Malta Football Association
Malta made to pay for mistakes in Faroes' defeat
Sep 7, 2018
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The Malta team before their UEFA Nations League match against Faroe Islands. Photo: Paul Zammit Cutajar/MFA
The Malta team before their UEFA Nations League match against Faroe Islands. Photo: Paul Zammit Cutajar/MFA

  • The Malta team before their UEFA Nations League match against Faroe Islands. Photo: Paul Zammit Cutajar/MFA
  • Michael Mifsud scored Malta's goal in the 3-1 defeat. Photo: Paul Zammit Cutajar/MFA

UEFA Nations League

League D – Group 3
Tórsvøllur Stadium


MALTA                      1
(HT 2-1)

Malta began their UEFA Nations League campaign with a 3-1 defeat up north in the Faroe Islands on a cold and foggy evening in Torshavn.


The 3-1 scoreline was harsh on Malta who created the better chances but were ultimately made to pay for defensive mistakes, especially one that led to the Faroe Islands' first goal on the half-hour. Our players did stage a bold reaction but a third goal from the hosts seven minutes into the second half shattered their chances of salvaging something from this game.

The Faroe Islands came into this fixture after beating Liechtenstein 3-0.


Having only lost to Malta once in their four previous encounters (W3, L1), the Faroe Islands were confident of a win. They collected nine points in their 2018 World Cup qualifying group and have now prolonged their unbeaten series in 2018.


Malta coach Ray Farrugia, in his first competitive game in charge, chose to give young U-21 player Joseph Mbong a wide role on the left, his first ever start for the seniors after two appearances during the Austria training camp in June.


Andrè Schembri, Rowen Muscat and Zach Muscat were making a return for Malta after missing the Austria training camp.


Malta began the match brightly as the players produced some neat touches.

In the 16th minute, Michael Mifsud had a glorious opportunity to open the scoring after being sent through the middle. The Malta captain failed to beat goalkeeper Gunnar Nielsen who blocked his effort away for a corner.

Four minutes later, a long-range free-kick by Brandur Olsen was saved by Andrew Hogg, the hosts' first real chance.

In the 31st minute, Faroe Islands took the lead. An overhit back-pass by Joseph Zerafa in the direction of Steve Borg landed at the feet of Arminia Bielefeld striker Joan Edmundsson who had no difficulty beating Hogg, punishing the error in the Maltese defence.

Seven minutes later the Faroes added a second.

It was a beautiful goal by Rene Joenssen who was sent through on the right side of the pitch, cut inside Andrei Agius and curled his shot past Hogg with his left foot, the ball ending up in the top-left corner.

In the 42nd minute, Malta narrowed the deficit. Mifsud rounded off a wonderful pass from Andrè Schembri with a clinical finish, his 41st international goal for Malta.


In the seventh minute of the second half, after the enterprising Mifsud had another chance, Faroe Islands scored their third goal courtesy of Hallur Hansson after the Maltese defence failed to clear the ball in their own box.

Close to the hour, Agius's 35 metre free-kick was saved with difficulty by Nielsen.

In the 68th minute, Sonni Nattestad blocked a shot by Mbong in the box after some good work by Schembri and Mifsud.

Malta saw more of the ball in the last 20 minutes of the match but this did not result in any goalscoring opportunities.

A free-kick of the hosts from the left-hand side in the 91st minute was headed in by substitute Baldvinsson but Hogg saved in style. It was the last goal action of the match.

In the other Group D3 match, Azerbaijan and Kosovo featured in a goalless draw.

On Monday, Malta face Azerbaijan in the first home game at the National Stadium.

Faroe Islands
G.N ielsen, G. Vatnhamar, A. Gregersen, S. Nattestad, V. Davidsen, S. Vatnhamar, (R. Baldvinsson 90’), R. Joenssen, H. Hansson, G. Sorensen, (K. Bartalstovu 81’), B. Olsen Hendriksson, (F. Justinusson 86’), J. Edmundsson.

A. Hogg, J. Zerafa, S. Borg, A. Agius, Z. Muscat,(J.P. Farrugia 73’), P. Fenech, R. Muscat, (S. Pisani 59’), J. Mbong, A. Schembri, A. Effiong, (A. Cohen 84’), M. Mifsud.

Referee: Ville Nevalainen (Finland) 

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