Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Malta drawn in Euro qualifying Group H for 2022 World Cup
Dec 7, 2020
Posted in:
General
National Team
PHOTO: FIFA/Kurt Schorrer
PHOTO: FIFA/Kurt Schorrer

Malta will face Croatia, Slovakia, Russia, Slovenia and Cyprus in Group H of the European Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup 2022. The draw was made this evening during a virtual event at Zurich’s Hallenstadion.


Croatia, the 2018 World Cup finalists, are the top seeds in the grou, having been were in Pot 1 for the draw. As Pot 6 only contained five teams – Malta, Moldova, Liechtenstein, Gibraltar and San Marino – they were drawn into the sixth position in groups F to J. All teams within a group will play each other twice in a home-and-away format between March and November 2021.

 

GOOD CHALLENGE FOR US – MANGIA

 

Despite the difficulty of Group H, Mangia stressed that these qualifiers will be an opportunity for Malta to maintain their improvement. "The teams from the Balkan region have a particular style of play while Russia are very powerful," Mangia said during an online press conference. "In Pot 3, 4 and 5, there were more attractive solutions for us but this will be a good challenge and possibly another step for us to keep growing, also with the introduction of more young players."

 

The European Qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup will be the second official competition for Devis Mangia as Head Coach of the National Teams. Under his guidance, Malta has moved up 10 places in the FIFA world ranking for the October-November 2020 period, having finished second in the UEFA Nations League Group D1.

 

Malta have played against all the other teams in Group H, including Russia in an International Friendly Tournament match back in 1996. In the latest FIFA world ranking, Croatia were 11th, Slovakia 33rd, Russia 39th, Slovenia 62nd and Cyprus 100th.

 

The 10 group winners will qualify directly for Qatar 2022, with the ten runners-up advancing to the play-offs.

 

Matchdays 1-2-3: March 2021

Matchdays 4-5-6: September 2021
Matchday 7-8: October 2021
Matchday 9-10: November 2021

 

DRAW RESULTS

Group A: Portugal, Serbia, Republic of Ireland, Luxembourg, Azerbaijan

Group B: Spain, Sweden, Greece, Georgia, Kosovo
Group C: Italy, Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Bulgaria, Lithuania
Group D: France, Ukraine, Finland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kazakhstan
Group E: Belgium, Wales, Czech Republic, Belarus, Estonia
Group F: Denmark, Austria, Scotland, Israel, Faroe Islands, Moldova
Group G: Netherlands, Turkey, Norway, Montenegro, Latvia, Gibraltar
Group H: Croatia, Slovakia, Russia, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta
Group I: England, Poland, Hungary, Albania, Andorra, San Marino
Group J: Germany, Romania, Iceland, North Macedonia, Armenia, Liechtenstein

Official Sponsors
Commercial Partners