Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Improved performance by Malta against Kosovo
Jun 4, 2021
Posted in:
General
Friendlies
(c) Stephen Gatt
(c) Stephen Gatt

  • (c) Stephen Gatt
  • (c) Stephen Gatt
  • (c) Stephen Gatt
  • (c) Stephen Gatt
  • (c) Stephen Gatt
04.06.2021
International ‘A’ Friendly
Worthersee Stadion, Klagenfurt, Austria

KOSOVO…2
MALTA…1
(HT 1-1)

Malta gave a good account of themselves in Klagenfurt today with a solid performance which was however not enough to beat a powerful Kosovo side in their second and last Friendly during the Austria training camp. While the match looked to be destined for a draw, Kosovo took full advantage of a defensive error six minutes before full-time. 

When compared to the first friendly against Northern Ireland last Sunday, Juan Corbalan and Rowen Muscat were in the starting line-up instead of Ferdinando Apap and Bjorn Kristensen. 
 
Before the match, MFA president Bjorn Vassallo presented a memento to Malta captain Andrei Agius, who made his 100th appearance for the national team. He became the seventh Maltese to reach the 100 caps. 
 
Malta shared much of the possession with Kosovo in the opening 15 minutes with Teddy Teuma coming close when his shot from just outside the box missed target on 11 minutes. Two minutes later, Kurt Shaw neutralised a Kosovo attack before Milot Rashica, who was undoubtedly Kosovo’s best player, could get dangerous. However, on 19 minutes, Kosovo took the lead through Rashica who had the easiest of tasks to beat Henry Bonello by the far post after being served by Lirim Kastrati. Rashica missed a sitter on 26 minutes after beating the offsite trap but his shot sailed wide. 
 
As expected, Kosovo dictated play but had to stay on the alert with some stingy Maltese counter-attacks. Two minutes before the break, Bonello had to interfere on goal attempts by Blendi Idrizi and again Rashica. However, on the stroke of half-time, Malta equalised. Shaw was stopped on the edge of the box by Hekuran Kryeziu. From the free-kick that followed, Teuma brought the best out of goalkeeper Visar Bekaj and it was Shaun Dimech who hit home from the rebound.   
 
On 56 minutes, Kastrati was sent through but Bonello was alert to neutralise the danger. Barely a minute later, on the other side, a rising shot from the edge of the box by Rowen Muscat sailed over the crossbar. The best chance in the second half for Malta was created on the hour when Juan Corbalan, unmarked, failed to finish off a wonderful attack by the Maltese which started by on the right flank by Joseph Mbong. 
 
Kosovo, who started the second half well with high pressing and neat passing, eventually lacked ideas to find the net. However, with six minutes left on the clock, Rashica scored his second of the night, taking advantage of a defensive error, giving Kosovo a hard-earned win. The last say was for the Maltese however as on 88 minutes, substitute Cain Attard found Luke Montebello in the box, who’s shot from close-range was saved with difficulty by Bekaj. One minute into added time, Malta had another opportunity to equalise when Teuma’s first timer was again saved by Bekaj.
 
Kosovo
Visar Bekaj, Mergim Vojvoda, Amir Rrahmani, Betim Fazliji, Fidan Aliti (Desan Bajselmani 87), Herolind Shala (Besar Halimi 61), Blendi Idrizi, Hekuran Kryeziu (Idriz Voca 72), Lirim Kastrati (Zymer Bytyqi 61), Milot Rashica (Mirlind Daku 87), Arber Zeneli.
Coach: Bernard Challandes
 
Malta
Henry Bonello, Kurt Shaw, Andrei Agius (Triston Caruana 87), Ryan Camenzuli (Bjorn Kristensen 87), Juan Corbalan (Jean Borg 64), Joseph Mbong, Rowen Muscat (Nicky Muscat 64), Teddy Teuma, Shaun Dimech (Jurgen Degabriele 64), Luke Montebello, Alex Satariano (Cain Attard 46).
Coach: Devis Mangia
 
Referee: Christopher Jaeger (Austria)
 
Yellow cards: Kryeziu, Aliti (K), Attard, J.Borg (M)
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