Malta Football Association
Mar 20, 2013
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Photo courtesy of P. Zammit Cutajar
Photo courtesy of P. Zammit Cutajar

International competitive duty for Malta’s national team will rarely be as vigorous as in the next few days. Two matches in five days between Friday 22nd and Tuesday 26th March against top continental opposition should be acid tests for our lads as they face Bulgaria away and then Italy at home in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B programme.




The matches will certainly provide very stern opposition for Pietro Ghedin’s team. They will be Malta’s fourth and fifth outings in the global competition. The red-shirted players will be open to the scrutiny of our technical team and countrymen when they confront the Bulgarians in what could very well be alien conditions in the eastern European country at this time of the year.


The difficulties will be compounded when considering that Bulgaria need nothing less than a victory to keep their World Cup qualification bid very much alive in what could probably develop into a monumental battle also involving Denmark, the Czech Republic and Italy for the top two places in the group.


The scenario changes completely when we meet the eminent Italian team at the National Stadium Ta’ Qali. Needles to say, the credentials of our neighbouring opponents and their aspirations for automatic qualification are veritable mountains for the Maltese to climb.


Then there is the great following Italy’s national team commands amongst the Maltese, an ingredient which should make the encounter a momentous one.


In the first match between the two countries, played on Italian soil, we earned the respect of the Azzurri after a commendable performance of tactical discipline and supreme fighting spirit which saw us concede defeat after two disputed goals, one early on and the other at the death.


It is hoped that the rich vein of form of our lads and their tenacity so evident in the last matches, including six unbeaten friendlies, will give them that extra push in these two upcoming encounters.


Our team is raring to go and, why not, the massive support they should get from the home crowd at Ta’ Qali could help us obtain desired dividends prestige-wise.


Our National Stadium will be bursting at the seams on Tuesday evening.


Forza Malta..!’ should be on everybody’s lips, with our country’s red and white colours filling every corner of the stands.     

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