Malta Football Association
Solitary Finland goal enough to claim U-21 win
Nov 17, 2020
Posted in:
U/21 Qualifiers
(c) Joe Borg
(c) Joe Borg

  • (c) Joe Borg
  • (c) Joe Borg
  • (c) Joe Borg

17.11.2020 – Centenary Stadium, Ta’ Qali

(HT 0-1)

Kallman 18’

Despite a gallant second half effort, the Maltese Under-21 team did not manage to upset Finland in their last outing in Qualifying Group 8 of the European Championship. A solitary goal by Benjamin Kallman was enough for the guests to claim the three points.

Coach Silvio Vella, in his 42nd match in charge of the Under-21 squad, made one change compared to the Ukraine match last Friday as in midfield, Marcus Grima was preferred instead of Ayrton Attard. Early in the match, centre-back Gary Camilleri had to be replaced injured by Matthew Ellul. 

Malta produced very little goal threat in the 1st half against the physical Fins, and the 18th minute, the guests scored the only goal of the match. Benjamin Kallman was alert to head home past Al Tumi after a corner from Lucas Lingman.

On 27 minutes, Kallman could have doubled the lead but failed to hit target with only Al Tumi to beat.

In the second half, the Maltese saw more of the ball, trying hard to penetrate the tight Finnish defence.

There was however, initially, very little goalmouth action on both sides.

Substitute James Scicluna could have equalised on 78 minutes after a fine solo effort but his shot was too weak to trouble goalkeeper Viljami Sinisalo.

Seven minutes later, Nicholas Pulis’s desperate effort from a corner missed target. On the stroke of full-time, a shot by Scicluna from the edge of the box was saved without difficulty by Sinisalo.

Deep in to added time, there were two chances on both sides. Finland substitute Toibias Fagerstrom could have added his team’s second but failed beat Al Tumi from close range and in the attack that followed on the other side, Scicluna was inches away of clinching a late equaliser for the hosts after a precise Zachary Grech pass.

Malta ended last in this strong group with one point from ten matches. Denmark won the group and qualified for the Finals, while Romania could seal their place in the Finals by obtaining a positive result at home to Denmark this evening.

R.Al Tumi, Z.Grech, N.Pulis, C.Zammit Lonardelli, G.Camilleri (M.Ellul 8), M.Beerman, J.Zerafa, (D.Xuereb 75), M.Grima (B.Sciberras 70), A.Friggieri, O.Elouni (A.Zammit 75), J.Busuttil (J.Scicluna 75) 

V.Sinisalo, M.Vainionpaa, A.Halme, R.Tihi, M.Haukioja, L.Lingman, N.Maenpaa (M.Virtanen 71), J.Assehnoun (E.Banza 80), N.Skytta (E.Vertainen 87), T.Stavitski (T.Fagerstrom 87), B.Kallman.

Yellow cards
Grima, Friggieri (M), Lingman (F)

Nikola Popov (Bulgaria)

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