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Jefferson misses decisive penalty as Marsaxlokk head to FA Trophy final

Marsaxlokk progressed to the FA Trophy final after beating Gzira United. Photo: Domenic Aquilina

MARSAXLOKK                 1

Aguirre 26 pen.

GŻIRA UNITED                1

Jefferson 16

Marsaxlokk won 5-4 on penalties


Bohrer (G) 0-1; Aguirre (M) 1-1; Mendoza (G) 1-2; Keqi (M) 2-2; Cosic (G) 2-3; Ferraris (M) 3-3; Macula 3-4 (G); Aguilar (M) 4-4; Jefferson (G) 4-4; Vella (M) 4-5.


M. Drobnjak; A. Attard (103 T. Vella), P. Xuereb (61 C. Uzeh), S. Ferraris, J. Aguilar, O. Carniello, L. Aguirre, R. Scicluna, S. Moracci (110 K. Keqi), D. Vukovic, T. Fonseca (83 V. Sanago).


D. Zarkov; G. Bohrer, L. Tabone, N. Muscat, S. Pisani (91 B. Borg), Z. Scerri, L. Riascos (61 Macula), T. Kolega, M. Cosic, Jefferson, J. Mendoza.

Referee Malcolm Spiteri.

Yellow cards Xuereb, Riascos, Fonseca, Scicluna, Sanago, Vukovic, Mendoza, Muscat, Aguilar.

Marsaxlokk produced another memorable moment in this season’s Izibet FA Trophy as they eliminated Gżira United on Tuesday night to secure a place in Sunday’s final.

Pablo Doffo’s side will now face one of Birkirkara or Mosta in what will be their second cup final, with their only appearance being in the 2003/2004 edition.

Moreover, Marsaxlokk have now kept their hopes of returning to the UEFA club competitions alive despite having finished only 11th in the Premier League.

The Southseasiders were tactically organised and disciplined throughout the match with Gżira creating the best goalscoring opportunities.

However, the Maroons failed to convert their chances and eventually paid the price, with their top scorer Jefferson missing the fifth penalty, one before Terence Vella propelled Marsaxlokk into the final.

Gżira United broke the deadlock in the 16th minute when clinical forward Jefferson rose to the air and met a well-weighted cross by Zack Scerri with a towering header that went straight past Marko Drobnjak.

The goal came as a cold shower for Marsaxlokk who had enjoyed a bright start but it was Gżira who came close to doubling their lead on a couple of occasions including through Steve Pisani who failed to beat Drobnjak from the small area.

Nonetheless, Marsaxlokk maintained their composure and were given the opportunity to level terms a few minutes later.

After blocking a Marsaxlokk shot from Santiago Moracci, Darijan Zarkov floored Tiago Fonseca with match official Malcolm Spiteri ordering a penalty for Pablo Doffo’s team.

Leandro Aguirre made no mistake from the spot as he converted Marsaxlokk’s equaliser.

At the restart, chances were at a premium with substitute Christoper Uzeh trying to surprise Gżira’s Zarkov with a backheel from a corner kick.

Moments later, Jefferson tried his luck with a curling effort from long range just to see Drobnjak to clear the danger away.

In the closing stages, the Maroons tried to pile more pressure on Marsaxlokk but they could not snatch a winner as the game headed into extra-time.

Heading into the next 30 minutes of the game, Gżira’s coach Darren Abdilla deployed youngster Brooklyn Borg who replaced Pisani.

Just before half-time, wingback Aguirred struck a low drive that glanced past Zarkov’s goal as the stalemate continued to prevail.

Eight minutes from time, Macula squandered a golden opportunity to put Gżira but his shot from inside the penalty area went wide.

Despite putting Marsaxlokk under severe pressure, Gżira could not convert their possession into a goal as the winner of this semi-final had to be determined via a penalty shoot-out.

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