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Valletta wrap up domestic double

Andre Paus declared himself "happy for the club" after Valletta FC beat Sliema Wanderers FC to add the FA trophy to the league title they claimed at the weekend.

Valletta captain Ryan Fenech hoists the trophy aloft
Valletta captain Ryan Fenech hoists the trophy aloft ©Domenic Aquilina

Just five days after snatching the Maltese Premier League title from Birkirkara FC's grasp, Valletta FC added the FA Trophy to their 2013/14 haul.

Valletta completed the domestic double with a 1-0 victory against Sliema Wanderers FC at the National Stadium in Ta' Qali. The damage was done after just two minutes, Lateef Elford-Alliyu, a former England youth international, making the difference with a neat finish.

Though Valletta edged their noses in front, it was not all plain sailing thereafter. Sliema's Paltemio Barbetti was denied by the woodwork after 12 minutes, with Matias Muchardi missing the target on the rebound. Valletta's hopes of lifting the trophy for a 13th time were dealt a blow when Hamza Barry was sent off with 20 minutes left, but they stood firm to ensure another night of celebration.

"I believed we could win trophies because we have worked hard for the entire season," said Georgian international midfielder Irakli Maisuradze, who joined in January. "On Saturday, we won 2-0 against Birkirkara to win the title and now we have beaten Sliema 1-0 to lift another trophy.  We are the champions and the cup winners – we did the double!"

Victorious coach André Paus, who took charge at the turn of the year, added: "I am very happy for the club. My team played exceptionally well against Birkirkara at the weekend, but I think today my players could not really concentrate fully on this final after Saturday's triumph. They were tired but still we got the result we wanted and we are very happy to have won the double."