Birkirkara FC defeated Hibernians FC 2-0 in the Maltese FA Trophy final to deny their arch-rivals a domestic double.
Hibernians, who clinched their 11th league title last month, were aiming to complete their second double after 1981/82. But third-place finishers Birkirkara lifted the cup for the fifth time thanks to Mauricio Mazzetti and Rafael Ledesma.
Argentinian defender Mazzetti pounced to open the scoring from close range in the 29th minute after a slip at the back from Hibernians. With the champions clearly not on song, the Stripes made sure of the result when Ledesma latched onto a cross from Joseph Zerafa and slotted past a helpless John Bonello with 21 minutes left.
Birkirkara captain Paul Fenech marshalled the midfield with another polished performance and told UEFA.com: "This success means a lot.
We made amends today for a disappointing season in which we lost out on the championship title. For next season we need to build a bigger squad which was missing this season."
Defender Nikola Vukanac added: "This honour means a lot to me. After a disappointing season we managed to win the FA Trophy and finish on a positive note," while Ladesma said: "It was a great feeling scoring the second goal. Everyone know that this success is very important for a big club like Birkirkara. I am happy to have given the Birkirkara supporters this moment. This success will surely lift the club and start a new challenge."
Coach Paul Zammit, whose tactical renown was to the fore at the National Stadium in Ta'Qali, stated: "Finally we have reaped the fruit of a very long season which we have worked hard for. A very difficult season with our ups and downs but we believed we could get another honour."
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