history of the club. In the previous twenty-seven finals, Valletta emerged as winners fourteen times.

This season, Gzira United and Valletta met twice with the two matches ending in draws – 0-0 in the first round and 1-1 in the second round.

For Valletta, Joseph Zerafa is suspended but City coach Gilbert Agius hopes he recovers some of the players who were missing on Wednesday.

The final will be controlled by referee Alan Mario Sant.

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