Floriana had a tough run to this season’s FA Trophy final.
The Greens, who are looking to join Sliema Wanderers as the most successful club in the competition by winning a 21st FA Trophy, were paired against Premier League big guns Birkirkara and Hibernians on their way to securing a place in the final.
This will be the 32nd time that Floriana have reached the FA Trophy final since its inception in 1935, where incidentally they had contested the final, only to lose to Sliema Wanderers 4-0.
Floriana vs Għajnsielem 1-0
Floriana struggled much more than expected to edge past Għajnsielem, beating them 1-0, to set up a clash with St George’s in the Last 32.
In fact, although Atzori planned to rest some of the more regular players, he was forced to include Eugenjo Rebenja, Ryan Camenzuli and Jan Busuttil early in the second half.
The Gozitans, led by coach Gotthard Conti, defended well to frustrate the Greens and it was only a goal late in the second half that made the whole difference.
The Greens found the breakthrough on 77 minutes when Jan Busuttil entered the area from the right and rounded a defender with his final shot was blocked by Andre Parnis, Eugeniu Rebenja’s close range effort was also blocked by the custodian but off the rebound, Andrei Ciolacu headed home.
Floriana vs St George’s 2-0
Floriana scored twice in the second half to beat Challenge League side St George’s 2-0 to secure a spot in the quarter-finals of the Izibet FA Trophy.
As expected, the Greens dominated the proceedings but with St George’s adopting a cautious plan, Gianluca Atzori’s side struggled to penetrate the Saints’ rearguard during the first half.
However, three substitutions at the beginning of the second half paved the way for the opening goal with Floriana adding another late in the game.
Floriana took the lead on 48 minutes when St George’s defender Matheus Freitas Da Silva deflected the ball into his own net in an attempt to keep out Kemar Reid’s shot.
The Greens doubled their lead eight minutes from time when Emiliano Callegari fired home after being set up by Jan Busuttil.
Floriana vs Birkirkara 3-1
Two late goals sent Floriana into the semi-finals of the Izibet FA Trophy after the Greens beat Birkirkara 3-1 in the quarter-finals.
Winter signing Kemar Reid put Floriana ahead in the second half – his fourth in six appearances for the Greens.
Their joy was cut short when Yannick Yankam made the most of Birkirkara’s pressure to level terms.
With six minutes left on the scoreboard, the match was destined for extra time but a Floriana blitz through Andrei Ciolacu and Jan Busuttil saw the Greens progress.
Floriana vs Hibernians 2-1
Despite playing for over an hour in ten men, Floriana defeated champions Hibernians 2-1 to secure a place in the final of the Izibet FA Trophy.
Floriana were off to a strong start when Kemar Reid burst into the area and beat Hibernians goalkeeper Matthew Calleja Cremona with an angled drive.
Reid turned from hero to villain as during his celebrations the Jamaican striker was shown a second yellow card for making a gesture to the Hibs fans.
But that blow failed to unsettle the Greens who went on to make it 2-0 on the stroke of half-time through a fine striker from Jan Busuttil.
Hibs tried to fight back but only had a Wilfried Domoraud goal to show on 87 minutes as the Greens held on for a deserved victory.