Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Vibrant Malta end UNL campaign in second place
Nov 17, 2020
Posted in:
General
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE 2020
(c) Domenic Aquilina
(c) Domenic Aquilina

  • (c) Domenic Aquilina
  • (c) Domenic Aquilina
  • (c) Domenic Aquilina
  • (c) Domenic Aquilina
  • (c) Domenic Aquilina

UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE – Groupd D1
17/11/2020, National Stadium, Ta’ Qali

MALTA                     1
FAROE ISLANDS    1
(HT 0-0)

Guillaumier 54, Jonsson 61.

Malta ended a very positive UEFA Nations League campaign in second place but came very close to claiming top spot after another vibrant performance in the final match against Faroe Islands. The game was balanced but Malta clearly had the better of the second half, creating a host of chances but Faroe Islands somehow survived to finish top on 12 points, three ahead of Malta.

It was a hard-fought game which came to life after Matthew Guillaumier’s second-half opener. The Maltese earned the plaudits after the match as the men in red gave their all, recorded a record number of points (9) and extended their unbeaten run under Devis Mangia to seven consecutive matches, a record for the Maltese national team.


Mangia, back on the bench after serving a one-match suspension, made one change from the Andorra win last Saturday as the returning Steve Borg replaced Karl Micallef in defence.

 

The first half was a balanced affair on the wet surface of the National Stadium following rain showers before kick-off.

 

In the first half-an-hour, the visitors threatened with a few attacks in the Maltese half, all neutralised by the home defence with relative ease. Most of the danger for Malta came from the left flank where Ryan Camenzuli occasionally made use of the space afforded to him.


However, Faroe Islands increased their pressure in the last 10 minutes before the break. On 35 minutes, Henry Bonello turned Brandur Hendriksson's angled shot away for a corner. Three minutes before half-time, Bonello was called into action again, saving a hard shot by Joannes Bjartalid.

 

Malta started the second half better. Five minutes after the break, Luke Gambin scored after some good work by Joseph Mbong from the right but he was flagged for offsite. But four minutes later, Matthew Guillaumier put Malta 1-0 up with a powerful drive from the edge of the box which left goalkeeper Gestsson hapless following a set-piece action.

 

In the 69th minute, Faroe Islands equalised. Solvi Vathnamar made headway on the right before playing a perfect pass to substitute Ari Jonsson who beat Bonello from close range.


A minute later, Klaemint Olsen brought the best out of Bonello with a 20-metre distance shot, well saved by the Malta goalkeeper.

 

Malta dominated the final 15 minutes. Mbong had a great opportunity to put Malta 2-1 up but his central attempt from close range was saved by Gestsson. With four minutes of regular time left, Gestsson turned away anotther dangeous effort from Guillaumier which seemed destined for the top corner.


Despite Malta's frantic attempts to find a winner, Faroe Islands held on to their minimal advantage to win the group and promotion to the League C of the UEFA Nations League.

MALTA
H. Bonello, R. Camenzuli, A. Agius (S. Dimech 84), K. Shaw, S. Borg, J. Mbong, M. Guillaumier, T. Teuma (S. Pisani 78), L. Gambin, J. Degabriele (A. Satariano 84), L. Montebello (K. Nwoko 75).
 

FAROE ISLANDS

T. Gestsson, V. Davidson, O. Faero, S. Vatnhamar, G. Rolantsson, H. Hansson (B. Wardum 88), B. Hendriksson, G. Vatnhamar, J. Bjartalid (A. Jonsson 61), K. Olsen (H.J akobsen 81), M. Olsen (H. Hansen 88).

YELLOW CARDS

Shaw (M), Faero, Hansson (F)

REFEREE
Kristo Tohver (Estonia).

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