Malta Football Association
Malta’s brave efforts undone by last-gasp goal
Oct 29, 2017
Posted in:
U17 - UEFA European Under 17 Qualifiers

MALTA               0


Switzerland needed a very late goal to break down Malta’s stiff resistance on the second matchday of the UEFA Under-17 Championship Qualifying Mini-Tournament at the Centenary Stadium on Sunday.

The Maltese boys showed great character, producing a tenacious performance to keep the Swiss at bay for long stretches but their efforts were undone by Simon Sohm’s late goal that gave Switzerland their second win in as many matches.


In the first half, Malta played against the gusty wind, a factor that played a huge role during the whole match.


On 17 minutes, Swiss midfielder Drilon Kastrati had a good opportunity to open the scoring but failed to find the target. Three minutes later, Malta striker Alex Satariano’s shot from inside the box was stopped by Swiss goalkeeper Niklas Steffen.


In the 25th minute, a free-kick from Felix Mambimbi was saved by Malta goalkeeper Amara Sylla who pulled off another good save a minute later to intercept a good Swiss attack.


The best chance in the opening half fell to Mambimbi whose shot from just outside the box was narrowly off target on 37 minutes.


Switzerland continued to dominate possession as the second half got underway with Malta trying to operate with counter attacks.


In the 51st minute, Alexandre Jankewitz squandered a golden opportunity as his close-range effort was high.


Switzerland’s pressure was unrelenting but the Maltese were organised and did not give away many chances.


However, a minute from the end, Switzerland struck as Sohm’s shot from just outside the box had the better of goalkeeper Sylla.


Malta substitute Jamie Sixsmith had a good shot saved by Steffen in the dying minutes.


In the other Group 1 match at the Centenary Stadium earlier on Sunday, Belgium maintained their perfect run after beating Northern Ireland 3-0.


This means that first place will be at stake when Belgium face Switzerland on Wednesday at the National Stadium as both have maximum points after two matches.


Also at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Malta meet Northern Ireland at the Centenary Stadium with both teams looking to gain victory and avoid bottom spot after losing their opening two encounters.


N. Steffen, G. Romano, F. Solimando, I. Sauter, B. Omeragic, S. Sohm, D. Kastrati (B.Kasniqi 52), F. Mambimbi, O. Bunjaku, (U. Vasic 60), A. Jankewitz, (N.Boakye 69), J. Vonmoos.


Am. Sylla, L. McKay, C. Zammit Lonardelli, A. Vella, M. Portelli, C. Gauci, B. Sciberras, C. Bouvet, (J. Sixsmith 74), S. Dimech, (R. Tonna 60), A. Satariano, P. Mbong


Referee: Omar Pashayev (Azerbaijan)

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