Malta Football Association
Disciplined Malta U-21 make it hard for Denmark
Oct 9, 2020
Posted in:
U/21 Qualifiers


09.10.2020, Centenary Stadium, Ta’ Qali

MALTA          1
(HT 0-0)

Attard 51 (M); Laursen 68, Damsgaard 84, Lindstrom 90+3 (D) 

A depleted Maltese Under-21 team made group leaders Denmark work very hard for the points with a spirited performance. The team led by coach Silvio Vella displayed tactical discipline throughout the game and perhaps deserved a better result from this tough qualifier at the Centenary Stadium. After taking the lead just after the break, the Danes managed to turn the tide in their favour with three well-taken goals.

Vella had to do withour several established players.


Kurt Shaw, Matthew Guillaumier, Myles Beerman, Shaun Dimech and Paul Mbong were all called up to the senior squsdf team and Jean Borg, Michele Sansone, Jan Busuttil, Zachary Brincat Andrei Spiteri, Nicky Pulis, Dejan Debono and foreign-based Carlo Zammit Lonardelli were also unavailable.


In the starting line-up, Vella included two new faces in defence – Darren Borg of Ħamrun Spartans and Matthew Ellul of Hibernians, who were both making their first appearance for the U21s. During the last part of the match, Bradley Sciberras (Marsaxlokk), Andrea Zammit of San Ġwann and Sliema Wanderers midfielder Sebastian Grech also made their debut at Under-21 level after coming on as substitutes.



The Maltese youngsters played a very decent first half in where Vella’s tactics were followed to perfection. Aidan Friggieri and Alex Satariano were deployed up front and both kept the Danish rearguard busy while in defence, very little was given away against the physical Danes.


The guests had their chances mainly via the lively Mikkel Damsgaard who tried his luck with two off-target shots from around 20 meters distance on five and 30 minutes. In between, on 29 minutes, a Marcus Grima shot from just outside the box was blocked by a Danish defender and on 32 minutes, Denmark captain Victor Nelsson’s close-range tap-in was saved by the alert Timothy Aquilina.


Malta took the lead on 51 minutes. The attack was built from the right, with Friggieri serving Ayrton Attard whose low angled shot from just outside the box had the better of Oliver Christensen. 

The Danes upped their game and on 66 minutes, Aquilina saved an angled shot by Jacob Bruun Larsen. Barely a minute later, Denmark hit the crossbar with another attempt by Damsgaard.
The visitors equalised in the 68th minute thanks to a goal by Nikolai Laursen who beat Aquilina with a low shot from the edge of the box. Seven minutes later, Friggieri was sent through but his effort was too weak to trouble Christensen.
The Maltese defended well but in the 84th minute, the guests scored their second thanks to Damsgaard whose shot had the better of Aquilina. Substitute Eric Riis’ attempt in added time just missed target but another substitute, Jesper Lindstrom, got the third and final goal for Denmark after some good work by Gustav Isaksen. 
T. Aquilina, D. Borg, M. Ellul, Z. Grech, G. Camilleri, D. Xuereb, J. Zerafa (B. Sciberras 73), M. Grima, (S. Grech 89), A. Attard, A.Friggieri (A. Zammit 89), A. Satariano.
O. Christensen, L. Klitten, F. Ibsen (J. Lindstrom 58), V. Nelsson, R. Bjerregaard Carstensen (E. Riis 58), M. Damsgaard (M. Hjulmand 89), M. Kofod Andersen, C. Holse (N.Nartey 58), M. Daramy (G.Isaksen 80), N. Laursen, J. Bruun Larsen.
Zerafa, S.Grech M);  Holse (D)
Referee: A. Diamantopoulos (Greece)
Official Sponsors
Commercial Partners