Malta Football Association
Nwoko’s equaliser rewards Malta’s bright second-half display
Oct 16, 2018
Posted in:
U/21 Qualifiers
Photos: Joe Borg/MFA
Photos: Joe Borg/MFA

  • Photos: Joe Borg/MFA
  • Photos: Joe Borg/MFA
  • Photos: Joe Borg/MFA



MALTA U-21    1

HT: 0-1


The Malta Under-21 team wrapped up their 2019 UEFA Championship qualifying campaign with a 1-1 draw against Cyprus thanks to Kyrian Nwoko’s last-gasp equaliser at the Centenary Stadium.

Silvio Vella’s team deserved more from this match as they dominated the second half, missing a host of scoring chances and also hitting the crossbar after Cyprus had gone ahead in the first half.


Vella fielded the same formation that obtained a 2-1 victory over Hungary last week, opting for a fluid 4-3-3 formation.


The game was off to a slow start but Cyprus began to show the better ideas early on.


After nine minutes, Christos Wheeler’s shot from inside the box was turned away for a corner by Malta U-21 goalkeeper Jake Galea.


Five minutes later, Paris Psaltis’s overhead kick was wide as Cyprus remained the better side. Psaltis had another effort saved by Galea but five minutes from half-time, the visiting side took the lead.


Wheeler beat Galea with a low shot from inside the box.


Cyprus went in for the half-time break 1-0 up but Malta stepped up their game in the second half.


Jurgen Degabriele’s free-kick was pushed away for a corner by Cyprus goalkeeper Andreas Christodoulou. 


The Maltese youngsters were all over Cyprus as they pushed hard for an equaliser. With 14 minutes remaining, Myles Beerman aimed a cross at Degabriele whose header sailed over the bar.


Two minutes later, Malta had another golden chance when Degabriele turned past an opponent but his rising effort was beaten away by Christodoulou.


Luck was not on Malta’s side as, eight minutes from time, Matthew Guillaumier’s effort came off the crossbar.


Malta’s second-half revival finally produced a last-gasp equaliser as a prolonged attack created a scramble in the six-yard box and Nwoko was on hand to fire home from close range.

Malta thus ended their campaign with four points. Belgium won the group with a total of 26 points with Sweden second on 20.


1-Jake Galea, 2-Jean Borg, 3-Kurt Zammit, 4-Karl Micallef, 5-Dunstan Vella, 6-Matthew Guillaumier, 9-Kyrian Nwoko, 10-Jurgen Degabriele, 11-Myles Beerman (15-Christian Mercieca 88), 16-Michele Sansone, 17-Zachary Scerri (7-Jan Busuttil 69).
Coach: Silvio Vella


1-Andreas Christodoulou, 3-Christos Wheeler (14-Georgios Malekkidis 84), 5-Pavlos Korrea, 7-Matija Spoljaric (4-Giorgos Papageorgiou 73), 10-Andreas Fragkou (13-Marios Ilia 67), 11-Ioannis Pittas, 16-Harry Kyprianou, 17-Christos Hadjipaschalis, 18-Sean Ioannou, 19-Costas Soteriou, 23-Paris Psaltis.
Coach: Nicos Andronicou


REFEREE: Admir Sehovic (Bosnia & Herzegovina)


SCORERS: Wheeler 35 (C); Nwoko 90 (M)



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