Malta Football Association
Brave Malta display undone by stoppage-time goal
Mar 22, 2018
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March 22, 2018 – National Stadium, Ta’ Qali,

MALTA                  0

Da Mota 93

(HT 0-0)

A stoppage-time goal by substitute Daniel Da Mota spoiled a plucky display by Malta in the friendly match against Luxembourg at the National Stadium on Thursday. The Maltese side played a good match, especially in defence, but they were made to pay for missing two clearcut chances.

Valletta defender Jean Borg made his senior debut on the left flank while Cain Attard (Birkirkara) started on the right, earning his fourth cap.


Andre Schembri, in his 87th match for Malta, was deployed as striker, with Andrei Agius sitting in front of the four-man defence. Steve Pisani (right) and Luke Gambin on the left were used as wingers.

The first goalmouth action arrived after six minutes. A cross by Luxembourg's Laurent Jans from the right was headed over the crossbar by Gerson Rodrigues, giving goalkeeper Andrew Hogg little trouble.


Malta had a golden opportunity to open the scoring on 12 minutes when the Luxembourg defence failed to clear the ball in their own box. Gambin was quick to pass the ball to captain Schembri who cut in the box from the left but his goalbound effort was cleared off the line.


Luxembourg were seeing more of the ball but without getting really dangerous in front of goal, also thanks to the Malta defenders who giave very little away. Malta tried to breach Luxembourg's defensive lines via fast counter-attacks. 


The second half began on a quiet note.


Luxembourg continued to find it hard to make headway as the well-organised Maltese defence held firm.


It was captain Jans who came closest to opening the scoring in the 73rd minute with a 25-metre scorcher which was pushed away for a corner by Hogg who pulled off a great save.


Three minutes later, substitute Jean-Paul Farrugia managed to win the ball in the box after a failed clearance in the visitors’ defence but Paul Fenech failed to connect to his cross as another great opportunity went abegging.

Eight minutes from time, Malget had a good opportunity after a corner from the left from Vincent Thil but his shot sailed over the bar. In this period, it was Farrugia who kept the Luxembourg rearguard busy with some foraging runs.


Just when it looked that the match was headed for a goalless draw, Luxembourg struck deep into stoppage time.


It was an unfortunate goal as it came from a corner and just after Zach Muscat had been stretchered off with a knee injury.


From the corner action, Hogg pushed away the first attempt but Da Mota was on hand to tap the ball home, to the dismay of the heartbroken Maltese players.



Andrew Hogg, Cain Attard, Jean Borg, Steve Borg, Zach Muscat (Ryan Camilleri 90), Andrei Agius, Rowen Muscat (Joseph Zerafa 64’), Paul Fenech (Myles Beerman 85), Luke Gambin (Michael Mifsud 77’), Steve Pisani, Andre Schembri (Jean Paul Farrugia 72’).



Ralph Schon, Dirk Carlson (Mathias Janisch 77’), Chris Philipps, Enes Mahmutovic (Kevin Malget 46’), Lars Gerson, Christopher Martins (Aldin Skenderovic 88’),  Leonardo Barreiro (Daniel Sinani 77’), Laurent Jans, Vincent Thill, Gerson Rodrigues (Daniel Da Mota 64’), David Turpel (Maurice Deville 64’).


Referee: Enea Jorgji (Albania)

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