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Marsaxlokk stun Sliema Wanderers to reach FA Trophy quarter-finals

Sliema defender Myles Beerman (centre) tries to control the ball against Marsaxlokk. Photo: Stephen Gatt

Marsaxlokk created the biggest upset of the Izibet FA Trophy Round of 16 when the Challenge League side stunned Premier League side Sliema Wanderers 2-1 at the Centenary Stadium.

The Wanderers are passing through a very difficult spell in the BOV Premier League this season as they look destined to suffer an unexpected relegation to the Challenge League and were hopeful of moving into the latter stages of the Cup competition.

However, Marsaxlokk had other plans as the southerners were off to a blistering start in the Last 16 tie when they surged ahead after only three minutes when Augustine Caceres fired the ball home from close in.

Sliema looked stunned but gradually they managed to claw themselves back into the match and restored equilibrium on 28 minutes when Jake Engerer netted the equaliser.

From then on the match remained evenly balanced with both sides looking to score the winner but the stalemate prevailed after the regular 90 minutes and extra time was needed to decide who would complete the quarter-final line-up in this year’s competition.

However, Sliema’s hopes were handed a mortal blow in the 94th minute when Xuan Cappellino broke through and slotted the ball past Sliema goalkeeper Rashed Al-Tumi.

The Wanderers threw caution to the wind to try and salvage the match, but to no avail as Marsaxlokk held on for a famous victory.

The southerners in fact are the only club from the Challenge League to reach this season’s FA Trophy quarter-finals.

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