Malta Football Association
Schembri confident of being fit to face Slovakia
Oct 7, 2017
Posted in:
National Team
Photo: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
Photo: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

  • Photo: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
  • Photo: Paul Zammit Cutajar/MFA

Andrè Schembri had to come off at half-time during Thursday’s 1-1 draw against Lithuania but he is confident of getting the medical green light to face Slovakia at the Stadion Antona Malatinskeho on Sunday.

The Malta talisman was replaced by Clayton Failla after receiving five stitches on a head wound following an aerial collision with a Lithuania player just before the end of the first half.


Speaking to, Schembri said: “First of all, I want to congratulate my team-mates for our performance against Lithuania. I think it was one of the best showings by the national team in recent years.


“We saw the Maltese team keep possession, we were very good and created chances as well. At least, we managed to gain a point from this match... I believe we could have won but every vgame has its moments and I’m satisifed with the result.


“As for my injury, I received a long ball from (goalkeeper) Andrew Hogg and when I headed the ball, I felt a massive blow to my head.

“For a few seconds, I didn’t know what was happening around me. I was in a lot of pain. I wanted to continue the game but it wouldn’t have been fair as I would have left the team with a player less.


“Now I feel better, I have recovered well and I’m confident of being 100 per cent fit for the next game.”


The draw against Lithuania went a long way towards lifting Maltese spirits as it was our first point in Group F following eight defeats.


The Maltese team will be looking to conclude their commitments in the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign on a dignified note but a gruelling encounter awaits them as Slovakia must win at all costs to have a chance of finishing second and reach the play-offs.


While acknowledging the difficulty of Malta’s task, Schembri is not downhearted.


“As the English say, ‘you’re only as good as your last match’,” the Apollon limassol playmaker remarked.


“We need to forget the last match. We have a very tough game against Slovakia... we know that they need to win at all costs to stand a chance of going through, so this will be a very difficult test for us.


“There’s a very good atmosphere in the squad and I beieve that we will be giving our best to produce a bold performance and get another positive result.” 


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