Malta Football Association
Late goals spoil tenacious Malta performance
Sep 1, 2017
Posted in:
National Team
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

MALTA       0

Kane 53, 90+; Bertrand 86; Welbeck 90+


Three goals in the last five minutes gave England a flattering 4-0 victory over Malta in Friday’s 2018 World Cup qualifier.

The much-awaited match, played in front of a sell-out crowd at the National Stadium, was a slow-burning affair with the Maltese side doing well to keep their illustrious opponents at bay in the first half.


After Harry Kane put England ahead eight minutes into the second half, it looked as though the match was going to end 1-0 in favour of the visitors but those three late goals put a damper on Malta’s performance.


England began promisingly. Inside the first minute, Kane’s through-ball rolled towards Raheem Sterling but Malta goalkeeper Andrew Hogg came out to avert the danger.


Barely a minute later, Ryan Fenech’s swerving drive sailed just wide before Hogg distinguished himself again when pushing away a point-blank Kane header.


Although the English dictated play for the rest of the first half, Malta were very compact.


Steve Borg and Joseph Zerafa were enterprising figures on the flanks, Sam Magri was having his own in his aerial duels with Kane on high balls and corners.


On the stroke of half-time, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s shot was blocked by Hogg.


England’s first-half performance was met with boos from their fans.


It was Malta who created the first scoring opportunity in the second half when, on 51 minutes, a well-hit strike from captain Andrè Schembri from 20 meters just missed target.


Two minutes later, England broke the stalemate, Kane sidefooting past Hogg after being set up by Tottenham team-mate Dele Alli.


Magri caught the eye with a powerful incursion from the defence but his shot was off target.


With 15 minutes remaining, a shot from outside the box by substitute Marcus Rashford, who had replaced Sterling at half-time, was saved by Hogg.


England scored their second four minutes from time as Ryan Bertrand’s 25-metre shot had the better of Hogg. This goal knocked the stuffing out of the Maltese players.


Substitute Danny Welbeck had a good chance at the start of stoppage time but missed target with only Hogg to beat. But the Arsenal striker made up for this barely a minute later as he made it 3-0 and deep into stoppage time, Kane got his second of the evening.


Andrew Hogg, Steve Borg, Zach Muscat, Samuel Magri, Joseph Zerafa, (Ryan Camilleri 75), Andrei Agius, Steve Pisani, Bjorn Kristensen, Ryan Fenech, (Paul Fenech 83), Andrè Schembri, (Michael Mifsud 86), Jean Paul Farrugia.


Joe Hart, Kyle Walker, Ryan Bertrand, Gary Cahill, Jordan Henderson, Phil Jones, Jake Livermore, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, (Danny Welbeck 76), Dele Alli, (Jamie Vardy 69), Raheem Sterling, (Marcus Rashford 46), Harry Kane.


Referee: Artur Soares Dias (Portugal).


Attendance: 16,994.


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