Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Brisk Slovenia too strong for Malta
Jun 10, 2017
Posted in:
General
National Team
2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers
Photos: Paul Zammit Cutajar/MFA
Photos: Paul Zammit Cutajar/MFA

  • Photos: Paul Zammit Cutajar/MFA
  • Photos: Paul Zammit Cutajar/MFA
  • Photos: Paul Zammit Cutajar/MFA
  • Photos: Paul Zammit Cutajar/MFA
  • Photos: Paul Zammit Cutajar/MFA

Slovenia proved too strong for Malta, scoring a goal in each half at the Stozice Stadium in Ljubljana on Saturday to claim a 2-0 victory and keep alive their hopes of a top-two finish in the 2018 World Cup Group F.


The hosts dominated the first half but struggled to find a way past the well-deployed Malta team who defender stoutly.

 

Slovenia had to wait until the dying stages of the opening period to break the deadlock. The goal came from the best player on the field, Fiorentina winger Josip Ilicic who beat Malta goalkeeper Andrew Hogg with a superb curling drive from an acute angle.

 

The Maltese team were temporarily down to 10 men when Slovenia struck as midfielder Bjorn Kristensen felt sick late in the first half and was unable to continue. He was replaced by Luke Gambin at the start of the second period.

 

Malta improved in the initial stages of the second half, creating a couple of chances to level matters through Alfred Effiong and Ryan Fenech.

 

Slovenia made sure of the three points with a second goal in the final stages.

 

Ilicic again played a key role as he cut in from the right and crossed low to Milivoje Novakovic who slotted home with six minutes remaining.

 

Novakovic's goal was greeted with a boisterous roar by the home fans as the towering striker was making his final appearance for the Slovenian national team.

 

SLOVENIA

Jan Oblak, Nejc Skubic (89 Matej Palicic), Antonio Delamea-Mlinar, Rene Khrin, Josip Ilicic, Jasmin Kurtic, Robert Beric (64 Milivoje Novakovic), Bojan Jokic, Roman Bezjak (59 Nik Omladic), Mina Mevlja, Benjamin Verbic.

 

MALTA

Andrew Hogg, Steve Borg (89 Sam Magri), Andrei Agius, Ryan Fenech, Clayton Failla, Andrè Schembri (62 Michael Mifsud), Bjorn Kristensen (46 Luke Gambin), Alfred Effiong, Zach Muscat, Steve Pisani, Alex Muscat.

 

Referee: Lee Evans (Wales)

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