Malta Football Association
Farrugia backs players to make amends in Azerbaijan match
Sep 8, 2018
Posted in:
National Team
Michael Mifsud (left) in a tussle for possession during the Faroe Islands' match. Photo: Paul Zammit Cutajar/MFA
Michael Mifsud (left) in a tussle for possession during the Faroe Islands' match. Photo: Paul Zammit Cutajar/MFA

Malta coach Ray Farrugia admitted that the 3-1 defeat to the Faroe Islands on Friday evening was hard to take but he is already looking ahead to Monday’s home clash with Azerbaijan.

Michael Mifsud’s goal on the brink of half-time - a record-extending 41st for the national team - had revived Malta’s hopes after Faroe Islands forward Joan Edmundsson had capitalised on a defensive mistake on the half-hour before the home side added a second through Rene Joensen.


Hallur Hansson profited from a prolonged scramble in the Maltese box to score a third goal for the hosts seven minutes into the second half, in the process jolting our hopes of taking something from this UEFA Nations League Group D3 opener despite our team’s efforts in the second half on a cold and foggy evening in Torshavn.


Farrugia and all the Malta players were clearly distraught after the game but the coach issued a rallying call ahead of Monday's home game.


“I’m very disappointed,” Farrugia said.


“We started well, I thought we were better than Faroe Islands  for much of the opening half-hour but you can’t win if you concede goals like we did here.


“It boiled down to individual mistakes. We need to learn from our mistakes and we need to do it quickly as we don’t have a lot of time.


“Our players showed great heart, they tried very hard to get back into the match... they gave more than their 100 per cent but we gave away soft goals.


“The performance was satisfactory but at the end of the day it’s the result that counts and we lost.


“Now we will analyse this game, take the good and bad things, and focus on the Azerbaijan game on Monday.


“This will be our first home match and I’m sure our players will be very motivated to do well and atone for this defeat.”


The Malta squad returned from Torshavn on a chartered flight on Saturday afternoon.


The players are due to have a light recovery and training session this evening.


Azerbaijan opened their UEFA Nations League campaign with a goalless home draw against Kosovo on Friday.

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