Marsaxlokk are the first finalists of the Izibet FA Trophy 2022/23 after defeating Gzira United 5-4 on penalties following a 1-1 draw at the end of the ninety minutes and extra-time in the first semi-final at the National Stadium on Tuesday.
This was the second time Marsaxlokk reached the final of the FA Trophy after ending as losing finalists to Sliema Wanderers in 2004.
The Maroons managed to take the lead on the 15th minute when off a cross by Zachary Scerri from the right, Jefferson de Assis headed the ball home past goalkeeper Marko Drobnjak.
Gzira could have doubled the score two minutes later but Steve Pisani’s low effort was neutralised by the Marsaxlokk custodian.
The Southseasiders threatened with a cross shot by Leandro Aguirre from the left on 22 minutes but a minute later, a low shot by Jefferson was deflected into a corner by Drobnjak.
Marsaxlokk, however, equalised on the 28th minute. A Santiago Ferraris effort from outside the area was partially saved by goalkeeper Darijan Zarkov who pounced at the feet of Tiago Fonseca in an attempt to get hold of the ball, bringing the Brazilian forward down. Referee Malcolm Spiteri ordered a penalty and Leandro Aguirre converted.
The Maroons held the upper hand but the Southseasiders managed to keep their opponents under control.
With no goals being scored, the game went into extra-time.
Both sides went close to forging ahead with attempts by Brooklyn Borg and Leandro Aguirre respectively but their efforts ended off targets and therefore the penalty shoot-out had to determine the winner.
Gabriel Bohrer scored the first penalty for Gzira and Leandro Aguirre scored for Marsaxlokk. Jackson Mendoza scored for the Maroons although the goalkeeper tipped the ball and Kristian Keqi equalised for Marsaxlokk. Marko Cosic scored Gzira’s third penalty and Santiago Ferraris did the same for the Southseasiders. Lucas Ribeiro scored for the Maroons and Juan Cruz Aguilar replied for Marsaxlokk. Jefferson’s penalty was neutralised by Drobnjak while Terence Vella made no mistake.