Floriana defeat Valletta after extra-time to claim Izibet FA Trophy

Floriana ended the season on a high after defeating external rivals Valletta 2-1 extra-time in a highly-entertaining final of the Izibet FA Trophy at the National Stadium on Sunday in front of over six thousand spectators to claim the FA Trophy for the twenty-first time in the history of the club.

The Greens dominated during the first half, taking an early lead, but in the second half, Valletta converted a penalty to equalise and this goal filled them with determination and the two teams started to share the exchanges. With the score still draw, the game went into extra-time and although Floriana missed a penalty, they managed to notch the winner in the second half of extra-time.

Thanks to this success for Floriana, Gzira United will be playing in the UEFA Europa League this summer.

The Greens created several goal scoring opportunities during the first half. After testing Valletta goalkeeper Alessandro Guarnone with an angled shot in the first minute through Jan Busuttil, three minutes later, Ulises Arias had a close-range effort blocked by the goalkeeper following a cross by Matias Garcia from the right and off the rebound, Busuttil served Garcia from whose cross Arias headed wide. On the 9th minute, Kristian Keqi had a shot from outside the area ending high following a corner by Arias and an assist by Paiber.

Floriana took the lead on the 19th minute when Camenzuli served Arias on the left and the latter concluded a good move with a cross for Jan Busuttil who headed the ball home past Guarnone.

The Greens maintained the pressure and went close with a Brandon Paiber first time effort, following a corner by Arias and a short clearance by a defender, which was blocked by Guarnone and on the half-hour, the Valletta goalkeeper blocked a Jan Busuttil effort from close range.

Seven minutes in the second half, Valletta equalised thanks to a Mario Fontanella penalty after Andrea Zammit was fouled inside the area by Magri Overend.

Kitanov came to the rescue for Floriana intercepting a dangerous pass for Fontanella on the 63rd and then saving a Promise header, off a cross by Pena Beltre, four minutes later.

Floriana hit back with an Arias freekick which was blocked by Guarnone on the 70th and seven minutes later, Busuttil served Rumyan Hovsepyan whose angled shot was deflected by the goalkeeper. Andrei Ciolacu had a shot from outside the area partially saved by Guarnone on the 86th and one minute from time, they almost regained the lead as a deflection by Christian Rutjens was cleared off the goal line by a defender with the goalkeeper beaten. In added time, Kitanov performed saves on Promise and Fontanella.

The game went into extra-time and just before the end of the first half, Floriana were awarded a penalty after Daniel Agius was brought down inside the area by Rowen Muscat but from the penalty spot, Jan Busuttil hit wide.

However six minutes in the second half of extra-time, Floriana notched the winner when off a cross by Jan Busuttil, Andrei Ciolacu beat Guarnone with a diagonal shot from the right.

After the match, captain Matias Nicolas Garcia was presented with the FA Trophy by Malta FA President Bjorn Vassallo and a representative from Izibet.