Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Futsal – Malta cautiously optimistic ahead of Armenia test
Feb 1, 2019
Posted in:
General
Futsal Euro Qualifiers
Photo: Matthias Bergeld/Bildbyran
Photo: Matthias Bergeld/Bildbyran

Business as usual for the Malta futsal team in Sweden. The day after the team's commendable performance in a 5-1 defeat against hosts Sweden, national coach Vic Hermans and his assistant Zeljko Anicic presided over another training session ahead of the last Group E match early on Saturday afternoon against Armenia.


Young Luxol player Shataizan Zarb is doubtful for Saturday's match after suffering a slight injury during the warm-up for the Sweden game on Thursday. The remaining 13 players are in good spirits and cautiously optimistic ahead of the Armenian test to wrap up their commitments in Alingsas.

 

Neil Cauchi, who plays for UOM Students Futsal, is one of the new faces in this young side. This has been a fruitful experience for Cauchi, one that should lead to more opportunities to represent the country at this level in the future.

 

Cauchi's performance against Sweden was very good, a sign of better things to come for this youngster.

 

"After the Belgium match, we knew we had to work even harder at this level," he told www.mfa.com.mt.

 

"We spoke about our performance and this also served to strengthen our determination to gain a more respectable result. 

 

"I'm not happy with the result as, despite the improvement and resilience, we still lost to Sweden, but I believe that we made a step forward.

 

"We have respect for Armenia, we know their strengths and watched videos of their games. Following their first match here in Sweden, where they only lost 3-1 against the hosts, we know they are strong and fight for every ball but we're anything but fazed by the challenge awaiting us on Saturday."

 

Captain Mark Zammit has scored the only goal for Malta so far, a consolation one in the 5-1 defeat against Sweden on Thursday. His experience is definitely helping his younger team-mates.

 

"We lacked experience in our first game," Zammit said.

 

"For the Sweden match, we tried to change a few things, playing with more intensity and composure, and avoided mistakes. I believe we showed more confidence.

 

"Tournaments and competitions like these will definitely help our experience at this level but we need more playing time at this level. More international engagements will certainly help us to raise our standards and be more competitive against some of the elite teams in world futsal like those we've faced this week here in Sweden."

 

About tomorrow's final group match against Armenia, the Malta futsal captain stressed that Armenia are very competitive: "We need to be at our best and give our 101% if we are to stand a chance of obtaining a positive result and gain points in Saturday's final match."

 

Group E (standings)

Belgium, Sweden 6 points; Malta, Armenia 0 points.

 

Armenia vs Malta – Saturday 3rd February, 2019 at 13.30

Venue: Estrad Hall in Alingsås, Sweden.

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