U*BET FA Trophy: Floriana set up final clash with Valletta

Floriana defeated Birkirkara 2-1 to set up a clash with eternal rivals Valletta in the final of the U*BET FA Trophy which will be held next Sunday.

The Greens were a better side during the first half, during which they managed to take the lead. They doubled the score but a penalty put the Stripes back in the game.

The two sides were in full strength except for Floriana goalkeeper Lotfi Saidi who was sent off in the quarter-final against Qormi.

The Greens had the first attempt at goal on the 2nd minute when off a Christian Cassar corner, a header by Daniel Nwoke, slightly deflected by Ivan Woods, was turned into a corner. Five minutes later, Michael Galea released Andrew Decesare on the left and the latter’s cross shot was parried by Matthew Towns.

Floriana took the lead on the 23rd minute when off a Christian Cassar corner, Thomas Paris headed the ball into the direction of Christian Caruana whose header was slightly deflected by a defender to beat Michael Fraser.

The Greens doubled the score on the hour when off a Christian Cassar freekick, Christian Caruana headed the ball down for Tyrone Farrugia who flicked the ball home past the Birkirkara goalkeeper.

Birkirkara reduced the gap six minutes later when referee Andre Arciola judged Tyrone Farrugia to have handled the ball inside the area and ordered a penalty. From the penalty spot, Trevor Cilia made no mistake.

Daniel Nwoke missed an excellent opportunity on 76 minutes when, all alone in front of the goalkeeper, he headed the ball wide off an inviting cross by Christian Cassar from the left.

The Stripes increased the pressure in their bid to notch the equaliser with the Birkirkara coach including another striker – Rodolfo Kumbrevicius. However this meant that they had five foreign players on the field of play.

Photos: Copyright © www.stephengatt.com

B’KARA Michael Fraser, Nikola Vukanac, Andrei Agius, Patrick Borg (80′ Rodolfo Kumbrevicius), Andrew Decesare (46′ Ibrahim Babatunde), Trevor Cilia, Paul Fenech, Joseph Zerafa, Emiliano Lattes, Michael Galea, Angus Buhagiar (67′ Shaun Bajada).
Subs not used: Manuel Bartolo, Terence Vella, Karl Pulo, Rowen Muscat.
Coach: Paul Zammit
Asst Coach: Branko Nisevic

FLORIANA Matthew Towns, Owen Bugeja, Pablo Doffo, Tyrone Farrugia, Manolito Micallef, Thomas Paris, Christian Cassar, Christian Caruana, Ivan Woods, Dragomir Draganov (18′ Clyde Borg), Daniel Nwoke.
Subs not used: John Agius, Sacha Borg, Joseph Borg, Alan Abela, Mark Anthony Borg, Mark Gauci.
Coach: Michael Woods

Referee: Andre Arciola
Assistant Referees: Konrad Borg, Edward Spiteri
Fourth Official: Paul Caruana
Yellow Cards: C. Caruana, A. Agius, T. Farrugia, I. Woods, I. Babtunde, P. Doffo
Scorers: 23′ Christian Caruana (F); 60′ Tyrone Farrugia (F); 66′ Trevor Cilia (pen) (B)
Attendance: 1,985