Malta Football Association
Malta go down 1-0 to Faroe Islands in balanced qualifier
Oct 15, 2019
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PHOTOS: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
PHOTOS: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

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


EURO 2020 Qualifiers – Group F, Tórsvøllur, Torshavn

(HT 0-0)

A solitary second-half goal by centre-back Rógvi Baldvinsson was enough to give the Faroe Islands their first three points in Group F, defeating a determined Malta side who were clearly distraught not to gain anything out of this balanced encounter. Our national team held its own, especially in the first half, but ultimately paid the price for not converting any of the chances that came their way and conceding a goal from a set-piece.

From the home match against Sweden last Saturday, Malta coach Ray Farrugia welcomed back Steve Borg in defence instead of Kurt Shaw. In midfield, Paul Fenech and Jake Grech returned in lieu of Joseph Zerafa and Luke Gambin while up front, Michael Mifsud was preferred to Alfred Effiong with the captain earning his 141st cap.


Malta began well with effective early pressing in the Faroes' half, making it nearly impossible for the hosts to carve any openings. The Maltese saw more of the ball in the first half as they held the initiative witj Grech hitting high in the opening stages.


Midway into the first half, Faroe Islands created a chance with Hallur Hansson, unmarked near the second post,inches away of connecting to a free-kick from the right.


Four minutes later, in a swift counter-attack, Grech was released on the right and crossed the ball for Kyrian Nwoko in the box but the latter was unable to make proper contact with the ball. In the 35th minute, Mifsud led another counter-attack, passing to Grech in the centre but his shot was too weak to trouble Gunnar Nielsen, the Faroe Islands' goalkeeper. Two minutes before the break, Nwoko was released in the box but his shot was blocked by Atli Gregersen, the Faroe Islands captain.

The Faroe Islands raised their game after the break. On 67 minutes, substitute Klaemint Olsen crossed into the box from the right, with Henry Bonello producing a brilliant save to keep out the attempt of Viljormur Davidsen from close range following a scramble in the box.

The Faroe Islands scored the winner four minutes later. Rógvi Baldvinsson rose high to head the ball home after a corner from Brandur Hendriksson. A hard blow for Malta who had giiven very little away until this moment.

With 15 minutes left to play, Nwoko turned well outside the box but his curling effort from the edge of the box ended just wide.

Malta pressed forward in numbers in search of an equaliser with substitute Alfred Effiong coming close with an added-time header from close range. In the attack that followed, Bonello did well to repel an Olsen attempt with the Faroe Islands holding firm in defence in the remaining time to secure their first win in this qualification group.


Gunnar Nielsen, Heini Vatnsdal, Atli Gregersen, Rogvi Baldvinsson, Joannes Danielsen, Brandur Hendriksson, Hallur Hansson, Viljormur Davidsen (Arni Frederiksberg 85), Solvi Vatnhamar, Joan Edmundsson (Magnus Egilsson 93), Joannes Bjartalíð (Klaemint Olsen 65).


Henry Bonello, Zach Muscat, Steve Borg, Andrei Agius, Dunstan Vella, Joseph Mbong, Paul Fenech (Luke Gambin 82), Rowen Muscat (Joseph Zerafa 80), Jake Grech, Michael Mifsud (Alfred Effiong 72), Kyrian Nwoko.

Referee: José María Sánchez (Spain)  

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