Malta Football Association
Brave Malta in 1-1 draw against Armenia in friendly
May 29, 2018
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
  • Photos: Paul Zammit Cutajar/MFA


Gernot Langens Stadion, Wattens, Austria,

MALTA       1

Malta produced a tenacious and disciplined performance to hold Armenia to a 1-1 draw and hand new coach Ray Farrugia a happy debut.  After falling behind early on, Farrugia's men regrouped and grew strongly into the game with Andrei Agius netting a deserved equaliser from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time at the WSG Wattens Stadium in Austria.

Farrugia opted to start with centre-half Ferdinando Apap, who collected his first cap, crowning a fine season with Victoria Hotspurs in Gozo.


Valletta’s Kyrian Nwoko was the central striker in his second appearance for Malta, supported by Alfred Effiong and captain Michael Mifsud on the wings.

Armenia had more possession in the first 20 minutes, taking an early 13th minute lead thanks to Ivan Yargan, of Lierse SK, who beat Andrew Hogg with a low shot.


Hogg had earlier been prominent with a couple of saves to stop dangerous efforts.


Armenia's opener was an early setback for Malta but they rallied as the first half progressed, producing some flowing moves and also winning a series of corners.


Their efforts were rewarded on the brink of half-time when a persistent move ended with the overlapping Joseph Zerafa driving a low shot that was handled by a defender. Agius's angled shot from the spot gave the goalkeeper no chance.


Energised by this goal, Malta maintained their tactical shape and composure in a bright second half.


Effiong and Nwoko both went close while Roderick Briffa's delightful shot sailed just wide with the goalkeeper beaten.


In the second half, Farrugia and his assistant Branko Nisevic handed a debut to Birkirkara’s Jake Grech whio replaced Roderick Briffa on 71 minutes, followed five minutes later by Joseph Mbong, coming on for Steve Pisani. In the dying stages, Jurgen Degabriele also made his first appearance for the national team at senior level, coming on for Mifsud.


Armenia finished the match with 10 men following the dismissal of defender Varasdat Haroyan for two yellow cards.



Andrew Hogg, Steve Borg, Ferdinando Apap (Ryan Camilleri 86’), Andrei Agius, Joseph Zerafa (Andrew Cohen 81’), Roderick Briffa (Jake Grech 71’), Paul Fenech, Steve Pisani, (Joseph Mbong 76’), Michael Mifsud (87 Jurgen Degbariele), Alfred Effiong, Kyrian Nwoko (Myles Beerman 65’)


Referee: Julian Weinberger (Austria).

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