Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Brisk Sweden seal win in second half against Malta
Oct 12, 2019
Posted in:
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National Team
WC 2022 QUALIFIERS
PHOTOS: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
PHOTOS: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

  • PHOTOS: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
  • PHOTOS: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
  • PHOTOS: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

EURO 2020 - European Qualifiers

Qualifying round - Group F
National Stadium, Ta’ Qali

MALTA        0
SWEDEN    4
(HT 0-1)

Despite not impressing in the first half, Sweden made sure of the points in the second half, giving hosts Malta little chance in this European Qualifier at the National Stadium. Two of the four goals came from the penalty spot, while the third Swedish goal was an unfortunate own goal by Malta captain Andrei Agius.
 
 
Malta worked hard to get back into the match with the score still 0-1 but were eventually overpowered by the strong Swedes, with Emil Forsberg, Sebastian Larsson and Robin Quaison in fine form for Janne Andersson's team.

Malta coach Ray Farrugia handed a starting berth in the heart of the defence to Sliema Wanderers' 20-year-old Kurt Shaw, his first international cap. From the away Romania match last month, Joseph Zerafa started in the left-back position, replacing the injured Juan Corbalan, while up front, Balzan’s Alfred Effiong took the place of Jean Paul Farrugia, who is also recovering from injury.

 

As expected, the guests saw more of the ball in the first half, occasionally showing excellent possession skills.

 

In the 11 minute Sweden took the lead they wanted. Marcus Danielson, on his debut, was alert in the box to tap Pierre Bengtsson's set-piece cross.

 

The hosts improved as the first half wore on.

On 35 minutes, a free-kick from just outside the box by Sebastian Larsson was fisted away by Henry Bonello. Two minutes before half-time, Luke Gambin had an attempt on goal but his  shot from just outside the box which was neutralised by the Swedish defence.

 

From the resultant corner, Kyrian Nwoko’s attempt was again deflected away a corner. Malta kept the pressure on the Swedish rearguard with Rowen Muscat having a shot saved by Swedish goalkeeper Robin Olsen.


Five minutes into the second half, Emil Forsberg's 20-metre shot was pushed away for a corner by Bonello. Just before the hour mark, the refereee awarded Sweden penalty to Sweden after Joseph Mbong was adjudged to have pushed Marcus Berg after a corner from the left. Larsson, on his 116th appearance for Sweden, beat Bonello from the spot.

 

A minute later, Effiong could not conclude with an attempt from close range. In the 66th minute, the hosts scored a third thanks to a Forsberg shot which was deflected into the net by Malta Andrei Agius.

 

A minute later, a 25-metre piledriver by Paul Fenech, who had just entered the fray as a substitute, just missed the target but it was Sweden who increased their advantage after being awarded a second penalty

 

This time, substitute Jonathan Caruana was deemed to have fouled Robin Quaison in the box and Larsson stepped up again for the kick, sending Bonello the wrong direction to add a fourth for the guests.

 

Malta now head to the Faroe Islands ahead of Tuesday's qualifier while Sweden host Spain on Tuesday.

 

MALTA

Henry Bonello, Joseph Zerafa, Zach Muscat (Jonathan Caruana 66), Andrei Agius, Kurt Shaw, Joseph Mbong, Rowen Muscat (Paul Fenech 68), Dunstan Vella, Luke Gambin, Alfred Effiong (Michael Mifud 75), Kyrian Nwoko.

 

SWEDEN

Robin Olson, Marcus Danielson, Mikael Lustig, Andreas Granqvist, Pierre Bengtsson, Albin Ekdal (Gustav Svensson 63), Emil Forsberg, Sebastian Larsson, Kristoffer Olsson, Robin Quaison (Alexander Isak 70), Marcus Berg (Sebastian Andersson 79).



Referee: Sergei Ivanov (Russia).

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