Malta Football Association
Farrugia hopes Malta build on performance against Faroes
Mar 25, 2019
Posted in:
National Team
Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

  • Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
  • Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

Malta coach Ray Farrugia insisted that his team are fully focusing on the difficult Euro 2020 Group F home qualifier against former world and European champions Spain after kicking off their campaign with a hard-earned 2-1 victory over Faroe Islands.

Saturday’s victory, Malta’s first in a competitive match on home soil for 13 years, has lifted the mood in and around the national team but Farrugia made it clear that the Spain encounter represents a much tougher challenge.


“We know that we’re playing against one of the best teams in the world,” the Malta coach told the pre-match news conference ahead of Tuesday’s qualifier at the National Stadium.


“I am a fan of Spanish football and I like the way Spanish teams play.


“It should be an interesting game.


“For us, here in Malta, I’m sure there will be a full house as this match is an attraction for Maltese supporters.


“We started (this European qualifying campaign) with a win, which was important.


“It has given us a boost and I hope tomorrow we build on the performance against Faroe Islands.”


Malta produced a tenacious display on Saturday, grinding out a deserved 2-1 victory with goals from Kyrian Nwoko and Steve Borg, from a penalty, despite playing the last 30 minutes with 10 men following the dismissal of defender Andrei Agius.


Farrugia said the Faroe Islands' match belongs to the past now.


“We’ve won that match but that game is over now,” Farrugia said.


“We enjoyed it as it was a game that, after all these years, we managed to get the three points.


“But, we have to forget that match. Now we are concentrating on the next game.”


Malta are facing heavyweights Spain only three days after their exertions against Faroe Islands. Farrugia hinted at some changes in the starting XI.


“This will be our second game in three days,” Farrugia said.


“Some players can play the two games, others can’t and this is why I think fresh legs will help the team,” he said.


In the Faroe Islands match, Nwoko scored his first goal for Malta, Matthew Guillaumier made his senior debut and Joseph Mbong and Juan Corbalan retained their place in the starting XI. 


“What is good about our team is that we’re introducing a lot of young players,” Farrugia said.


“Maybe we will suffer now but for the future of Maltese football, this is the only way forward. We suffer now but we gain later.”


Spain, the favourites to win Group F, began their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign with a 2-1 victory over Norway in Valencia.


Coach Luis Enrique has brought a squad of 23 players to Malta, including Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos, Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea and Barcelona duo Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba.

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